1 Peter 4:5-6 – what about proclaiming the gospel to the dead?

Jesus harrowing hell

There are some passages of scripture that encourage endless speculation. What are we to make of 1 Peter 4:5-6:

They will face a reckoning before[a] Jesus Christ[b] who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. Now it was for this very purpose[c] that the gospel was preached to those who are now dead,[d] so that though[e] they were judged in the flesh[f] by human standards[g] they may live spiritually[h] by God’s standards.[i] (NET)

Here are a few thoughts on this passage.

There are lots of details to debate in this passage. But here’s the big picture: the dead in Christ have eternal hope; the dead outside of Christ…not so much.