Descended into hell

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Aaron, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Listening to Hank Hanegraaff the other day, I again heard him refer to those who believe that Jesus descended into hell as borderline heretics.

    I intend with this post to show that it is an eminently reasonable and Scriptural belief, and to believe otherwise diminishes Christ's love and sacrifice.

    I will try to be brief and fill in the blanks with replies to rebuttals.

    </font>
    • The wages of sin is death: We know that this is not mere physical death. As God's wrath is poured out on the sinful soul (many evil men live long, blissful lives and die peaceful, pain-free deaths) the Second Death is also in sight here, and also in the Scripture that states Christ tasted death for all men.</font>
    • The argument that Christ did not descend into hell renders Him effeminate. Of what was Christ afraid when He sweat great drops of blood in the Garden? Mere physical torture and death? Not when men of lesser resolve and character bravely faced tortures more exquisite. It was only the fiery indignation and righteous judgment of God that could shake such an One as Christ.</font>
    • Denying Christ's descent into hell forces us to focus on Christ's flesh. Sermons on the Cross have become increasingly preoccupied with graphic descriptions of physical torture. Hanegraaf's oft-repeated "ribbons of quivering flesh" description is a prime example. Yet the Holy Spirit's testimony of Christ noticeably omits such weak and useless gimmicks, and focuses on the grief and agony of Christ's soul.</font>
     
  2. blackbird

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    Christ, on the cross, in a finite period of time took all of the hell you and I would have had to endure for an infinite period of time!! God took all of the hell of eternity and every sin--and there on the cross--just flung it on our Savior!! He suffered once for sin--the just for the unjust--that once was the cross and eternal punishment in that finite period of time!

    YOur friend,
    Blackbird
     
  3. donnA

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    what was the purpose?
     
  4. Helen

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    Would someone please show me where we are told in the Bible that Christ descended into hell? I don't see it anywhere. I do see in Acts 2 the reference to Psalm 16, where the reference is to the grave, or death, or Hades. But that is not hell, the place prepared for Satan and his angels!

    ???

    Thanks.
     
  5. rsr

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    Blackbird, that's very close to how Calvin understood it when he wrestled with the verse.

    http://www.reformed.org/documents/Christ_in_hell/

    There is no scripture on this, and it apparently was a late addition to the Apostles Creed. Many modern versions change this to "descended to the dead," and some omit it entirely.

    [ November 10, 2002, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  6. Helen

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    Then Hanegraaff may have a point?
     
  7. Rev. Joshua

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    The usual Scriptural citation here is I Peter 3:19.

    Joshua
     
  8. Helen

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    Thanks, Joshua, I know that one, too. But there the word is "phylake" or prison. It is used 46 times in the New Testament and includes the prison where Peter was, where Paul was, where the devil is chained for a thousand years...

    But this is not hell either. It may FEEL like it in some prisons... but that is not what the "he descended to hell" means, is it? And there is certainly no indication that he suffered there, as he was preaching.

    Unless one of you guys want to tell me that preaching is the same as hell! :D
     
  9. Frogman

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    Bro. Aaron,

    Of those I have heard preaching and teaching the descent of Christ into hell, the attempt is made to say Christ preached to those souls then there and they had an opportunity to repent. I oppose this view. The explanation of speaking of the suffereing of Christ is acceptable to me, but not that he had for his purpose to free those who had already been in torment.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. Aaron

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    I believe I provided a Scripture: Hebrews 2:9, But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    Death, as in most places in the Scriptures, includes the idea of the suffering of hell. What death did Christ taste? Physical death? Then why do we still die physically?

    When Christ said, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death," He was not speaking of mere physical death, as the Pharisees erroneously concluded invoking the account of Abraham's own death. But Christ said plainly that Abraham was very much alive in the spirit, John 8:54-58.

    1 Pet. 3:19 has nothing to do with Christ's descent into hell.

    [ November 10, 2002, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Some questions come to my mind:

    *Where is "Jesus going to hell" taught in the Bible?

    *Why would "God going to hell" be important in the doctrinal scheme?

    *Where is the basis of translating "hell" as anything more than the grave, hades, gehenna, et al?

    *Why does it matter what the Apostle's Creed says to Baptists today?

    Thanks (hoping to help you open up more discussion here)
     
  12. Rev. Joshua

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    This is one of the foundational statements of Christian belief, and to my knowledge baptists have traditionally respected it as the statement of Orthodox faith. I've been in plenty of baptist churches where it is said in worship. If I remember correctly, all of the baptist delegates at the founding of the Baptist World Alliance recited it in unison.

    Joshua
     
  13. BrianT

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    Another passage used in the discussion is Eph 4:9-10, especially the part about the "lower parts of the earth" because it is generally believed Christ's tomb was not below the ground.

    Perhaps the issue is due in part to the confusion over how "hell" is used, sometimes meaning the place of punishment for the unrighteous, while other times meaning simply the grave.
     
  14. A.J.Armitage

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    "It is finished" means that it was finished.
     
  15. Aaron

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    And yet, at the utterance of the words "It is finished," Christ was still alive and breathing. So we know that Christ did not mean the work of atonement had been accomplished. If that's what He meant, His subsequent death is then rendered spurious.
     
  16. Aaron

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    *Where is "Jesus going to hell" taught in the Bible?

    Wherever it is taught that Christ paid the price for our sins.

    *Why would "God going to hell" be important in the doctrinal scheme?

    How else could he taste death for every man?

    *Where is the basis of translating "hell" as anything more than the grave, hades, gehenna, et al?

    Please clarify.

    *Why does it matter what the Apostle's Creed says to Baptists today?

    Where the Apostle's Creed is true, it matters.
     
  17. rsr

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    Aaron:
    If he didn't say it then, how could he say it after he had died?

    (In the words recorded in Luke 23)
     
  18. Aaron

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    He certainly could have uttered it after His resurrection. We know that the Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ's suffering and the glory that should follow included His death and resurrection--neither having come to pass at the time that Christ said, "It is finished."

    A.J. mentioned this, I think, to imply that since "it was finished," there remained no need for Christ to descend into hell.

    If that were the case, then I maintain there was no need for Christ's physical death.

    That's what I meant.
     
  19. rsr

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    But His work was finished, the mission completed, atonement made at that point.
    The resurrection was the work of the Father. (Romans 6:4, Galatians 1:1)
     
  20. A.J.Armitage

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    Well, what did it mean, then?
     

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