Jesus: Did He Descent Into Hell?

One frequently asked questions is: “Where was Jesus those three days His body was in the tomb?” Before relating to that, let’s establish one basic fact. Some interpretations of the passage before us imply people have a second chance to be saved after death. This is a cruel false deception designed by the devil. It is not a Scriptural principle that any person has a second chance after death.

Let’s make clear the one and only one chance any person has for salvation. I Peter 3:18, says that Christ died “that He might bring us to God” = PROSAGO. From PROSAGO two nouns are derived. One means “the right of access.” Through Christ we have the “right of access” to God. The other noun means “introducer” or “the giver of access.” Hence, Christ is represented as the one who gives us access to God. Earlier He had said, “I am the way… (John 14:6.) He is the only way of access to God.

Now consider the question regarding Christ during the days between the death and resurrection.

Many opinions are held by Godly people as to the exact meaning of Christ going and preaching to the spirits in prison I Peter 3:19). The Greek language in which the text was written used no commas or periods, no punctuation at all. By taking this into account and observing the verb tense used in the text, a clearer understanding can be obtained. This meaning is found in this reading: “By the spirit…” (vs. 18), “…he went and preached to the spirits which are now in prison…” When? “…in the days of Noah” (vs. 19).

Thus, He preached, by the Spirit, through Noah, to the disobedient spirits now in prison in the day of their disobedience.

By the same eternal Spirit by which He was made alive He went and preached to disobedient people in the time of their disobedience, which was in the day of Noah.

It is apparent this was not a proclamation offering anyone a second chance of salvation after death. The word translated “preached” is not the word for evangelize, euangelizo, but kerysso, meaning “to announce.”

It should be noted that the Greek word for “hell” is not used, but rather Hades, the place of all departed dead. So all the departed dead from the time of Noah had this announcement made to them in their lifetime.

Where was He then during those three days between death and resurrection? He was where He said He would be when He said to the thief on the cross, “Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise…”

This passage does not imply there was a second chance for those who were in hell at the time of the crucifixion to be saved. Neither is there such a second chance for any persons.

“It is appointed unto man once to die and after the judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27.)

“He that believeth not is condemned ALREADY…” When? Here and now because they have refused to accept Christ’s “right of access.” They have rejected Him as “the give of access.”

Now there emerges a second superficial difficulty in this text. A study of it makes clear the meaning.

A casual reading of I Peter 3:21 makes it appear that baptism saves. What it really teaches is that baptism is not intended to wash away out spiritual filth any more than it is designed to wash away physical body filth. It is instead a beautiful pledge to God.

Baptism does not save us. It is a pledge of a “good conscience.” The resurrection saves us. Our response to the resurrected Christ is to be confirmed at baptism.
The term “the answer of a good conscience” translates EPEROTEMA. In business transactions, there is a question and answer making a contract legal and binding. The question, “Do you accept the terms of the contract, and bind yourself to keep them?” The pledge, “I do” is “the answer.”

Baptism is a pledge of commitment. Basically the question is, “Do you accept the terms of my service? Do you accept the privileges and promises, and will you undertake the responsibilities and demands of it?” Baptism is a resounding, “Yes!”

In a wedding, the ring is a sign or token of a covenant. The question is posed, “Do you…” The pledge, “I do.” The rings are the symbol of the commitment.

“We are buried together with Him in baptism” (Romans 6: 3,4). It is the grace of the resurrected living Lord that saves us.

This truth is paralleled by a statement regarding Noah. Noah was saved “by the water.” From what? He was saved from the flood tide of sin by the rising waters. The flood was the occasion for God delivering Him from the sinful world. Likewise baptism does not save us. It is associates with the occasion of the resurrection Christ saving us. Baptism is associated with the occasion of Christ saving us. It was the ark that delivered Noah. So it is Christ only that delivers us.

The ark is a type of Christ.
1. It was the Divinely chosen means. It was God’s idea.
2. It was the exclusive means.
3. The ark took the beating for those inside.
4. Entrance was voluntary.
5. Entrance was free.
6. Once people were in, God was in charge of their safety.