gospel to those who drowned in the flood by means of Noah and the ark. These texts tell us that the pre-flood fathers who are now dead had the gospel preached to them. This took place when they were alive, however, not after they had died. The Spirit of Christ preached to them audibly by Noah and visibly by the ark when they were yet alive. This interpretation agrees with the rest of Scripture that clearly teaches the final, irreversible state of those who have died.
God's Word testifies of man's final, irreversible state after death in the following ways:
a. The intermediate state is unchangeable and inescapable.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
b. The souls in heaven are kept in God's love waiting for full restoration. The souls in hell are kept under God's wrath until full punishment is executed.
To the general assemply 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.
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.
-II Peter 2:4,9
c. When a person dies, the door of salvation is shut forever for
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be
When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then
shall He sit upon the throne of
And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in:
Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?
When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee?
Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.
Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.