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Resurrection of the lost   

Very little is said about when the resurrection of sinners who perish because the Bible was written to the church. There are 10 references to the resurrection of the dead, but the majority of these speak of those who are asleep and are waiting for the day that Christ returns.  Those who have not accepted Christ face two resurrections one for their rewards and another for refusal to accept salvation through Jesus Christ.  However, for the Christian the resurrection of the dead is our hope of glory.

The hope of glory belongs to those who have accepted Christ and have been justified through his blood. The Christian’s expectation is to be raised to eternal life with Christ and live forever in Gods kingdom. In this resurrection there is no fear of punishment, but an expectation of a long and prosperous life where there will be no more pain, death or sorrow. The spiritual war we struggled with all our lives will come to an end and the evil spirit that has tempted us numerous times will be thrown into the lake of fire. The guilt of sin and shame will be a thing of the past and will be remembered no more.

There is no hope or rest for those who did not accept Christ and the preference of the two eternal rewards will not be given to them.

God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Genesis 3:22

God has not changed his mind about sin. Just as Adam and Eve were banished from God’s garden, so those who know what evil does and ignore its penalty will not walk on the streets of glory. No sin goes unpunished for even God disciplines his children to show them a way to avoid sin. Although God disciplines his children they soon learn to respect God and learn from the experience of our father.  God knows the best way to live and he teaches us to live at peace with others.

God has forewarned man that when he comes he will separate the “Wheat from the chaff” the “righteous from the wicked” the “just from the unjust” the “good from the bad” and the ”sheep from the goats.” All of mankind falls into one of those categories as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but those reconciled to God has chosen life over dying in their sin.

All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Matthew 25:32-33

The difference between the two groups is the choice that Christians have made to  accept the atonement made by Christ on Calvary’s cross. Jesus taught that the good would be separated from the bad at the end of the age, but Christians have chosen to wash their robes in the blood of Christ.

This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:49-50

Again God makes a distinction between those who serve him and those who do not.

"They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Malachi 3:17-18

Those who serve God, demonstrate the love they have for God by letting the world know that God loves them and doesn’t want anyone to perish. Those who go into the world to spread the good news demonstrate their love for the people in the world. The good news is that eternal life is a choice, but is a choice you can’t make for another person. Ultimately, your life and the choices you make in life determine whether you are good or bad in God’s eye.

Only the arrogant feel that they can tell God that they have lived a good moral live, but they do not have the mind of the judge. God has said that he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion. In other words God will determine who he will show compassion towards. God has a plan for the day he judges the haughty, the proud and the arrogant and there is an abundance of evidence in the scriptures that show the resurrection of the lost will occur on the same day that the righteous is raised. For example:

"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. John 5:28-29

Jesus said that everyone in their graves would hear his voice and come out. Notice Jesus said that some would rise to damnation while another group would rise to eternal life. This is the only passage I know of that speaks of the first resurrection of the lost. Even the lost will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of glory.

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. Revelation 1:7

The resurrection described in John 5:28-29 will include the soldier that pierced his side while he was on the cross, causing water and blood to gush from our Lord’s side. No one will be excluded from appearing before the Lord, no mate will be missing.  Those who love and serve the Lord will stand before God and inherit the kingdom of God. Those who chose not to serve the Lord will attempt to hide from the Lord calling on the mountains and rocks to cover them.

There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. John 12:48

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40

"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. John 5:28-29

Sometimes you have to compare the scriptures side by side to see the truth. For example, John 5:28-29 speaks of a general resurrection including all who have died prior to that day that Jesus Christ comes to collect the fruit of the earth. John 6:40 is specifically talking about those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ. In John 12:48 the subject is about the judge who specifically deals with those who rejects God’s plan for salvation.

Are Christians on the same page with God when they study God’s word and speak of a pre-tribulational Rapture? Will the day when all of mankind pass under the shepherd’s rod and are classified as those who serve God and those who do not (Malachi 3:17-18) occur during the tribulation period, after the tribulation period or before the tribulation period? You be the judge.  

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