Resurrection of the Dead
The concept of the Resurrection of the Dead is a fundamental belief for all Christians. It goes directly against the beliefs of reincarnation and the agnostic.
I Corinthians 15:12-17
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
There are two (2) Resurrections:
o The First Resurrection
o The Second Resurrection
The First Resurrection is being executed in three separate events; it is only for the perfected saints of God. These persons are considered to be the first fruit saints. Those saints, whose character is of the highest quality. This three part division was introduced by the Lord Jesus in the following parable:
33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
The first batch of the First Resurrection saints was raised up shortly after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ:
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom; and the rocks did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The second batch of the First Resurrection saints is to be raised up in the Rapture, these saints will be rescued out of the Great Tribulation:
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 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.
The third and last batch of the First Resurrection saints is to be raised up at the start of the Millennium Reign of Christ. These are the ones who will be beheaded during the time of the Great Tribulation.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 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.
Everyone else, the good and the evil, will be raised up in the Second Resurrection. This resurrection takes place after the devil is finally cast into the lake of fire permanently. [Revelation 20:10]
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
The Second Resurrection is also referred to as the Last Day. The Lord Jesus Christ sits on the Great White Throne and a period of convincing then takes place where everyone is then fully convinced by witnesses [Matthew 12:41-42] why they deserve their eternal abode. The wicked will never get to see God the Father.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again in the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Hence, by just believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, without the earnest application of oneself in striving towards perfection, you will not qualify for the First Resurrection (the second part of which is the Rapture), which is by far the better resurrection.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented: 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.