So then what is the conclusion that should be drawn from all of this, regarding these critical subjects of hell, heaven, and the
Resurrection of the Dead?...
On the subject of the afterlife, there is a whole spectrum of opinions among churches and scholars. Really this shouldn't be, because there is only one bible, which we are instructed to rightly
divide. One must consider it as a whole, made up of working parts, to bring forth the true revelations from God on these important and often overlooked subjects. Christ has foretold us all things,
and if we are willing to wipe the slate clean by rejecting vain traditions, and sit ourselves down at the feet of the Teacher, we can begin to grasp the truth that has been so deliberately laid
out for us.
Doug Buckley 26 Jul 2011, 23:05
(I'm moving some comments over here where they fit better)
Craig 26 Jul 2011, 23:13
I really have enjoyed your website. I am currently writing a book about
hurdles to Christianity. One such hurdle is hell. It has always bothered
me. It seems like an unbelievably harsh punishment. However, your
explanations about the final death being almost instantaneous makes it much
more humane (for lack of a better term).
I have always been amazed that hell is, essentially, not even mentioned in
the Old Testament, other than the passing reference in Isaiah 66.
I am not a Bible scholar. I'm just a guy trying to get to the bottom of
A few questions for you:
1. Why was so very little spoken about hell in the OT? If this topic was so
real, why virtually no mention of it in the OT?
2. Why did Jesus just matter-of-factly speak of hell as if everybody knew
what he was talking about? In Matthew 5:29-30, Jesus for the first time
mentions hell, as if everybody knew what it was. For a topic as important
as hell, you wonder why he didn't spend a sermon preaching what it was, why
it exists, and why it is necessary. Instead, we only get bits and pieces of
people being thrown into hell.
3. What do you make of those parables where Jesus talks about guys being
thrown into jail until they have paid the last penny owed (Matthew 5:23-26)
or of the guy delivered to the torturers until he paid all that was owed
(Matthew 18:23-35). These verses seem to suggest that there's a second
chance for folks, or that hell may not be eternal.
4 Peter 3:19-20 tells us the Christ went to “proclaim to the spirits in
prison” to those that “formerly did not obey.” It appears that Jesus
was in hell preaching to people. Thereafter, it appears that Jesus (similar
to his parables) released the captives from jail. Ephesians 4:7-10 says
that Jesus descended “into the lower earthly regions” before he
“ascended on high” while bringing “captives” with him.
Again, I am not a scholar. I genuinely don't know about these things. I
have read them many times, but don't know what to make of them. What do you
make of these passages of scripture?
David 26 Jul 2011, 23:14
As you have noticed, 1 Pet 3:19-20 does not say "preach" in the modern
sense of the word but "proclaim", which may mean one or more of many
things. Some have therefore concluded that this is the proclamation of
victory, and the captives are those who had already believed in God, whom
Jesus had freed from death based upon his redeeming death on the cross.
Grace be with you,
Craig 26 Jul 2011, 23:16
David, Thanks for the reply.
I don't think that 1 Peter 3:19 talks about Jesus proclaiming victory to
captive believers. First, when do you ever refer to someone as a captive
who is a friend that is held by you? In the story of Abraham's bosom, we
learned that the poor guy was being comforted in his stay. That does not
sound like a captive.
Second, 1 Peter 3:20 clearly talks about these captives as being the people
from the flood who did not believe Noah. If we know anything about the
people in Noah's time, it was that God was sorry that he made them.
However, in 1 Peter 3:20 these are some of the captives that he was
speaking to. Why would he go and preach to sinners in hell?
For the longest time I was always taught that Jesus went to preach to the
believers who died before Christ came to earth. It was their chance to be
born again. Now that I look at it, this just seems like Christian
propaganda (for lack of a better term). However, 1 Peter 3:19-20 does not
suggest that this was the case at all. I am not trying to start an
argument. In fact, the thing that has absolutely impressed me about this
website is how incredibly civil it is, considering the issue that is being
Doug Buckley 27 Jul 2011, 01:29
Hi Craig. Right now nonbelievers go to a place called Hades. In the future
they will be released from there and be judged according to their works.
Only the wicked will go into the Lake of Fire (Isaiah 66).
So false teachings about hell are a major hurdle to Christianity. False
teachings such as all those who don't believe in Christ are doomed to
The Hebrew word for hell is Sheol, but its not always translated as hell,
and it isn't explicity described in the OT. The bible often goes against
our preconceptions of what it should tell us or focus on.
Jesus jumps into alot of teachings, such as the Kingdom of Heaven, as if we
should know what he means. The bible often works with riddles and metaphors
and snapshots, and we are left to put the pieces together. Its all there,
but perhaps we value things more that we have to work at.
The passages you cited are about forgiving others as God has forgiven us,
not eternal or temporary hell.
Jesus did go to Hades. 1st Peter 3:19-20, says that Jesus proclaims to the
dead, probably about the future hope of the resurrection of the dead.
Ephesians 4 does NOT teach that he led them into heaven, but says he took
captivity captive. See my bible question about the gulf of hades.
Hope this helps, and I try to keep things civil, thanks for noticing.
Doug Buckley 27 Jul 2011, 02:48
comment moved to ch.18
Skye 03 Feb 2012, 16:29
Great site. You share truth in the simplicity of Jesus Christ. I am Blessed
I landed here. Praise to God, it was no mistake. I will return.
God Bless You brother. Your sister,
Keep on u will Phil 4:13
Doug Buckley 04 Feb 2012, 22:52
Thanks Skye, its good to hear from you. I'm always glad when someone is
blessed by the studies and writings here. God bless you to.