Did Jesus Go to hell after He died?
First of all, may I encourage you to read the answers to last week's
question: According to the Bible are there two different kinds of hell? To be
Last week we discovered that people do not go to hell when they die. Hell is
reserved for the unrighteous after judgment day when "hades" or "sheol" (the
dwelling place of the unbelievers) will be thrown into the lake of fire (see Rev
However, when people die they go to "sheol" (in Hebrew) or "hades" (in Greek),
which refers to the realm of the dead. We also discovered last week that "sheol"
or "hades" is divided in two parts: one for the wicked and one referred to
"Abraham's bosom" or "heaven" for the righteous. So this week's question should
be modified to: Did Jesus go to the part reserved to the wicked of "hades" or
Some people believe that Jesus went and preached to the wicked that had died and
did so right after His death on the cross. They base this on this text:
1 Peter 3:19-20: "He went and preached to the spirits in prison who
disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark
was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through
It is important to look at the context of a text to thoroughly understand it;
otherwise false conclusions could be reached. Let us do this now:
1 Peter 3:13-17 "13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But
even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not
fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15 But in your hearts set apart
Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to
give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and
respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously
against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It
is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
The introductory context is an exhortation from the apostle Peter to do good
to the people around us. He encourages the Christians of Asia Minor to "suffer
for what is right", this being much better than "doing evil".
1 Peter 3:18 "18 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," He then points out that Christ suffered and died for them with
the purpose "to bring" them (and us for that matter) "to God".
Notice that the text doesn't stop at His death. It also talks about His
resurrection where he was "made alive by the Spirit".
Now the apostle Peter introduces us to the text in question:
1 Peter 3:19 "19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison
20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while
the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved
through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-not
the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward
God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into
heaven and is at God's right hand-with angels, authorities and powers in
submission to him."
Just looking at the context, we have a problem assuming that Jesus preached to
"the spirits in prison" at His death. After mentioning the fact, the apostle
Peter points out that Jesus was "made alive by the Spirit". Jesus was
resurrected through the power of the Holy Spirit. And it's "through" the Holy
Spirit that he preached to "the spirits in prison".
Now who are these "spirits in prison"?
We have learned from the text that they are those "who disobeyed long ago when
God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built". It's a
very specific group of people and clearly not referring to all those who are in
the part of "hades" or "sheol" reserved to the wicked.
Notice also that nowhere does it say that these spirits accepted Jesus'
preaching. If He went to "hades" and preached there, His preaching was futile.
If you look further, the apostle Peter is not putting the emphasis on preaching
to these "spirits in prison", but on the fact that Noah and seven others "were
saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you
also-not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience
In mentioning the triumph of Jesus at His resurrection, Peter refers to Noah and
his family who "were brought safely through the water". Why would this be
important to the readers of Asia Minor, to whom Peter was writing this letter?
Because these once-pagan readers are now being ostracized for being Christians,
and they are reminded that Noah and his family underwent the same kind of
suffering. Noah persevered, although the whole world was also against him. He
and his family were saved. The rest of the world was not.
Now baptism serves the same function. How? 1 Peter 3:21 "It saves you by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ." NIV In other words without Jesus' resurrection,
baptism would be useless! It is not the outward washing that saves, referred by
"not the removal of dirt from the flesh". Baptism is a "pledge" or an "answer"
to God "from a good conscience". It's our identification with Christ that saves,
not the act of baptism by itself.
The apostle Peter is encouraging the Christians of Asia Minor to persevere
although they may be suffering. He then points out that Jesus suffered as well
for their salvation and so did Noah and his family just before the flood, and
they were "brought safely through the water". Suffering is just an inconvenience
compared to the glorious salvation obtained for us by Jesus Himself.
Looking at the context, we can only assume that the apostle Peter was referring
to Noah being led by God's Spirit to preach to those in his time. It is Noah's
preaching that is referred to here. His preaching was not his own, but came
through God's Spirit from the Holy One Himself: Jesus Christ. The people in
Noah's time were "in prison" of their own sins and addictions. This kept them
from accepting salvation from the flood. This is in agreement with many Bible
"It would then be implied here, that though the instrumentality of Noah was
employed, yet that it was done not by the Holy Spirit, but by him who afterward
became incarnate." (from Barnes' Notes
"John Owen, Calvin's translator and editor (John Calvin, Commentaries on the
Catholic Epistles, p. 116, note), cites the explanation adopted by Beza,
Doddridge, Macknight, and Scott, that the time of the action was in the ministry
of Noah, when Christ by the Spirit ("by which") preached through Noah to the
wicked who at Peter's later writing were spirits in Hades. And all this while
the longsuffering of God waited, delaying the flood. The reference to the time
spent in building the ark seems to corroborate this interpretation. Reference to
the small number of those saved would encourage the "little flock" in Asia."
