Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ephesians 4:8-10 The Lower Parts of the Earth: Did Jesus Suffer in Hell?

God promised to send a man, the seed of woman, to strip the serpent of his power over mankind and completely crush him (Genesis 3:15). The phrase, bruise thy head, in Genesis 3:15, means to strip of power or to crush (the head representing rank or authority). But until such time as the serpent would be stripped of his power, the righteous dead were held captive, for their protection, in a place called Abraham’s Bosom located somewhere in the heart of the earth.

This place was beautiful enough to be called paradise, but it was not Heaven (Luke 16:22-25, Ezekiel 31:16, Job 14:13). When Jesus ascended to Heaven after his resurrection he took these “captive” souls with him, but first he had to descend into the “lower parts of the earth” to get them (Ephesians 4:8-10). This is one of the proof scriptures that Jesus never suffered in hell. How could he have suffered in hell for 3 days when he told the thief, who was crucified with him, that they would be together in Paradise on the very day they both died?

According to the words of Christ, the price [for sin] was completely paid while he was still hanging on the cross (John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost). There was no need for him to suffer further in hell.

We see from scripture that Jesus was quite busy during the time his body lay in the tomb, and he didn’t spend any of that time burning in hell fire (Luke 23:43, 1 Peter 3:19-20).

Had Christ failed in his mission and refused to die on the cross during that long ago Passover, possession of those captive souls, in Abraham’s Bosom/Paradise, would have defaulted to Satan and been doomed—forever—along with him. Not only would they have all been without hope, but you and I would be without hope as well. But we are not left without hope. We have a living hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ if we will come to him. Jesus said, “He that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

Romans 10:8-13
8: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
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