10 March, 2017

I Peter 3:19—“... by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison ...”

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (I Pet. 3:18-20 KJV).

I Peter 3:19 has been used to teach that Christ, after His death on the cross, went to hell during those subsequent three days, whereby He preached the gospel as a well-meant offer of salvation to the spirits of those who were killed in the Pre-Flood world, giving them a chance to saved.


Rev. Martyn McGeown

[Source: A sermon entitled, “Christ’s Descent Into Hell”]

I Peter 3:19 does not teach that when Jesus preached to the spirits He preached to spirits who were at that time in prison. When Peter wrote his epistle those spirits were in prison. But when Jesus preached to them those spirits were not yet in prison: they were the disobedient men who lived in Noah’s day.

The text means that Christ spoke through Noah by the Holy Spirit when Noah preached to the wicked who lived at the same time as Noah did. Those men were in hell (the prison) when Peter wrote and are still in hell today, but they were living when Christ preached to them through Noah. This is another powerful proof, by the way, that preaching is the voice of Christ.

The same is true of I Peter 4:6: The Gospel was preached to people who at the time of Peter’s writing were dead. But they were not dead when the Gospel was preached to them. The Gospel is not preached to people after their death, and there is no possibility for a second chance to repent after death.



More to come! (DV)

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