“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who were once disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” – 1 Peter 3:18-20
I am often asked, do people get a second chance to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior after they die? My answer may surprise you at first. If they died before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, yes. There was a second chance. It’s very clear from today’s scripture reference – 1 Peter 3:18-20 – that Christ went and preached to the captives of death. If you recite the Apostle’s Creed, you know it says that “Christ, dead and buried, descended into hell and rose again on the third day.” That’s very offensive to a lot of folks who aren’t used to reciting the Apostle’s Creed. But it’s very Biblical in understanding what Christ did between the time of His death on the cross and His resurrection.
So for the people who died before Christ, yes they had a second chance. But if they died after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and rejected Jesus Christ, there’s no indication Biblically of a second chance to receive salvation. Hebrews 9:27 says, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”
But the Good News is that salvation and eternal life are available to all who come to Christ in repentant faith. 1 John 5:12 tells us, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” If you are not sure you have it, trust Christ alone for salvation and eternal life. If you have Christ, you have sureness of eternal life!