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
"The inhabitants of the antediluvian world, who, having been disobedient, and
convicted of the most flagrant transgressions against God, were sentenced by his
just law to destruction. But their punishment was delayed to see if they would
repent; and the long-suffering of God waited one hundred and twenty years, which
were granted to them for this purpose; during which time, as criminals tried and
convicted, they are represented as being in prison-detained under the arrest of
Divine justice, which waited either for their repentance or the expiration of
the respite, that the punishment pronounced might be inflicted. This I have long
believed to be the sense of this difficult passage, and no other that I have
seen is so consistent with the whole scope of the place." (from Adam Clarke's
The most poignant evidence that Jesus did not go to the part reserved to the
wicked of "hades" or "sheol" is the following text pronounced by Jesus Himself
while hanging on the cross. He was addressing this promise to the thief on the
cross who asked Him to remember him when He would come into His kingdom.
Luke 23:43 "Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me
in paradise." NIV
When Jesus died He went to the part of "hades" or "sheol" called "paradise" and
so did that thief on the cross next to Him. He never went to the part
reserved to the wicked.
That He went to "hades" is confirmed in Acts 2:31 "He looked ahead and spoke of
the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID
His flesh SUFFER DECAY." NASU
Jesus died with a purpose: to bring us to God (see 1 Peter 3:18). John 3:16-17:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." NIV He died for you.
Why? Because He cares for you and wants to be your friend. He died so that you
could have eternity in front of you. Not an eternity in suffering and misery,
but eternity in happiness and peace. Unbelievable but true. All you need to do
to receive this is accept His offer. You need to welcome Him into your life and
experience His power that leads to total freedom from any addictions. Why won't
you do this now by accepting His call at:
Rob Chaffart Rob@Answers2Prayer.org
31. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was
not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
8. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive,
and gave gifts unto men.
9. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the
lower parts of the earth?
10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens,
that he might fill all things.)
When he ascended up on high" refers to the ascension of Christ. At that time He
led the saints of the OT, which refers, I believe, to the redeemed of the Old
Testament who died. Christ took these believers with Him out of Hell, Hades, or
Sheol into the very presence of God when He ascended. What ever this place was
called, Jesus went there for a purpose and that was to take the saints to
Some theologians believe that Jesus went to hell and preached to the people for
one last chance at salvation. I find no scripture to back that theory. The
Apostles Creed says he descended to hell. Some scriptures in the OT suggest that
also but it's hard to really tell. Others feel that when we die we are just
sleeping until the resurrection.
In His Love Rev. Whit
I believe Jesus did go to hell for us. He paid the price for our redemption.
1 Peter 1:18-23.
"1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as
silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your
fathers; 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without
blemish and without spot: 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation
of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 1:21 Who by him do
believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your
faith and hope might be in God. 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in
obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see
that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1:23 Being born again, not
of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and
abideth for ever."
He was in the center of the earth. Matthew 12:40
"12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so
shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Science tells us that te center of the earth is a flaming inferno.
He preached to the antedeluvian people who were in hell. 1 Peter 3:18-22.
"3:18 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: 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 3:20
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. 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also
now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a
good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 3:22 Who is
gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and
powers being made subject unto him."
Yours, because of Calvary,
Delmer G. Lawson
Jesus was born a man to go through all that man would go through. The
Apostles creed directly states that he descended into hell.
I believe in God the Father almighty
Maker of Heaven and Earth.
And in Jesus Christ His only Son
our Lord Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost
Born of the Virgin Mary S
uffered under Pontius Pilate
Was crucified dead and buried.
He descended into Hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost
The Holy Christian Church
The Communion of Saints
The Forgiveness of Sins
The Resurrection of the Body
And the Life Everlasting. AMEN.
Yes He did!!! He took the keys to hell and death from Satan.
Yes! He did .He preached in hell and risen on the
Yes Jesus went to Hell after He died. He traveled there to take away the keys
of death away from Satan. He went there to set free those who were held there
from the Old Testament who need to be released. Because He went there I will not
have to go there for He set the captives free. I am free from the power of the
second death because of what He has done.
My response to this month's Bible Question: "Did Jesus go to Hell after He
Died?" Is a resounding YES! The Bible tells us that after he died, our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ went to Hades (Hell), but being the Son of God and Himself
God, hell could not hold him. The reason for Jesus going to hell is simply the
fact that the aggregate sins of the entire world was placed upon him on the
Cross of Calvary. Had he died without taking on the sins of the world, Jesus
certainly would not have tasted hell as he did.
Jesus' taste of hell clearly manifests the doom of unrepented sinners after
death. I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just
to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Thanks for making me one of the subscribers to the Illustrator.
D. Onesimus Banwon