Was the gospel preached to those who were dead – killed by the Flood?

A friend got confused by the Living Bible paraphrasing 1Peter 4:6 like this:

1Peter 4:6 That is why the Good News was preached even to those who were dead—killed by the flood—so that although their bodies were punished with death, they could still live in their spirits as God lives.

Sure, the problem is

1. he read a paraphrase
2. out of context.

Here is a better translation:

1 Peter 4 (NRSV)
4 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2 so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. 3 You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.

The Gospel and Jesus Christ

In the previous post we have seen that the gospel (that is “good news”) is identified, for example, by Mark:

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

The message, that “the Kingdom of God is near”, therefore, is THE GOSPEL or GOOD NEWS – and everything else is commentary.

Of course, you will find people that claim that there is more than one gospel, such as

1. the gospel of the Kingdom
2. the gospel of Christ

Their claim, however, cannot stand because you can clearly see from the verses quoted in the initial post that the gospel of the Kingdom IS the gospel of God, which was preached by John the Baptist, Jesus, the disciples and the apostles and also Paul, and it is also called the gospel of Christ. There is no other gospel. It is about God bringing about the Kingdom preceded by His judgment upon the world, from which judgment sinners had to be saved from, hence the urgency of the message.

Forgiveness and Atonement – are sacrifices a must?

In the previous post we mentioned that in a foreign land there was no need for sacrifices. One could simply repent and pray towards Jerusalem and the Temple. But what if the Temple no longer existed? Was repentance and prayer still accepted by God?

This is the passage in question, Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple:

2 Chronicles 6:
34 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name,
35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
36 “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near,
37 if they take thought in the land where they are taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have committed iniquity and have acted wickedly’;
38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name,
39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.

This is all good, but what could be done if there was no Temple and no sacrifices, like during the Babylonian captivity?

What is the Gospel – has the old way been replaced?

This subject came up on a religious forum, I thought I share the answer with you.

Christians traditionally believe that one becomes saved when hearing the gospel about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Many even believe that one needs to pray to Jesus to save him/her. Others believe that one also needs to be baptised by water and/or Spirit.

Hebrews 6 mentions the fundamental teachings:

Hebrews 6:
1 Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, 2 instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Some translations have “of the Christ”, not “about Christ”, for these were the things Jesus himself taught.

Check again the fundamentals and answer the question:

At what point can one be considered “saved”?

Let us investigate it.

Thoughts on Romans 8:1-4 – there is no condemnation

Let me spare a few thoughts on the above passage. These little essays are not intended to indoctrinate, but to challenge to critical thinking. Whether I am right or not is not important.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh…