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DOCTRINE QUESTION 31
In Hebrews 12:23 we read about the "spirits of just men being made perfect." Who are they?
These are people who are now in heaven who were previously in "sheol or hades."
They were in places where the spirits of deceased people went before Christ died for them on the cross. This place is clearly described in Luke 16:19-31. It was the abode of the souls of people who had died. In this place, there were two compartments. One was where the saved were comforted, and the other was for the lost who were tormented. A great gulf was fixed between the two of them; there was no crossing over. When Christ died he went down into the compartment of the saved and when He arose he led the saved out of that place into heaven itself. "...When He ascended on high He led captivity captive,..." (Ephesians 4:8). This seems to refer to that event. The people who were saved before the death of Christ were not made perfect. This was because Christ had not yet died and risen. When He made the great provision for them at Calvary they were then perfected. (Hebrews 10:14). Then they were taken with Him into heaven. This is explained in the following verse: "And for this cause He is the mediator of the new covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they which were called might receive the eternal inheritance." Hebrews 9:15. These people were not made perfect, because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away their sins. (Hebrews 10:4). Blood only covered sin until Christ came and died.
When a born-again believer dies he immediately goes to be with the Lord. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. Where would you be if you died today? Will you be in Eternity with Christ; or will you be hell? The choice is yours. Take Christ and be saved, NOW!
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen