Three Resurrections

Dear Brethren,

Which resurrection will we be a part of?  It is God the Father’s will that everyone who sees and believes Jesus Christ may have everlasting life.  Speaking of the resurrection, Jesus said of them, I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:40)

There will be a resurrection to immortal spiritual life of all those called, chosen, and faithful saints who have ever lived, at Christ's return - this is the first resurrection

Those who have not been called by God have not lost their opportunity for salvation.  At the end of the one thousand year millennium rule of Christ, there will be another resurrection for those who have lived through the ages, and who have never had the opportunity to see and believe” Jesus Christ (John 6:40).  This resurrection is to physical life during the Great White Throne Judgment period.  In this second resurrection, all will be called to salvation and spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God.

Then, there is a third general category that befalls those who reject God.  The third resurrection, also to physical life, is for those who were once converted, had God’s Holy Spirit, but were not faithful to the end.  Their judgment is death in the lake of fire – the resurrection of damnation.

The Bible shows that there are resurrections to fleshly physical Life, and to spiritual immortal Life. These resurrections occur at various times. There are special circumstances that take place with regard to the three general types of resurrections.  … The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25)
… there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15)

The First Resurrection is to spiritual immortal Life.  It pertains to Jesus Christ and the saints.  Jesus Christ is the first resurrection:  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25)  Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."  (1 Corinthians 15:20)[Jesus is] firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29, Colossians 1:15,18)

Jesus was resurrected to eternal life by the exceedingly great power of the Father.  Which [the Father] wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:20)

We, the saints, are to be a part of the first resurrection:  Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” (1Co 15:23)  If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14)  Those saints, who have died in the faith, will be in the first resurrectionFor 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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)  The prophets of old, who had God’s Holy Spirit, will also be a part of the first resurrection:  …ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:28)

For those saints still living at the time of Christ’s return there will be a unique special resurrection. They will not have to taste death, because:  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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)  At the first resurrection, the saints become divine, eternal, spirit born children of God, priests of God, ruling with Jesus Christ throughout the millennium.  They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4-5)

The conclusion is this – the saints are being judged now:  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:” (1Peter 4:17)  The saints must live” in Jesus Christ – it is not enough to simply believe” in Him.  Jesus said, Whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:26)Paul calls the first resurrection the better” resurrection. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35)

The Second Resurrection is to fleshly physical life, for those people never called” by God.  The second resurrection takes place in the time period represented by the Last Great Day. (John 7:37)  The second resurrection takes place at the end of the one thousand year rule of Jesus Christ over the Kingdom of God established on earth.  Martha saith unto [Jesus], I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24)

The purpose of the second resurrection is for all people to be able to know God, be converted and go on to salvation. All who have ever lived throughout history, not having been partakers of God's Holy Spirit, or tasting the good word of God, will be resurrected back to their physical lives in order to go through the conversion process:  "I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.  …You shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live.” (Ezekiel 37:10, 13-14)

For most of mankind who have ever lived, this will be their opportunity for salvation:  All flesh shall see the salvation of God."  (Luke 3:6)  It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh." (Joel 2:28)

There are also Biblical examples of special resurrections.  For special purposes, God resurrected some to temporary physical life to show His glory and His power over death:  The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection.” (Matthew 27:52-53)  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:14, 43)

Those people, who were called of God, baptized, and received God’s Holy Spirit, will not be in the second resurrection.  If they were called, chosen, and faithful, they will be in the first resurrection – if they were unfaithful, they will be in the third resurrection.

The Third Resurrection is to fleshly physical life at the time of the Great White Throne Judgment.  It differs from the second resurrection in that those in the third resurrection were once converted, had God’s Holy Spirit, but were not faithful to the end.  For them there will be no resurrection to spiritual life. There is no second chance. They have blasphemed God’s Holy Spirit.  It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

They will go into the lake of fire – the second death: (Revelation 20:14)  If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)

Then shall [Jesus] say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” (Luke 13:28)

These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:46)  Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)


Sermon:  "Three Resurrections