The Apostle’s Creed says:
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
11. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
It’s easy to find that on the Internet.
Now, take the end statement in point 4: He descended into Hell. Where do you think that might come from? As far as I’m aware, it seems to be a mis-reading of 1 Peter 3, verses 18-20.
Let’s look at it.
18 Christ himself suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous. He did this in order to bring you into the presence of God. Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit. 19 And it was by the Spirit that he went to preach to the spirits in prison. 20 In the past, these spirits were disobedient—when God patiently waited during the time of Noah. Noah built an ark in which a few (that is, eight) lives were rescued through water.
Another statement Christ made was: If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36). How does He make us free? What do we need to be made free from? Well, that seems to be simple. We are freed from His wrath to come. How? By being born again of the Spirit.
Lots to take in. To find all this, just read everything Christ taught in any of the Gospels. It’s all there. I love Matthew’s gospel, but choose for yourselves, or even read them all! I promise you, it’s all there in Christ’s teachings, for He was a preacher of righteousness, too. He started it, right? When He gave us the new covenant.
So anyway, we’re told in the Apostles Creed that He descended into hell. The Bible tells us that no, He didn’t. He defeated death. If He had to descend into hell, why, then, did he promise one of the other prisoners with Him, who was also on a cross, that he would join Christ in Paradise that very day?
Now, we all know that a holy God can be wherever He wants to be. But let’s get this straight. For the purpose of teaching us the truth, we are told what Christ’s response to one of the prisoners next to Him was: “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43.
Today. Paradise. Two words we need to take very seriously. There they both were. Both in suffering. Both in agony. The third person mocked Christ, and stayed bound to sin. The one who asked for mercy, got it, and was freed from that instant. His Eternity was then bound up in Christ and he was FREED from sin and from this world. And from the wrath to come.
The spirits we are reading about in 1 Peter 3 are the spirits of men, who need to be freed from God’s wrath. So they need to have preached to them the word of God, that they may hear it and be freed, or saved. That’s the true meaning of the passage we referred to in 1 Peter 3. Not that Christ descended anywhere.
Friends, don’t always trust everything you’re told without searching the Scriptures for yourselves. Since the Holy Spirit, Whom we have in us, searches out even the deep things of God – believe Him. Go to Him and ask for wisdom. Then you’ll also be freed from all mis-readings of His word. Remember – Jesus warned, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” There can be much truth in a saying, but a tiny slipping in of an untruth can deceive people badly. Please be warned, and search the Scriptures for yourselves. Let God be true, and every man a liar.
Don’t just trust what you are told. Find out for yourselves if you were told the truth, or not.
My love to you.