1 Peter 3:18-20
Does this passage explains the fate of the lost of humanity? It actually does, just not in the way most understand it. Jesus, while dead Himself, did not bring the souls of the dead to salvation through preaching to them personally in some kind of nether world. Such a scenario is theologically ridiculous.
However, His resurrection did make salvation possible for the "lost" dead. By living again, He has broken the grip of death over mankind (see I Corinthians 15:20-22, 55-57; Hebrews 2:14-17). As Paul says in I Corinthians 15, each category of individual will be resurrected in a specific order: first Christ, then His saints at His coming (verse 23), then "the rest of the dead" (Revelation 20:5, 11-13), and lastly, the incorrigible wicked to the second death (Revelation 20:14-15). The "lost" of humanity will rise as "the rest of the dead" in the Great White Throne Judgment, and have the opportunity to hear and to accept or reject the good news of salvation. This will be their first opportunity to receive God's calling, an opportunity that God will extend to every member of humanity.
God is not callous by any means. Perhaps the best known of all Bible verses asserts this clearly: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). He will make sure that every human being has an opportunity to hear the gospel and have the choice to enter His Kingdom. God's victory over death and over Satan, won through His resurrection of the sinless Jesus Christ, will eventually be proclaimed to all people from all ages. That is a victory worth shouting about!
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jesus and 'the Spirits in Prison'