Resurrection and Judgement

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Resurrection and Judgement

Resurrection and Judgement

Jesus Resurrection to ImmortalityThe Hope of Resurrection is fundamental to all Bible Believers along with the promise of “life eternal” to all those who come to a knowledge of the Truth concerning God and His Son Jesus Christ. 

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”John 17:3

But all those who have gone to their grave with this knowledge now wait the day of Resurrection to life once more so that they might be granted ‘Eternal Life’ as promised.  This includes all the worthy believers of old right back to Abraham, Noah, Seth and Adam.

Resurrection!

Let the apostle Paul explain:

“I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. 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 will by no means precede those who are asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–15).

Notice that he describes the dead as “asleep”. As we have seen already in this series, the dead are not now alive, either in paradise or in hell. They are dead, but to God that is like ‘sleep’ because He has the power to restore their lives, or in other words to ‘wake them up’, when He pleases.

Old Testament Truth

All the faithful wait for the day of Resurrection from sleeping in the dust of the earthAs with the other important subjects that we are thinking about, Bible teaching about the Resurrection starts in the Old Testament. The Psalmist says that people without a saving knowledge of God are “like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:12–15). But he was a believer, so he can say of himself: “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me” (verse 15).

So a person who understands the purposeof God (see verse 20) is to be an exception to the general rule that people die and that is the end. God willbring some people back to life – not all, but some, as the prophet Daniel explains:

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2–3).

If you look carefully at the prophet Isaiah’s words in chapter 26:19, you will see that he too looked forward to rising again to a new wonderful life. In the New Testament, Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham also believed in life after death by resurrection.

Jesus’ Followers

The godly people who followed Jesus had the same belief in resurrection.

Jesus had a friend named Lazarus who fell ill and died and Lazarus’ sisters appealed to Jesus (John 11:23).

Notice that Jesus did not offer the comfort that Lazarus was now safely in heaven. Instead this was the exchange of views:

“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:23–25).

Those were remarkable claims but what happened next was amazing for, at the graveside:

“He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go” (John 11:43–44).

Life and Death

Here is proof that God really has given to Jesus the power of life and death. In John’s gospel we read of Jesus making that very claim:

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son … Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live” (John 5:21–22,25).

When will this be? Jesus’ friend Martha understood that it will be ‘at the last day’. In Bible language, the ‘last day’ means the time when sinful man’s misrule is ended – the time when God takes away man’s opportunity to rule himself, and sends Jesus back to earth to rule as King of the whole world. It is the time described by the prophet Daniel:

“In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

That time could be very soon.

The Judgement

Jesus will return as King and Judge. He will judge all who are responsible to him – raising those who are dead and gathering those who are still alive – (see 1 Thessalonians chapter 4). Here are a few more verses on the topic:

“We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10–12);

“For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

When will this be? When the Lord Jesus has come to rule the world in righteousness, and what a wonderful prospect that is, when: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).

By John Woodall

Glad Tidings Magazine of the Kindom of God on Earth