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Bible verses about Resurrection, Third
(From Forerunner Commentary)

What purpose does the third resurrection serve? Why would God raise those who have rejected Him from all time periods—who have already died—and make them die again? Is it because He is vengeful, harsh, and cruel?

God has every right to avenge himself on those who despise His offer of salvation, His way of life and His Kingdom. "'Vengeance is mine, I will repay,' says the Lord" (Romans 12:19). Jude 7 compares Sodom and Gomorrah with the Lake of Fire as an example of His vengeance. Make no mistake, God is not pleased with those who reject His wonderful gifts!

Unlike man, God is not vengeful in a hateful sense; He does not punish men just for the sake of it. Torture is not His way. Under the Old Testament administration of death sentences, a person either lived or died, but he was not tortured. Punishment may have been brutal, but it was swift and just. The same holds true of those who merit the Lake of Fire. He will not punish them unmercifully and forever. They will be burned and forgotten. He does "torture" us in fiery trials, tribulations, and chastenings, but He does this to purify us in mercy, not in terms of eternal judgment.

Fairness is the issue: As Christians we must face dying daily, crucifying the self. God holds us accountable for everything we say and do (Ecclesiastes 11:9; Matthew 12:36). We are now facing Christ in our judgment (II Corinthians 6:1-2; I Peter 4:17). God will judge others in their order. What of those who may have rejected God and are in an unpardonable condition for which they cannot seem to repent, as was Esau? Can they commit suicide or die a natural death, never to be judged? Would that be fair to the rest of us?

Undoubtedly, some would opt for a quick suicide and eternal blackness if they thought that could avoid having to reap the consequences of their evil lives. Satan and the world would love to have us believe there is no responsibility and accountability—that we are all "victims" in one way or another. This is simply not true! The Scripture says clearly that all must stand before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for their lives (Romans 14:10, II Corinthians 5:10). To be fair, God's justice must be applied to all in equal measure. To allow the wicked to go without punishment would not be fair to those who struggled and fought to avoid such a fate. Everyone will be held accountable, good or bad.

The third resurrection has real value! Abject terror of that judgment should help to keep us on the track! Life is difficult, trials are hard, discouragement and self-pity are often overwhelming. But we know that the second death awaits those who will not repent. The Lake of Fire is a powerful deterrent for us while we still have opportunity to overcome!

Even in the horror of having to destroy those few who will not repent and submit under any circumstances, God uses their future deaths as a powerful motivation for us to remain close to Him. It is not the main reason, as God is not the author of "fear religion" in an over-all sense. He draws us with love (Hosea 11:1-4), but, on the other hand, fear of Him—both awe and terror—is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

God works with people in the way that will produce the best results. Jude writes: "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (verses 22-23). Some respond to kindness, but others must be scared witless before they begin to move in the right direction.

Still others—hopefully just a few—will never respond, and these are the ones who will experience the third resurrection, a necessary event to fulfill God's perfect justice. Their evil, incorrigible lives, in one sense, will serve a "good" purpose by being examples for others to avoid emulating.

Staff
The Third Resurrection: What Is Its Value?


 

Luke 13:23-28

Many will seek to enter the Kingdom of God but be barred from it because of flagrant sin. Jesus will refuse to answer the knock of unruly sinners who have rejected salvation, though they weep and grind their teeth when they find out they cannot enter God's Kingdom. When the third resurrection arrives, all humanity will have had the opportunity to be saved; everyone's ultimate destiny will have been eternally set. It will be too late for anyone who, after coming to the knowledge of the truth, sins willfully and thereby rejects eternal life. Those who reject God and His way of life must then reap the consequences of that decision - the second death following the third resurrection to judgment.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: The Third Resurrection


 

Luke 16:19-31

In the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, the latter, a heartless person, speaks to Lazarus while being "tormented in this flame." This alludes to the wicked being cremated when God burns up the earth, turning it into the final Gehenna, called elsewhere "the Lake of Fire." The rich man is raised out of his grave at the end of God's plan for humanity on earth. Because the dead know nothing, he does not realize the passage of time, but he certainly realizes that he has failed to receive salvation. He sees "a great gulf fixed" between him and those who are with Abraham in the Kingdom of God. At this point, it is impossible for anyone to change his fate.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: The Third Resurrection


 

Luke 16:19-31

In Luke 16:19-31 appears the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, which Jesus spoke to those who would not repent. Jesus uses it to help them understand His earlier words: "Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out" (Luke 13:27-28). In the parable, the rich man—representing all workers of iniquity, all sinners—illustrates what is to befall the unrepentant.

The wicked will be raised to physical life in their resurrection, and then, immediately knowing that they are doomed, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire designed by God to consume them. The Lake of Fire will burn them up completely and finally. Jesus pictures the rich man crying out for help because of his mental and physical anguish at this time, but he is not burning eternally in hell fire. He is soon consumed while Lazarus the beggar dwells safely in immortality.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part One)


 

Luke 16:19-31

In the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31), Jesus illustrates death—total unconsciousness—as being followed by a resurrection from the dead and a restoration to consciousness. Secondly, Jesus describes the second death, eternal death, in the Lake of Fire that will totally destroy the wicked. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), not endless torment.

