Three days after Crucifixion, God raised Jesus from the tomb, and for the next 40 days he made appearances on earth. During the three days, he was actually in paradise preaching the Good News. God expanded the New Covenant to retroactively include people who lived long before Crucifixion, including Adam and Eve.
Paradise was inside earth, located near hell with a chasm between, no passage from one to the other (Luke 16:19-31 NLT). People in hell have no chance for salvation, but people in paradise had the opportunity to receive Jesus as Savior.
It's assumed the contents of each person’s heart determined whether they ended up in paradise or hell. The heart carries the definition of who we are, our beliefs, choices, and indulgences sway the heart. After the forty days, Jesus was resurrected, taken up through the clouds. Paradise was moved to heaven (2 Cor 12:2-4 NLT), and hell expanded into the vacated space.
“and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.”
Matthew 27:52-53 NLT
“However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.”
Ephesians 4:7-10 NLT
Even people who lived before the great flood were receiving the Good News as Jesus preached. They were presented with the choice to accept him as their Savior, or reject the New Covenant. This is the same for us today, but we only have this choice while living, since the Good News has been constantly preached since Crucifixion.
“That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead —so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.”
1 Peter 4:6 NLT
According to the New Covenant, when someone accepts Jesus as Savior and draws near to him as Lord, that person becomes eligible for Salvation, and upon repentance sins are forgiven. The Holy Spirit will quicken the spirit to life, and remain with him/her as a guide, comforter, and advocate.
By receiving Jesus as Savior, we become children of God the Father, and have access to boldly approach him in prayer. Jesus is our Brother and eternal King.
People who die while still rejecting Jesus, or just never get around to pursuing a relationship with him, will remain in a fallen state, eternally separated from God. They will be sent to a place completely void of love, and wait until Judgment Day. In other words, people who initially receive salvation, but fail to integrate God’s values into their life, can lose salvation (Luke 8:12-15 NLT).
Jesus was the first to be resurrected, and the saints will be resurrected as he was. Our Lord has authority over heaven and earth, subordinate only to God. He will be our best friend if we allow him, if we draw near to him, he will draw near to us.
When Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords, he will be mighty with great authority. Upon his arrival, militaries will be poised for battle during the Battle of Armageddon, they will turn their weapons toward him, they will die. He will begin a thousand year reign on earth, the Millennium. All demons will be rounded up for incarceration, including Satan. For the next 1000 years there will be worldwide peace.
After the Sabbath Millennium is Judgment Day, books will be opened, containing records of everything everyone has done. The Book of Life will also be open, and people whose names are not within, will be found guilty of all their wrong doings.
“And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire."
Rev 20:15 NLT
People, whose names are in the Book of Life, will have their salvation finalized, sins will be wiped clean and forgotten, because Jesus paid the price. We will forever live in God's Kingdom surrounded by his love, reigning with Jesus, he will delegate his authority to us.
“All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.”
Rev 3:5 NLT
It appears we, who are united with Christ, are on the ground floor of God’s plans, the first born of his children. There will be new people in future ages.
“So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:7 NLT
Who Is Jesus 1 - Before Crucifixion