The Resurrections: Who, What and When?
Q. You mentioned that there are 3 resurrections. I thought there were only two. Could you please explain?
We mentioned that there are at least 3 parts to the resurrection of the
righteous (the resurrection of Christ, the “first fruits,” the Rapture
resurrection of the Church saints, and the resurrection at the end of
the Tribulation of the Old Testament and Tribulation saints). Let’s take
a closer look at the sequence of the resurrections.
“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in
the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the
good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds
to a resurrection of judgment.” John 5:28-29
and unbelievers will be raised, but not all at the same time.
Scripture, in the original language, says that believers will be
resurrected “out from among” all of those who are dead. ( Luke 20:35;
Philippians 3:11) That means that there will actually be two phases to
the resurrection of people—one phase when believers will be raised, and
another when unbelievers will be raised. This is confirmed in Revelation
20:4-6 where the resurrection is seen to actually come as two episodic
events known as the “first resurrection [of believers]” and the [second]
resurrection of “the rest of the dead.” Thus there will be two phases
to the resurrection of people—one phase when believers will be raised,
and another when unbelievers will be raised.
the resurrection of believers is specifically said to unfold “each in
his own order” of succession. There is the resurrection of Christ “the
first fruits,” followed by “those who are Christ’s at His coming
[believers], ” then comes the end [and the resurrection of unbelievers
at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Rev. 20:11-15].” (1 Corinthians
means there will be several phases to the “first resurrection.“ Upon
careful reflection on several passages of scripture, we can see the
phases of the resurrections:
(1) Christ Himself was the first in the resurrection of the righteous.
(2) At the time of the Rapture of the church, the resurrection of all believers who have died since the time of Christ, will occur.
Next will come the resurrection of all of the Old Testament saints who
lived before Pentecost. Daniel 12:13 says that Daniel himself will “rise
again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” The “end of the
age” is specifically said to occur at the time of the harvest when
Christ comes to the earth. (Matthew 13:39)3. Those who have been
martyred during the Great Tribulation will also be raised at this time.
What about those who have been born into natural bodies during the
Millennial Kingdom, who may die during that period? No saved person will
die during the Millennium. (Isaiah 65:20; for the lost who die, see #5
(5) Finally, all unbelievers are raised and judged at the end of the Millennium. (Revelation 20:11-15)
resurrection of the righteous, then, is our greatest hope for the
future. For any of you who are forlorn, downcast and weary, turn your
heart and your face toward Jesus now, at this moment. If you have not
received Him, ask Him into your heart now, believing that He died for
your sins and was resurrected to life so that you too may be raised to
life eternal— with the promise that He will personally “raise [you] up
on the last day.” John 6:39 If you have already received Jesus as your
Savior, ask Him to remind you often that “this is the will of My Father,
that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal
life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40