Tuesday, 12 July 2016
How many Resurrections Are There?
From what Jesus himself said, it sounds to me like both happen at once. In John 5:28 and 29, the Bible in Basic English says, "Do not be surprised at this: for the time is coming when his voice will come to all who are in the place of the dead, And they will come out; those who have done good, into the new life; and those who have done evil, to be judged."
In this passage, Christ is showing the difference between the fate of the righteous and the wicked. Where people go astray on this matter is when they assume that John Nelson Darby's view of eschatology is the only correct biblical view. For millennia, Christians believed in only one great resurrection at the end of the age.
When Jesus returns, it won't be to snatch people away for seven years as some believe. Instead, he'll come as a conquering king returning to his subjects. In ancient times, the people of a kingdom would come out of the capitol city to greet their victorious sovereign and his army. Then they would proceed into the city to celebrate.
This is what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (KJV), "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
But some will argue that Revelation 20:6 (KJV) says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
People assume that the thousand years are literal, not figurative of a long time. The "first resurrection" is really us being made spiritually alive in Christ through his death and rising again, thus guaranteeing our resurrection to life eternal. The second resurrection happens at the same time but is different in the fate of those wicked souls. The "second death" is eternal damnation for those who refuse Christ's magnanimous gift of salvation.
There was a time when I didn't know how to read the Bible in context. Thanks to gifted Bible scholars, I do now. My book, How I Was Razed, shows how I was once fooled by a charismatic preacher and liberated by proper exegesis. Read more about my journey to freedom at Amazon.