Jesus shows that the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear the voice of God and come forth—those who have lived righteously to the resurrection of life, and those who have lived wickedly (including the rich man) to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29). We need to understand how vital it is to hear and submit to God's voice now.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part Two)


 

John 3:16-17

The Father and the Son are not failures; their plan is right on schedule. Most of the world will be saved! The question is, "When?" However, most people will not be saved at the return of Christ—the order of resurrections (I Corinthians 15:23; Revelation 20:4-15) allows for a broader timeframe for saving the world.

Staff
Who Are the 144,000?


 

John 5:28-29

Jesus refers to the time of the resurrection when all men will be judged. At the resurrection, both the righteous and the wicked will be brought back to life to receive their reward or punishment.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Basic Doctrines: The Fate of the Wicked


 

Hebrews 9:27

Hebrews 9:27 says that all men are appointed to die once. Considering this, some have asked: How can one die a second death? How many times can one die?

First, baptism is symbolic of death (Romans 6:2-11) and so is "dying daily," as Paul describes the sacrifices of the Christian life (I Corinthians 15:31). Paul mentions this latter death in the context of the resurrection chapter to emphasize our need to crucify the old self daily and renew or resurrect the inner man as symbols of actual death and resurrection (see II Corinthians 4:16-17). In this sense, we die every day of our lives.

When speaking of great embarrassments, many have used the phrase, "I died a thousand deaths." That is just what God expects of us if we are to reach maturity of thought and conduct! Each of these deaths is just as difficult and excruciating as the one before, and thus Paul describes them as crucifixions (Galatians 5:24). These play a major role in overcoming, and it is never easy.

Apart from symbolism, the general rule is that we each die physically at least once and then await the resurrection to eternal life. But some few humans have already died twice! Lazarus, Dorcas, Eutychus, those who came out of their graves when Christ died and others were physically resurrected and physically died again.

It is conceivable that some few might even die three times! If those who were resurrected physically were converted and accepted for the Kingdom, they will be resurrected when Christ returns - changed "in the twinkling of an eye" into immortal spirit beings (I Corinthians 15:52). If they were not called and converted - not yet having had an opportunity for salvation - they will come up in the second resurrection to be alive a third time. At the end of that life they will then be either changed to spirit or die in the Lake of Fire, a third death.

Why, then, does Revelation 20:14 call the Lake of Fire "the second death"? The emphasis is on the fact that it is a permanent death. Once a person experiences the second death, no hope remains for another resurrection. However, for a few it could represent a third physical death.

The point is that all of us are appointed to die at least once! Even those "blessed and holy" individuals who are alive and changed at Christ's return will go through a kind of death. As Paul writes, "For this corruptible [body] must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (I Corinthians 15:53).

Staff
The Third Resurrection: What Is Its Value?


 

2 Peter 3:9

God does not want anyone to perish but desires all to come to repentance. However, to those who refuse His mercy and trample the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ as if it were vile (Hebrews 10:26-31), He is a God of justice and righteous judgment. These, who leave Him with no alternative but to put them to death for eternity, will know what He earnestly desired them to achieve.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: The Third Resurrection


 

Revelation 20:4-6

The first part of verse 5 inserts a parenthetical statement that refers to a second resurrection, described in verses 11-15. After the Millennium, God will raise up to physical life all those who have never had an opportunity for salvation. Christ will judge all those who lived throughout human history yet have not been called. Ezekiel 37:1-14 prophesies of God resurrecting all Israel. At the same time (see Matthew 12:41-42), He will raise all the Gentiles and extend to them the same offer He does to Israel (Romans 2:7-11; I Timothy 2:4). If they satisfy God's judgment, He will at some point grant them eternal life and give them spiritual bodies (I Corinthians 15:44-49).

After all have had their opportunity, God will perform still a third resurrection. Those who will not repent of their rebellion against the Almighty will be raised to physical life and cast into the Lake of Fire, which provides a merciful, permanent death (see Matthew 25:41).

Martin G. Collins
Holy Days: Last Great Day


 

Revelation 20:11-15

The incorrigibly wicked are the last of mankind to be resurrected from their graves - from "the sea" (where they may have perished), from death (without burial), or from hades (a grave in the ground). God Himself will sentence these unruly, miserable human beings - hopefully few - and whoever is not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: The Third Resurrection


 

Revelation 20:13-15

This third resurrection will comprise those who are unwilling to live by God's laws and refuse to repent. These incorrigible people will be cast into the Lake of Fire and completely burned up. They can never be resurrected again, having rejected God's wonderful offer of salvation and eternal life.

Staff
Basic Doctrines: Eternal Judgment


 

 




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