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The Resurrection of the Just


The Ancient Hope of Resurrection


If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.” Job 14:14,15.


Why did Job wish that his words were written in a book, graven with an iron pen in the rock forever?


I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19: 25, 26.


How did David say he would be satisfied?


“And I – in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.” Psalm 17:15.


What comforting promise has God made concerning the sleeping saints?


I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?” Hosea 13:14. 


Christ and the Resurrection Hope


What does Christ proclaim Himself to be?


“He said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26.  I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and Hades.” Revelation 1:18.


Note – Christ looked upon death as a sleep. Absolute death knows no waking; but through Christ all who have fallen under the power of death will be raised, some to a life unending, some to everlasting death.


Concerning what did Christ tell us not to marvel?


“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.John 5:28,29.  


Upon what one fact does Paul base the Christian hope?

“But if it was preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then to be found false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But if he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”” 1 Corinthians 15: 12 –19.. 


What positive declaration does the apostle then make?


But if Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Verses 20-22.


Note - The resurrection of Christ is in many respects the most significant fact in history. It is the great and impregnable foundation and hope of the Christian church. Every fundamental truth of Christianity is involved in the resurrection of Christ. If this could be overthrown, every essential doctrine of Christianity would be invalidated. The resurrection of Christ is the pledge of our resurrection and future life.


Facts About The First Resurrection 


Concerning what should we not be ignorant?


“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who have fallen asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13.  


What is set forth as the basis for hope and comfort?


‘We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” Verse 14.


What is said of those embraced in the first resurrection?


“Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6.


Note – Those who are alive in the first resurrection will live in Heaven for a thousand years, then come back with Christ and the New Jerusalem to Earth to reign with Christ, the Father, Holy Spirit, heavenly angels, and all the redeemed of all ages to live with Christ forever and ever.


When will this resurrection of the saint’s take place?


“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thessalonians 4:15, 16.


What will then taker place?


“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” Verse 17.


How does Paul say the saints will be raised?  


“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51,52.  


What great change will then take place in their bodies?


“So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, their is also a spiritual body.” Verse 42-44. 


What else has He promised to do?


“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying and pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4.


Note – From the last segment we discussed the Second Coming of Christ and the redeemed of all ages, but what is sad, the wicked has made their conscious choice to be lost and have been tested just like the redeemed and failed to live by faith and have chosen to take the mark of the beast and be eternally lost. Jesus will resurrect the wicked for three reasons:


1.      First, He will confront them with the results of His judgment bar. Jesus will have a face-to-face meeting with each of His created beings. He wants every wicked person to know that He personally investigated every record and He wants every wicked person to know why that person was not granted eternal life. To put His investigation and decision beyond controversy, Jesus will open the books of deeds and present the evidence to each person, showing each wicked person the record of his life. Each wicked person will be forced to face the unvarnished truth. “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for all the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) Jesus will conclude this segment of the Great White Throne judgment by saying that He could not save anyone who committed the unpardonable sin, and the sound of His gavel will declare a finished work. The wicked were denied eternal life because they rejected the authority of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 12:31,32) After reviewing the evidence and hearing Jesus’ decision, the wicked will kneel out of fear and confess with a heart like Esau, “In the Lord alone are righteous and strength…” (Isaiah 45:24) Remember, Esau regretted that he sold his birthright for a dish of food, but his heart remained unchanged. (Hebrews 12:17)


2.      The second reason Jesus resurrects the wicked is so they can provide restitution. During the millennium, the saints were required to go over the records of the wicked and determine the amount of restitution each wicked person must pay. “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” (1 Corinthians 6:2,3) “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God…” (Revelation 20:4) This will shock some people, but the golden rule is iron clad. It cannot be violated. “As you did unto others, the same will be done to you – with additional penalties.” “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

(Matthew 7:2) The doctrine of judicial equilibrium is a marvelous study. Basically, it teaches that whenever we do wrong, God makes every effort to restore the damage and make it right. If we refuse to make things right, God will so to it that restitution is extracted at the appointed time, even if we are unwilling. This is why Paul wrote, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) During the millennium, the victims of the crimes will determine the amount of restitution that will be extracted from their wicked assailants, and the currency of restitution will be paid in full through the suffering in the lake of burning sulfur. The wicked will burn and suffer according to the decisions made by their victims. God’s law demands it. Contrary to what most Christians believe today, God does not forgive sin. He is willing to transfer the guilt away from the sinner, but in God’s economy, sin always requires atonement. Only after restitution has been totally paid will the wicked be allowed to perish. Many wicked people have committed terrible horrible crimes and have gone to their grave thinking they got away with murder. Can you imagine their surprise when they learn they have been awakened from the sleep of death to provide restitution for their deeds by suffering? Do not forget, the saints will also pass judgment on Lucifer and each demon. The culpability of Lucifer and his demons will be completely exposed and the saints will judge them during the millennium.  In the end, justice will be served to achieve the perfect equilibrium that God’s wrath requires.


Of course, the third reason for thee resurrection of the wicked is the breaking of the seventh seal. This will be the only moment in the history of the universe when everyone who had life is alive. Billions of people and angels will be present. The wicked will be positioned outside the city with Lucifer and his angels, and the saints will be positioned inside the city with the angels of God. At this point in time, Jesus has something to say to everyone (literally everyone who has ever lived). When Jesus breaks the seventh seal, He will show angels and humans alike that He is an Eternal God, a member of the eternal Trinity, possessing every attribute of God. As such, He is responsible for the creation of everyone present and that He is not willing that anyone should perish. He will explain that He was wiling to die for angel and human before He created them. The love of Jesus for His creation will b revealed to every being that draws breath. This touching revelation takes half an hour. Perhaps this presentation will be presented with clips of events that actually happened, like a giant movie, using the sky as a giant screen. Everyone will understand the magnitude of Christ’s love. Everyone will know that He is God. Everyone will see the Creation, the Fall, the Redemption and the Restoration. Everyone will see that Jesus truly loved His children and that He was willing to die – from the beginning – for anyone that sinned without defiance. Wow! What a loving Savior we have.


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