The resurrection of the dead is a key doctrine of Christianity, and the blessed hope for all Christians the world over (Titus 2:13, 1 Peter 1:3, Acts 24:15, Romans 8:22, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 1 John 3:2), but this is another one of those controversial doctrines of the Bible. Even though there are many, many passages of scripture dedicated to it, there are many different teachings on the subject, but there can only be one truth. The only way to know that truth is to study God’s word with a prayerful heart and an open mind, and by putting aside ALL preconceived ideas. With that in mind let’s see what the Bible really says about this very important subject.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede-go before) those who are asleep.
16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE first.
17. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with the Lord for ever.
These verses tell us a few things that will happen at the second coming of Jesus. Notice carefully verse 15. Paul plainly says that what he is telling us comes from the Lord. He says those Christians who are alive at the coming of the lord WILL NOT go up before the dead Christians. We will all be TAKEN UP together to meet the Lord in the air, at the RESURRECTION.
2 Peter 3:10-12
10. But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come like a THIEF IN THE NIGHT, in which the HEAVENS WILL PASS AWAY with a GREAT NOISE, and THE ELEMENTS WILL MELT with FERVENT HEAT. The EARTH ALSO and the works that are in it SHALL BE BURNED UP.
11. Seeing then that ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE DISOLVED, what manner of persons should you be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12. Looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God, when THE HEAVENS BEING ON FIRE SHALL BE DISOLVED, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
So, at the second coming, the heavens and the elements will be destroyed by fire. This means there will be no atmosphere, which means there will be no air to breathe. So no life can exist on earth after the second coming of Jesus.
10. But man dies and wastes away. Yes, man gives up the ghost, and where is he?
11. As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decays and dries up,
12. So man lies down and rises not. UNTIL THE HEAVENS ARE NO MORE, THEY WILL NOT AWAKE NOR BE RAISED out of their sleep.
Job tells us the resurrection will not happen until the heavens “PASS AWAY.” So the resurrection happens at the END OF THE WORLD.
Let’s look at the parable of the wheat and the tares, then Jesus himself will tell us the meaning.
24. Another parable he put forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man which sowed good seed in his field.
25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went his way.
26. But when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the weeds also.
27. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? from where then hath it weeds?
28. He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Then do you want us to go and gather them up?
29. But he said, No; lest while you gather up the weeds, you root up also the wheat with them.
30. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, Gather together first the weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.
Now, look what Jesus said the parable means.
36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, DECLARE UNTO US THE PARABLE OF THE WEEDS OF THE FIELD.
37. He answered and said to them, HE THAT SOWS the good seed is THE SON OF MAN; (Jesus)
38. THE FIELD is THE WORLD; THE GOOD SEED are the CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM, but THE WEEDS are THE CHILDREN OF THE WICKED ONE;
39. THE ENEMY that sowed them is THE DEVIL; THE HARVEST is THE END OF THE WORLD, and the REAPERS are THE ANGELS.
Jesus said the harvest is the end of the world. Look what he said will happen at the end of the world.
40. As therefore the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the END OF THE WORLD.
41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity; (Sin)
42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43. Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Notice the SAVED and the WICKED both are still here together at the END OF THE WORLD. They are separated AT the END OF THE WORLD. Not Pre-Trib, not Mid-Trib, not before the end, but AT END OF THE WORLD. The Second Coming and the Rapture is the same event.
When did the sister of Lazarus think the resurrection would be?
23. Jesus saith to her, Your brother shall rise again.
24. Martha saith to him, I know that he will rise again in THE resurrection at the last day.
Martha believed this because it is what Jesus taught. (John 6:39, 40; John 6:44, 54; John 12:48)
1 Corinthians 15:51-55
51. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed,
52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMPET: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.
55. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
26. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 with the last two passages we just read, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 and 1 Corinthians15:26, and you will see something interesting. DEATH is destroyed at the second coming. Add Rev. 20:12-15 and we get a pretty clear picture. This means no one can die seven years later, and no one can die a thousand years later. This is the end. There’s no more death after the second coming, which is the end of the world.
Look at these next few passages carefully.
13. But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14. And you shall be blessed; for they cannot repay you: for you shall be repaid at THE resurrection of the just.
15. And I have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be A resurrection of the dead, BOTH of the JUST and UNJUST.
2. And many of them that SLEEP IN THE DUST of the earth shall awake, SOME TO EVERLASTING LIFE, and SOME TO SHAME AND EVERLASTING CONTEMPT.
These few verses have been used by some to say there will be two resurrections from the dead. One where the Children of God rise and another where the wicked dead will rise a thousand years later. The Bible does mention the First and Second Resurrection in Revelation chapter 20. In the article called “First and Second Death, First and Second Resurrection” we saw from the Bible that we are all dead in sin, and the First Resurrection is when we are Buried with Christ in baptism and raised as a new creature from the First Death, which Adam brought upon the world by disobeying God. Please read that short study at the link below, to understand this study more clearly.
Seeing that the First Resurrection is Spiritual, then there can only be One Physical Resurrection. As we look at the following verses carefully, we will see the last three verses we looked at do not show two separate resurrections, but one resurrection with two different classes of people: the Saved and the Lost.
5:28. Marvel not at this: for THE hour is coming, in which ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
5:29. And ALL shall come forth. They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Notice carefully that Jesus said THE hour is coming when ALL will come up out of their graves. Again, this is not two resurrections. It is one resurrection with two different classes of people being raised at the same time; The Saved and the Lost. Read Luke 14:13-14, Acts 24:15, Dan. 12:2 again. Then look at the next verse.
7. Behold, he will come with clouds, and EVERY EYE shall see him: even those who pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail before him, Even so, Amen.
Every Eye means every eye. Everyone on earth. Even the dead. This is not a special resurrection for those who killed Jesus, this is the second coming when both the Saved and Lost will be resurrected to join the Saved and the Lost who are still alive, and we ALL will witness the return of Jesus in the clouds with power and great glory. (Luke 21:27, Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26)
Look what else Jesus said about THE Resurrection.
41. The men of Nineveh SHALL RISE in judgment WITH this generation, and SHALL CONDEMN IT: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and, behold, One greater than Jonah is here.
Nineveh repented and was Saved. Jesus said they would be resurrected WITH that generation and condemn it because they had not repented. That means the Saved and the Lost rise at the same time. ONE RESURRECTION, TWO CLASSES OF PEOPLE.
It all happens at the same time: the Second Coming/Rapture, the atmosphere destroyed, The Resurrection of both the Saved and the Lost, the earth, and the atmosphere burns up, and Death is destroyed. The Saved get a new body and the Lost are burned up with the earth. This is Hell Fire. It all happens the same day; At The End Of The World.
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