Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,
let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation
of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands,
and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The principle doctrines of resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment are not just important, but related. Everyone, including you, will be resurrected from the dead and judged according to your works. And the outcome of this judgment will last for eternity! What is decided about you at this judgment will be your fate forever!!! “For we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10). But if you are following Jesus Christ, you have no need to fear. If you have rejected Christ, you should be very afraid indeed.
There will be two separate resurrections and two separate judgments. The first resurrection will be of the believers in Christ. We will be judged according to our works for eternal rewards. The second resurrection, followed by what is known as the “Great White Throne Judgment” is only for all the unsaved, where they will be judged according to their works for punishment. They are separate, yet similar. In each case, the resurrection comes first, then the judgment soon after. The Christians will get a new spiritual body. Paul describes receiving this new body:
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
These new bodies will be perfect. They will never be sick or hungry or in pain. Oh it will be glorious!!! Hallelujah! Praise to the Lamb!!!
The first resurrection takes place after the Great Tribulation and before (or shortly into) the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth (Millennial Reign). Here judgment is given to the believers:
4 And I saw thrones, and they [Christians] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Every Christian’s work shall be judged to see what sort or quality it is.It will be tried by fire, and the poor quality ones will be burned up.For the works that remain, the believer will receive a reward.Please note that salvation is not at stake here.If you are in the first resurrection, you are saved.But your eternal rewards ARE at stake.Poor quality works include not trusting God in every area of your life, using your spiritual gifts for material gain, keeping your gifts to yourself (see Parable of the Talents, Matt 25:14-30), and refusing to give up a certain (minor) sin. The results of this judgment are eternal; what rewards you get (or don’t get) you will have for ETERNITY.
Such is the case also in the resurrection of the unsaved.They will be resurrected from the dead after the Millennial Reign, and judged for their evil works.These are all on their way to the lake of fire, but this judgment determines the degree of punishment. A serial killer will have it worse off than a fornicator or thief.
12 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.
13 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.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
These people will be resurrected out of hell, judged, and sent to the lake of fire.Since this second resurrection is unto damnation (Jn 5:28,29), NO ONE here will be found in the book of life, and thus all will end up in the lake of fire.
Will the unsaved people get new bodies like the saved ones? I once was told that they might also get new bodies, ones that can withstand the torments of the lake of fire. This seems to make since, but since I have no scriptural backing for it, I cannot say that it is true.
The resurrection from the dead is important, because it will affect you some day. You will be resurrected from the dead and judged, regardless to whether you are a Christian or not. If you are a Christian, you should be living for Christ in every area of your life, and not resisting Him in any. You need to be sold out totally for Christ. If you are not saved, you need to get saved so that you can take part in the first resurrection instead of the second. If you aren’t sure that you will be in the first resurrection, please CLICK HERE to learn how to get it.
For more on the Resurrection, please see Why I believe in the Post-Trib Rapture, and the Resurrection Chapter, 1 Cor. 15