If faith in Jesus is essential for eternal life, what will happen to those born before Messiah’s 1st-Advent?

Anyone born from Adam forward up to Messiah’s 1st-Advent found righteousness (a right standing) with the Father by “faith” (see Hebrews 11). A problem existed for the Old Testament saints as their sin had not received the acceptable blood atonement as first pictured in Genesis 3:21; therefore, they awaited Messiah’s atoning sacrifice in Sheol as nothing impure is permitted to enter the Kingdom (Revelation 21:27).

The Holy Spirit tells us that while the body of Jesus laid in the tomb, Jesus entered Sheol (Hades in the Greek) and preached liberty to the captives there and escorted them into the Kingdom (Ephesians 4:7-10) and from Messiah’s blood atonement forward, those who trust in Jesus no longer enter Sheol or Hades but are translated instantaneously into the presence of our Lord awaiting the resurrection of the righteous and service in the New Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 3:21).

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