Sunday, March 25, 2018

Was Jesus Born Again in Hell?

As Christians, we should stand for biblical truth. Unfortunately, some defenders of the faith are too quick to judge certain ministers as heretics. A few months ago, a Facebook friend blasted a well-known preacher for proclaiming at a local church, “Jesus was born again in hell.” I was at that same service. The “born again in hell” comment generated question marks in my mind. Other than that, I didn’t hear this preacher say anything that would be considered heresy. 

While walking into the bathroom at this church, I pondered the “born again” comment. Suddenly, Romans 8:29 came to my remembrance: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Jesus is also referred to as “the firstborn” in Colossians chapter 1 verses 15 and 18.

Those of you familiar with the Apostles’ Creed will recall the phrase of Jesus descending into hell. Scriptures supporting that concept include…

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” - Matthew 12:40

“…he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth.” - Ephesians 4:9

“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades [“hell” in the KJV] and of Death.” - Revelation 1:18

The Greek word Hades and the Hebrew word Sheol are often used interchangeably with hell. One dictionary defines Hades as “the underworld; the abode of the spirits of the dead.” Prior to the Resurrection, Hades had two separate compartments. One was for the wicked such as the rich man in Luke 16. The other (sometimes referred to as “Abraham’s Bosom”) was inhabited by Old Covenant saints such as Lazarus. 1 Peter 3:18-19 says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison.”

I would disagree with some ministers claiming that Jesus suffered in hell. Before they both died, Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) He went on to say,  “It is finished!” (John 19:30) It was on the cross Jesus received the punishment for sin that we all deserve. It also says in Psalm 16:10, “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

Perhaps religious watchdogs think the doctrine of Jesus “born again in hell” minimizes His deity. Personally, I don’t believe this is worth bickering over. Sinners don’t really care about the terminology used to describe what happened to the Lord during the three days following His crucifixion. They need to hear the Good News about the Risen Christ so they don’t have to suffer for eternity themselves.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” - 2 Corinthians 5:21

No comments:

Post a Comment