A. These passages often used as "proof" of many ideas.
1. For example:
a. Jesus preached to people while He was in Hades.
b. Opportunity of a second chance to be saved.
c. Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory.
(1) Purgatory - "a state or place in which those who have died
in the grace of God expiate their sins by suffering." Webster
(2) In other words, purgatory is a place where people go when
they die. If they are good Catholics but have sins that
weren't forgiven by the priest before they died, they can go
to purgatory and suffer for a little while and thus be purged
of their sins. All of this bing done with the help of the priest.
B. This idea of a second chance has also filtered down into the Protestant religions.
C. Must always remember some simple rules of Bible study:
1. Always study a passage or passages in their context.
2. Never read more into the passage than what is there.
3. Never make one passage contradict another passage.
I. What Do These Passages Say?
A. Christ was put to death in the flesh but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit.
1. The Spirit quickens. 2 Cor. 3:6.
2. The Spirit quickens through the word. Jn. 6:63
3. The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is the One referred to in these verses.
B. By (or through) the same Spirit, Christ went and preached unto the spirits in
1. The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets. 1 Pet. 1:10-11
2. Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet. 1:21
3. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. 2 Pet. 2:5
a. Therefore, the Spirit must have been in Noah.
b. Noah actually did the preaching!
4. Thus, Christ was preached by the Holy Spirit through Noah to the people
of that day.
C. The "spirits in prison" were the people in Noah's day (V.20). (But, at the time
of Peter writing this epistle, they were spirits in the Hadean world.)
1. 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6
2. No other people are specified.
a. If it be true that Jesus preached while He was in Hades, then He
only preached to those of Noah's day!
b. He only gave them a second chance!
c. To those who hold this position, the question of WHY He would
make such a distinction is impossible to answer!
D. The preaching was done while the ark was being built. (V. 20)
1. The message of repentance was preached by Noah for 120 years. Gen. 6:3
a. Indeed, God is longsuffering. 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:9
A. What The Passages Do Not Say:
1. They do not say the preaching was done while Christ was in Hades.
2. They do not teach that the preaching was done personally by Christ.
3. They do not teach a purgatory.
4. They do not teach a second chance of any kind.