In this analysis we would like to treat of some difficult questions from the N.T., from bible verses that have been twisted around to preach false doctrine. I mean the following texts: Ephesians 4. 8-10, 1 Peter 3.19 and 1 Peter 4.6. The apostles Paul and Peter talk here about the 'captivity led captive', the 'gospel preached to the dead' and the 'gospel preached to the imprisoned (in hell)'. Then there is the text that the Lord would not be left in hell, based on a prophecy in the O.T. that states that 'He will not abandon His soul to hell.'
What does this all mean for us? One verse should be enough to unnerve the idea that there is a so-called second chance. For we must compare scripture with scripture and it also says that 'it is set for man to die once and then (follows) judgement.' Can it be any clearer then that there is no second chance!
As far as the verse is concerned that talks supposedly about the Lord being in hell and supposedly preaching the gospel there and then taking the section of believers there and translating them to paradise, or even placing paradise into the third heaven; this is all fantasy. The Lord said to the miscreant: 'Today you will be with me in paradise.' The Lord's body was in the GRAVE, He was not in hades, let alone in hell, which is the lake of fire. And the Father would not allow the Lord's body to be decomposed in the grave. That is meant with the Lord descending into the lower parts of the earth, His body (which is called 'Jesus (sic!)' ['there they laid Jesus'], would be in the grave; from which, on the one hand He resurrected Himself ('nobody can lay down his life and take it up again' and He had that 'commandment') and from which, on the other hand the Father resurrected Him (this is a paradox but not a contradiction in terms; the bible knows many paradoxes and mysteries, but contradictions in terms only exist in the hearts and minds of disbelievers).
The Lord led captivity captive. This means that He triumphed over Satan and his angels (demons) and that He sets believers free from Satan's power. What else could it mean, I ask you. All kinds of speculations keep Christians busy with vain thoughts and prevent them from growing on in the Lord.
The other verse means that Noah in his days preached to people that are NOW in hades. There is no sense in the Lord preaching in hades. For people in hades know what is going on in heaven, they see each other; as is abundantly clear from the true story of Lazarus and the rich man (this is not called a parable by the Lord!).
The same holds for the verse that states that 'the gospel was preached to the dead ('in sins and trespasses') that they may be judged according to the flesh and that they may live in the Spirit.' Now how would this mean a second chance (which has been unnerved already)? Those now in hades await the 'second death' in the lake of fire. Nor can it mean that the Lord preached to them 'to some for a scent of life and to some for a scent of death,' as Paul says in Corinthians. God speaks once or twice to a person during his or her life, as the book of Job teaches. And believe me, when God speaks you are bothered by it for the rest of your life, even if only subconsciously! But a wise observer can detect it.
The idea of a second chance, of course, is a trick by Satan to keep people from repenting and to make them postpone obedience to the gospel. 'O, I will listen the second time around!' Except, there will be no second time AT ALL.
As far as the prediction that the Lord would be in the grave 3 nights and 3 days, people have argued that He was crucified on Wednesday. Others reason that it must have been on Thursday. But it does not occur to them that in the first case it would be 4 nights and in the second case it would not be 3 full days, for the Lord rose up on the first day (Sunday) very early. Scholars correctly teach that this expression in the Greek talks about the third day (a group of 3 days) and Sunday is the third day with Friday, the day He was crucified (not according to our counting from, but inclusive!). That this must be true is clear from the fact that the same day the women were too late to embalm Him as the sabbath was about to begin! If anybody wants to dispute differently and wants to debate these things and make a war of words, 'we do not have that custom.'