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Did Jesus go to hell?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Does the Bible say that Jesus spent three days and three nights in hell (or hades)?


According to Acts 2:31, Jesus DID go to hell for a brief period of time (Peter is quoting Psalm 16:8-11) but Jesus did NOT go to hell for three days and three nights.
"He [David] seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that HIS soul was not left in hell, neither HIS flesh did see corruption." - Acts 2:31

According to Jesus Himself, he would "be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 12:40, but that doesn't mean he would be in hell for three days and three nights.
In the Bible, Abraham's bosom (paradise) and hell are depicted as being side by side, with an impassable gulf between them.

Saved people from the Old Testament time period went to Abraham's bosom (the good place) and unsaved people went to hell or the pit (the bad place).

"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." - Luke 16:22-23. 

When Jesus died, he went first to the hell part of hades, to show his triumph over sin and death, Colossians 2:15. 

He "preached unto the spirits in prison," 1 Peter 3:19, who were in hell, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell..." - 2 Peter 2:4,

and took the keys "of hell and of death" from the devil, Revelation 1:18.

It doesn't say how long those three events took, probably only a few hours but certainly less than a day, because of Jesus' promise to the dying thief in Luke 23:43 - "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

Some people believe that while he was in paradise, Jesus also preached the gospel to the Old Testament saints, those who were saved but had little knowledge of God's complete plan of redemption since they died before Jesus came to earth. They base this belief on 1 Peter 4:5-6.

"Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick (living) and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

I tend to think 1 Peter 4:5-6 refers to prophetic truths preached to Abraham and other Old Testament saints instead of referring to Jesus preaching the gospel to the saints in paradise. I base my belief on Galatians 3:8, where the Bible says:

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Gospel means "the good news" so the truth that God was also going to save not just the Jews but also the heathen, through faith, was indeed good news, especially 1800 years before the birth of Christ.

Jesus spent the remainder of the three days and three nights in paradise and then he ascended up on high and "led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men," Ephesians 4:8.

Some years after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, Paul was caught up to paradise, 2 Corinthians 12:4, "How that he was caught up into paradise..." which was then in the third heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2, not in the heart of the earth.

Christians believe that when Jesus "led captivity captive," He took paradise or at least, all the saints in paradise (out of the heart of the earth), and up to heaven so that paradise is now an empty compartment.
Here's the $64 million dollar question.

Do you know FOR SURE that when you die, you're going to heaven?

Would you like to know for sure?


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