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TITLE: Spirits in Prison

TEXT: I Peter 3:18-22

PROPOSITION: All men have had an opportunity to be saved.




          1. Some passages are difficult because of the subject.

          2. Some have been made difficult by carelessness.

          3. Several false views from this text.

1. False Views

          A. Jesus went to Torments when he died.

                    1. Jesus went to Hades - abode of the dead

                    2. Jesus went to Paradise Luke 23:43

                    3. Jesus did not go to Heaven John 20:17

          B. Jesus offered some lost people a second chance.

                    1. After death is the judgment Heb. 9:27

                    2. Judged by our works Rev. 20:12-13

                    3. Judged by things done in our body II Cor. 5:10

          C. Noah was really Christ.

                    1. Similar to "John was Elijah"

                              a. Mal. 4:5 "I send you Elijah"

                              b. Luke 1:17 "in spirit and power of Elijah"

                    2. Noah preached in the spirit of Christ

2. Passage Analysis   II Peter 3:18-22

          18. Christ suffered for our sins

                    1. The Just for the unjust.

                    2. Purpose: To bring us to God.

                    3. Was put to death - in the flesh.

                    4. Was still alive in the spirit.

          19. Key passage - notice the verb tenses

                    1. Spirit of Christ

                    2. Preached - past tense

                    3. Unto spirits - souls

                    4. In prison - present tense

                              a. Prison = Hades - reserved till judgment

                              b. Verse says - "In the spirit of Christ, salvation was at one time offered to souls which are now in hades awating the judgment."

          20. When and to whom did the preaching take place?

                    1. To those disobedient.

                    2. When God waited, long-suffering.

                    3. In the days of Noah.

                    4. While the ark was being prepared.

                    5. In which only eight souls were saved.

          21. Like figure = some points of similarity

                    1. Water separated the lost from the saved.

                    2. God prepared the means (ark) of being saved.

                    3. All men had the opportunity to be saved.

          21b. Baptism does the same for us today.

                    1. Water separates the lost from the saved.

                    2. God prepared the means (church) of being saved.

                    3. God wants all men to be saved.

          22. Who - the spirit of Christ

                    1. Has entered heaven.

                    2. In on the right hand of God.

                    3. All are subject to him.


          1. All men have had an opportunity to be saved.

          2. Salvation has always been "by faith."

          3. Salvation has always been by "obedience."

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