Easter 2014 is now behind us. People spend the day in various ways. To some it is just another day; while to others it is a day of egg hunts and baskets of candy and toys; others make it a family day celebrating with a cookout or a large dinner and to some it is a deeply spiritual day with church services at sunrise and throughout the day. The truth is, here in the United States, if you celebrate the holiday at all it will be with a combination of two or more of the activities above.
The day is to honor and remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now as we move forward and Easter is past; what about a future resurrection – yours?
Every person ever conceived will one day be resurrected and receive a glorified body that will be theirs throughout eternity (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
The saints that died before Christ were resurrected with Christ (Matthew 27:50-53).
Since the resurrection of Christ we live in an era that is called, “the church age.” Those that have placed their faith in Christ for salvation since that first Easter morning will be resurrected at the end of the church age; “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Notice that something different happens at this resurrection. People that are alive will go with them. If you didn’t catch it, please reread the verse. This event is commonly called, “The rapture.” At the end of the church age, all the redeemed living and dead will receive their glorified bodies.
Shortly after the rapture the Tribulation period will begin. This will last for seven years and will be a time like the world has never seen (Daniel 12:1). It is during this time that the Antichrist will control the world and life will be even more misery, death and despair that it is now.
The time of Tribulation ends with the return of Jesus Christ at the battle of Armageddon. It is at this time; Christ will bind Satan, begin His reign and will sit on the throne in Jerusalem for a thousand years. Those justified by their faith in Christ during the Tribulation will received their glorified bodies and will live and reign with Christ during the millennium (Revelation 20:4). The saved that die during the reign of Christ will be resurrected at the end of the thousand years (Revelation 20:5-6).
Everyone resurrected so far are those who have been forgiven by being washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. This brings us to the resurrection of the “unjust” that the Bible speaks of (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:13).
Revelation 20:11-15, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
This brings me to a question. Which resurrection will you be a part of; the resurrection to everlasting life or to everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2)?
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind., and is considered by many as an expert on Biblical prophecy. He and his wife, Julie, have four grown children and 11 grandchildren. All Scripture references are from the KJV. Blog: www.preacherjohnson.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.