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Three Resurrections

I. The belief in resurrection is found in the Old Testament

a. The belief in resurrection is found early in Scripture. In one of the oldest books written in the Old Testament, consider what Job had to say.

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;”
* It was evident that Job expected to see God in his body when he experienced bodily death. This is the first indication of a belief in the resurrection.

b. Abraham’s belief in resurrection is explained in his willingness to offer Isaac.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.”
* Abraham believed God’s promise that He would fulfill the covenant of offspring through Isaac. Hebrews explains that his belief about the resurrection is why Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac in a potential sacrifice.

c. David believed in a bodily resurrection.

“Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”

II. There will be two different resurrections.

a. The distinction between two different resurrections.

1. Jesus talked about two resurrections

“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”
* There are two groups of people on the earth as identified by Jesus through their resurrection. Both groups will be resurrected but one group will face a resurrection of judgment that is awaiting.

2. Paul talked about two resurrections when he spoke about Christianity to the Roman governor Felix.

“But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”
* Paul rebutted a charge of leading a cult (v. 5), by explaining that his beliefs harmonized with the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures ("the Law and . . . the Prophets").
* Felix must have seen that Paul and Ananias disagreed strongly on this theological point of resurrection (Ananias was a Sadducee whom didn’t believe in resurrection). There were also some Pharisees who accompanied Ananias to Caesarea, who did believe in the resurrection.
* In discussing resurrection, Paul explains that there are two different types that will occur.

b. The first resurrection is described in detail.

- This is mentioned by Paul in

“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 not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
* Notice that the first resurrection is tied to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself calling them to Him.
* The key is that it will be those that have died and are identified in Christ that are raised from the dead.

- The description of the last things in Revelation talks about the first resurrection.

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
* When the resurrection occurs, the dead at that time who are in Christ will be raised from death and those that are without Jesus Christ will not be raised for 1,000 years.
* These will not experience the second death but will reign with Jesus Christ.
* Those that have heard the Gospel and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ are those whom are found in the first resurrection.

- Those that are part of the first resurrection will experience the glory of God in complete perfection.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

c. The second resurrection.

- Revelation gives the time frame of the second resurrection.

“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
* The second resurrection will take place after the 1,000 years of Jesus reigning upon the earth as Israel’s true messiah.
* Before the second resurrection, Satan will be immediately judged and removed from the earth and placed into judgment referred to as the lake of fire.

- Revelation gives the description of what awaits those of the second resurrection.

-16 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
* The devil’s judgment is not the blackest page in the Biblical records of God’s dealings.
* Here the hated and despised Nazarene will sit in righteous judgment of all who refused to acknowledge the Messiah and Savior. It is the gloomiest hour for that part of the human race that spurned the love of God and denied His only begotten Son. This is the resurrection of the unbelieving dead.
* From every part of the earth the bodies of the wicked dead are raised to receive the final sentence, banishment from the presence of God and eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
* The majority on this planet that refuse to believe in the truth of Jesus Christ will refuse to acknowledge the resurrection of the body. In reality, the creation of man in all of his uniqueness is no more difficult for God than the resurrection of man into a new physical body.

The real question that needs to be answered is how some can be resurrected to eternal life without consequences of their sins and how others are resurrected to face the consequences of their sins?

III. The most important resurrection that makes it all possible, the resurrection of Jesus.

- The death of Jesus Christ was important because of man’s sins.

* All are guilty before God because all are deemed sinners.
* There needed to be a substitute for the punishment of sins or the second resurrection would be the only reality for man.
* The substitute for sins had to be made like man in all things and he had to be righteous without sin.
* Propitiation is the biblical doctrine where the demands of a righteous God in respect to judgment upon the sinner is fully satisfied.” Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins as states “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
* In light of all this, if Jesus just died without being resurrected the effectiveness of His death would be limited.

- The resurrection of Jesus Christ is important because It provided proof that Jesus death on the cross was enough for our justification by faith.

* “Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
* Abraham’s faith in God’s promise was credited as righteousness as the explanation of how faith in Jesus is credited as righteousness.
* Resurrection is the key to justification by faith in Jesus Christ.

- Jesus’ resurrection provides the confidence for those whom have faith in Jesus Christ to be resurrected to live with Him eternally.

* “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
* Jesus’ resurrection is the confidence that Christians whom have already died and ourselves will be raised from the dead having our sins forgiven.
* When we look at the confidence of a future reunion of loved one whom has died having professed faith in Jesus Christ, it is found not in the person’s faith (though that is necessary) but in Jesus’ resurrection.

- Jesus’ resurrection is important because if we sin in the future, His death covers those sins as well.

* “but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
* “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,”
* “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

- Jesus’ resurrection has become the reason why believers are able to grow spiritually while on earth.

* “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
* We are not only united to Jesus in the power of His death but also in the power of His resurrection. It breaks not only the curse of sin that has created judgment for all of humanity but it breaks the curse of sin that enslaves people to obey those impulses.
One thing that I know about is the certainty of Jesus death and resurrection!!!
One thing that I do not know for certain about everyone that is present is the two other resurrections that will occur:
Are you going to be part of the resurrection of the righteous or the resurrection of the wicked?
If you want to be part of the first resurrection, then it requires faith in the one whose work covered your sins in His death and resurrection!!
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