Preaching Even to the Dead

It is written: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison… ” (I Peter 3:18-21).

The Bible plainly says that Christ preached to the spirits in prison after His death on the cross. We just need to believe what is stated in its literal sense, not interpreting it in our own way. Christ’s great atonement on the cross was a blessing in heaven, on eath and under ground. In other words, the grace of Christ was proclaimed even to the spirits in prison who were moaning over their doom of destruction.

The above verses seem to mean that Jesus preached only to the spirits of those who had died in the days of Noah. Actually, He proclaimed the good news that He destroyed the pwer of death, to all the other spirits who sinned, too (Isaiah 61:1, Isaiah 42:7, I Peter 3:18-19, Matthew 27:50-53).

Some say that the saints, who were raised after Jesus’ resurrection, had a special resurrection. However, their resurrection was not a special one. All who were saved in the Old Testament were resurrected and entered the heavenly Jerusalem.

To understand this more clearly, we need to study the prophecy concerning Jesus’ resurrection. In Leviticus 23:10-16 is described the wave sheaf ceremony; the Israelites brought a sheaf of the firstfruits of their harvest to the priest and he waved the sheaf before the Lord.

This was a shadow of things to come; the agricultural harvests in Old Testament times represented the spirits of the redeemed in New Testament times. Jesus resurrected as the firstfruits of those fallen asleep. After His resurrection, the spirits of many who had died in Old Testament times were also resurrcted (I Corinthians 15:20).

By Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as the sin offereing, those who were saved in the Old Testament times entered into complete salvation (Hebrews 9:15).

As soon as Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross, the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. After Jesus triumphed on the cross, He appeared to the spirits who had suffered in prison for a long time and brought them good news of great joy. When He told them to receive the eternal gospel, how joyfully would they receive their Savior? Jesus opened the prison door, so that they could be freed from the hands of Satan, Lucifer the morning star.

How great and glorious is the Creator’s plan of salvation for His children, born of His own Spirit! His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. He never neglects the small things. He governed and led His children before He came into this sinful world; He taught them while He was on earth; He showed mercy even to the spirits in the grave after He resurrected. Jesus does not neglect a single spirit. The gospel of Jesus Christ is preached even to the souls of those who have never heard the gospel and died since the creation of the world. If they were not given an opportunity to be saved, God would be unfair. However, God is always fair, and so is whatevr He does.

Somethink that there is no forgiveness of sins after death. But those who lived according to their conscience have a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ even after death and be saved (Matthew 12:32).

There are two types of sins both in this world and in the world to come: One is forgivable, and the other unforgivable. Jesus distinguishes between forgivable and unforgivable sins. In human history, there are an innumerable amount of people who have died without hearing the gospel for thousands of years. If those numerous people are all punished and destroyed in hell, who will take responsibility for them?

Man is unjust in this sinful world. Christ is not. He has never provided an unfair way of salvation for the numerous souls. Christ, the Owner of the heavens and the earth and the dungeon, gives a chance to hear the gospel and be saved even to the spirits who have been locked up in the devil’s prison for thousands of years.

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