Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What Is the Resurrection of the Dead, and Who Will Be Resurrected First?

The resurrection spoken of in the Bible is the uniting of man's spirit, which is immortal and leaves his body at physical death, with a new spiritual body. The spiritual body will become immortal and will have incredible powers, such as being able to move through physical objects like walls and doors and travel great distances instantaneously. These will be the bodies that Christians will have forever.

There is confusion regarding the word "resurrection." Jesus raised Lazarus form the grave, but this was a resuscitation, not a resurrection (see John 11:43-44). Lazarus came back in his original body that was still subject to death. Some years later Lazarus died again and stayed dead.

When Jesus Christ comes back again, He will resurrect those who have been born again. They will then be joined with the spiritual bodies that have been prepared for their spirits.

The apostle Paul says that those who are alive will not be resurrected ahead of those who sleep (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). So those who are dead will rise first, followed by those who remain alive when Christ comes back. Those who are still alive will be changed in a moment. These mortal bodies will be transformed into bodies like the one Jesus had after His resurrection. These bodies will be eternal and have the same qualities that Jesus Christ had, for the Bible declares, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).

There also will be a second resurrection, which will come at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ. At that time there will be a great resurrection of all people. Those who have done evil will be sent to hell. Forever. But those who have lived in accordance with the righteous teachings of the Lord will live forever with God (see Revelation 20:11-15).

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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