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Spirits in Prison


1 Peter 3.19-20
…in which he (Jesus) went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

These difficult verses have been understood in three very different ways. Traditionally they have been used to support the idea that Jesus descended into hell on the Saturday between His crucifixion and resurrection—when His body was dead but His spirit remained alive (v. 18). At that time He preached either to the souls of people who were disobedient in the days of Noah or to fallen angels who had incited humans to such evil that God sent the flood at the time of Noah to destroy it (Genesis 6.1-7). A second view is that the preincarnate Christ preached through Noah to the wicked generation destroyed by the flood. A third view is that Christ’s resurrection and ascension were the proclamation of victory over the most extreme powers of evil the earth has ever known, which these spirits in prison represent. With Jesus’ victory over death, their condemnation was sealed.

The Noahic flood was the most severe judgment the earth has known because of the severe evil of the time. Yet, in His mercy, God did not destroy the human race completely. The entire human race deserves to perish in sin, but God will save those who receive His mercy.

Have you experienced the mercy of God by receiving—through faith—Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 6.2 (NLT) that today is the day of salvation! Tomorrow may be too late. Today is the day to call upon Jesus Christ in faith and receive forgiveness of sins and newness of life! Paul tells us that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10.13).  Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call on Jesus today! And receive His mercy and life-saving grace.

Pastor Jeff
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