The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

60. Spirits in Prison



1 Peter 3:18-20 - "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; by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 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."

The phrase "spirits in prison" means in bondage to the elements of this evil world. This verse does NOT teach that God gives the spirits of men a second chance of salvation after they have died:

Psalm 142:7 - "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me."

Similarly:

1 Peter 4:6 - "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."

This verse also is not speaking about preaching the gospel to people after they have died, rather it is speaking about the preaching of the gospel to those in past history.