Did Jesus Go To Hell?Written by Stephen Kingery
Not too long ago, a dear friend of mine ask me question, "Did Jesus go to hell after He died on cross?" To be honest about it, this question caught me a little off guard. In further discussion, I learned that my friend had been taught that during three days that Jesus' body was in tomb, His spirit was in hell "paying for our sins." I told him that this was not my understanding of what actually took place during that three-day period, but I would research question and get back to him. This article is in response to my friend's question.
In my research of this topic, I discovered to my dismay that this doctrine is rather wide-spread in teaching of it. Many television evangelists who follow Faith doctrine teach this concept. The Faith doctrine primarily contends that you can have anything you desire -- if your faith is strong enough. To begin, let's examine in a little more detail exactly what this doctrine is all about.
Those who follow Faith doctrine believe and teach that Jesus, while still hanging on cross, was changed form divine to demonic. In other words, He became like Satan or at least one of Satan's followers (a demon). He had all characteristics of Satan and demons. This supposedly happened because Jesus "became sin" so you and I could be forgiven of our sins. To put it another way, Jesus not only died physically, but He also died spiritually.
Continuing with this line of thinking, Jesus, or more specifically His demonic spirit, then went to hell to pay price for our sins. While there, Jesus was tortured in most hideous fashion by Satan and his followers. They literally tortured life (spiritual life) out of demonic Jesus. His spiritual body lay limp and lifeless in very heart of hell. Satan thought he had won.
However, as Faith doctrine goes, God -through His faith-filled words - began to bring Jesus back to life. His spiritual body began to fill-out with a newness of life even more powerful than ever before. When this process was complete, Jesus had been re-born in hell and was once again Son of God, a divine being. His divine spirit then re-inhabited His physical body and was resurrected.
What is your first reaction to above account? Have you ever heard it before? If your first reaction was, "YES! Victory over Satan," then please STOP and read account again before going any further with this article. Think about what this doctrine teaches.
I hope and pray that your reaction is now one of repulsion and anger. How could anyone who loves God, His Son, and Holy Spirit ever conceive of such a ridiculous doctrine. Let's take a look at what Bible teaches in respect to this.
In order for false teachers of Faith doctrine to concoct such a fable as this, various Scriptures must be twisted and distorted to their way of thinking. First, let's take a look at possibly only verse that could even begin to be taken in such as way as to confirm this doctrine: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21) If you look closely, this verse does say "to be sin for us." The question is, does this verse mean literally that Jesus became sin? To answer this, let's consider two points: practically of it and respected Bible scholars.
To begin with, sin is an abstract not a tangible object. Sin is failure to obey commands of God. It is an action or in some cases an inaction. It is what we do, not what we are. A person cannot "be sin," but rather can only act sinfully. A person can sin; be a sinner; be despicable, terrible, abhorrent, ungodly, unrighteous, and all rest. But he cannot "be sin." The Bible teaches us to hate sin but love sinner. If person was sin we would have to hate him too. Therefore, Jesus could not have been sin for us. This Scripture then must, of necessity, mean something other than literal meaning as it relates to phrase "to be sin."
So me must rely on respected, trusted Bible scholars to assist is in interpretation of this Scripture. These scholars agree that phrase "to be sin" means "bearing penalty of our sins." In other words, Jesus did not become sin but rather became person who suffered penalty for sin which we and countless millions of others throughout ages have committed. Not only do respected scholars of our time agree on this point, but Scriptures also agree. In many places in Old and New Testament Jesus is portrayed as sacrificial lamb, person who bore punishment for our sins.
Putting that issue to rest, does remainder of Scripture support or reject idea of Jesus becoming sin, going to hell, becoming a demon, etc. We will consider just a few of many Scriptures which refute this abhorrent teaching.
Are You Serious About Being A Christian?Written by Stephen Kingery
Are you serious about BEING a Christian? Sometimes I see people who profess to being Christian but I don't see Christian fruit developing in their lives. I know that Bible teaches us that we are not to judge others, and I certainly don't mean it in that respect. However, Bible also teaches us that if we are a Christian, if we have indwelling of Holy Spirit within us, then specific fruits (fruits of Spirit) will be evident in our lives. (See Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9) If we don't see evidence of these fruits, then we wonder if person is serious about his/her Christian walk.
I would like to share with you four Scriptures which I feel will help you and I to be more serious about being a Christian. There are many lessons which can be drawn from these four Scriptures. It is my prayer that this lesson will give you strength to carry on in your daily Christian walk.
"And if it seems evil to you to serve Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether gods which your fathers served that were on other side of River, or gods of Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve Lord." (Joshua 24:15) This is one of my favorite verses because I feel that Christians have to choose daily whom they will serve. The real meat of verse is, "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . But as for me and my house, we will serve Lord." The society in which we live has so many areas that try to keep us from serving Lord. For Christian today, all too often it is a daily choice as to whom we will serve.
I am not speaking of salvation here. Hopefully for you that has already been taken care of. I am speaking of serving God. So what does that mean? It means giving 100% of your life to Christ and let Him control it. It means not letting your job, money, friends, family, pleasure seeking, social status, etc. get in way of your serving God. It means forsaking any and all of those things mentioned above if it interferes with your relationship with God. It means letting Christian ideals guide your relationships with your boss, family, friends, business dealings, etc. And it means that when we are confronted with a decision, our first reaction is asking ourselves (or fellow Christians) "What would Jesus have me do in this situation?"
Serving God is really having Him in forefront of our minds at all times. Always being conscience of our thoughts, words and actions to make certain that they are consistent with teachings of Christ and New Testament writers. It is doing Christian thing, even if it hurts! It is striving to be like Christ in every aspect of our lives.
After we have committed our lives to Christ and strive to really serve Him, what next. Jesus tells us in book of Matthew, "But seek first kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
How can we serve God without seeking Him? It is really impossible to serve Him without seeking Him. So, if you are trying to "serve" Him and not "seek" Him you will fail. The very act of serving Him means you must seek Him.
How do we seek God? First, we must throw off phoniness of playing Christian. Making an appearance at church once a week is not seeking God. It is much, much more than that. Seeking God means that we have a very active Bible Study program. Not just attending Sunday School and going through lesson. Having a plan to studying Bible. Seeking out good quality Bible study aids and literature to help us in our study. Develop a plan to read through Bible in a year. But even then you are not through. Study various topics, events, eras, books, miracles, prophecies, etc. No matter how old one gets, they should never stop studying Bible.
We must also seek God through a daily prayer time. Pick a particular time of day in which you can be alone with God. Tell Him in an honest straightforward manner your prayer concerns, what your worried about, troubles you may be having, people you want to pray for, and so forth. And don't forget to praise God in your prayers. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for all blessings you have received and for answered prayers. Praise Him and glorify Him in your prayers.
We need to be faithful to worship services. Not just when you feel like attending. We should have an attitude that we will be in worship service unless it is practically impossible to be there. Unless you have a serious illness that should be about 95% of time. And in conjunction with that we should be faithful to Lord's Supper each Lord's Day.