People who died before Jesus resurrection


Do good people who have died before Jesus resurrection have a hope of heaven or do they have to wait for the last day?

in 2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down with infernal ropes into hell to be tormented, to be reserved unto judgment. (DR) Jesus did not descend to these bad angels because they were already condemned right?

1 Peter 3:19. In which also coming, he preached to those spirits who were in prison:
this to me seems to refer to what I would call Abraham’s bosom–am I close here?


People before the coming of Christ could die in a state of grace, or friendship, with God. It is traditionally understood that Adam and Eve were forgiven and received back into a state of grace after the Fall, for example.

Yet, it is understood that because there was rift between all of humanity and God, because of the dept of original and personal sin, humans were not at complete one-ness with God. But thanks to the atonement, humanity is now: Anyone who has grace in their souls can now spend an eternity in supernatural beatitude with God, where they see him “face to face.”

Persons who died in the state of grace, prior to Christ’s resurrection, waited for salvation from Christ in the limbo of the Fathers (after any punishment that was due in Purgatory proper). They do not wait until “the last day”, meaning the general Judgment. They entered Heaven at that time (at His resurrection, I suppose).

:thumbsup: There is a pius tradition that says the Archangel Gabriel visited the Limbo of the Fathers on his way to make the annunciation to Our Lady, letting them know the fullness of time had come, and they would soon see God.

“Souls” of persons who died in the state of grace prior entered Heaven, but “persons” (bodies joined with soul) will not enter until the Resurrection of the dead.

I LOVE that you care about such distinctions, as they are so important. But remember that Person is also used to refer to the Divine Persons, angelic persons and human persons, so ‘person’ itself does not necessarily mean body/soul combo. But, again, it’s so important that we remember the resurrection of the dead, and that we speak in precise language. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.

I don’t think this is consistent with the Teaching of the Church that the gates of heaven were closed until after the resurrection.

Ephesians 4, Verses 7-10

¶“7But each one of us was given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8Therefore God says, ‘When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.’ 9But this, ‘He ascended’ —didn’t he also first descend into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things” (Ephesians 4:7-10 quoting Psalm 68:18).

It was mentioned that Jesus preached to the souls who were in prison - the place of the righteous dead.

51And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. 52And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, 53And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Matt 27

Scripture seems clear that the bodies of the saints were raised and appeared to others. Scripture does not state all these souls accompanied Him when He ascended 40 days later, but this is how taking the captives captive is interpreted.

CCC 633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

Yes, I assumed that is what he meant. Thanks for the clarification.

You guys are good. Thank you very much. I have some studying to do now.
God Bless

We can’t miss the main point, If the OT provided for salvation, there would have been no need for Jesus as savior. No need for a new covenent

Yet looking forward, Jesus said “few” go to heaven

Mt 7: 13 “Enter by the narrow gate…14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

That suggests the rest of the people don’t take sin seriously enough and die in mortal sin

No one went to heaven before Christ ascended. The spirits or disembodied souls of the OT just and unjust went to one of the chambers of hell, Lk16. The just to the chamber of paradise, Abraham’s Bosom, the unjust to a chamber of torment.

Eph4:8 Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Our Lord descended into Hell bringing the good news when he preached to them.

[1Pt4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.]

CCC 634. [1Pt3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also **he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;]

As far as prison, all in Sheol=hell are captives, even in Abraham’s Bosom. When one is marooned on a paradise island, he is a captive. He cannot leave that place, till rescued by his savior. When Christ ascended, he led a host of captives, the great cloud of witnesses.

The patriarchs all died, [Hb11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and **confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their GOD: for he hath prepared for them a city.]

There will be new heavens [Universe] and earth. A heavenly universe and a heavenly earth, they will be transformed just as our resurrected bodies will be transformed into heavenly bodies. God will dwell with men in the New Heavenly Jerusalem. Heaven and creation will be united as one.

[Hb11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy: ) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And **these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Hb12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,]

[Acts1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a **cloud hid him from their sight.]

Christ took the just spirits, disembodied, souls, in Sheol=Hades=Hell into heaven. Now made perfect by the blood of Christ. [Hb10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins].

[Hb12:22 But **ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 AND to Jesus the mediatory of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.]

We see the spirits of just men made perfect now in heaven with our Lord, waiting the resurrection of their bodies at the end of time. The souls of the unjust are still in hell=sheol=hades, waiting the resurrection of their bodies. Which body and soul united again will be cast into the lake of fire alone with Hades and death

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