If You Miss the First One

In trying to help build the family of God,
and putting my nose into the Bible,
what a joy when granted a new insight to share with you.

There’s another really big reason the first resurrection is better.

Lamb in NTThe first resurrection is better for reasons I’ve shared with you before  (Hebrews 11:35).  It’s double portion for the firstborn (Deuteronomy 21:17).  Only those in the first resurrection will get to be a part of the Bride of Christ.  They will be in on the ground floor of the Kingdom of God and help Jesus Christ bring along many children during the Millennium but especially during the Great White Throne Judgment.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the fact there is a first (and better) resurrection tells you that there are more than one resurrection.  In fact, there are three major ones in the Bible.

  • The first one at Christ’s coming (Matthew 24:30-31) when the 7th trumpet blows (Revelation 11:15)
  • The second one at the end of the Millennium which starts the Great White Throne Judgment period on earth (“But the rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5). This resurrection is also described in Revelation 20:11-12).
  • The third one when the incorrigible rebels who commit the unpardonable sin are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:13-15). God mercifully burns them out of existence (Malachi 4:1) into ashes at the feet of the righteous—they will not suffer for eternity as the Greek philosophers and Dante falsely taught

But while writing this, it came to me that the first one is also the better resurrection because it’s

the only one

where the raised are changed from mortal to immortal and given eternal life (1 Corinthians 15).  In the second and third resurrections, people are raised back to human physical life.

So you’d think we’d all do everything it takes to make sure we’re in the first one.  Well, the spiritual reality is that God the Father alone chooses who gets to have opportunity to be in the first one (John 6:44).

watchThe Master Timer calls each one of us to have our opportunity for salvation at the time that is best for us—when we have the best shot at successfully making it.  He knows us.  He knows when is the best time for us.

Pentecost, which we observed last Sunday, reveals that only a relatively few first fruits are called now.  God is not in a frantic battle for souls with Satan before time runs out.  His plan aims for “all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

The billions of mankind who never had their opportunity for salvation will come up in the Great White Throne Judgment resurrection which won’t have Satan around trying to devour them, and the whole earth following Jesus Christ’s directions will create powerful peer pressure to follow God’s way.

door 1To me that sounds like a pretty good consolation prize!  But Isaiah 65:20 indicates that resurrection might be to live again as a human being for 100 years, and I prefer door #1.  Who wants another 100 years in the flesh even under such ideal conditions!

Well, I would if that’s what God gives me.

If you miss the first one

Then I’d definitely be thrilled to be in the second one.

Others have opined that if a person really seeks God with all his heart and trembles at God’s Word, loves His Church and is passionately trying to do the worldwide Work, then God might decide to call him now even though it wasn’t His original assessment (Isaiah 66:2).  Who knows such lofty things (Psalms 139:6)!

But praise God that if you understand what the Bible teaches about these three major resurrections, then you are undoubtedly called NOW to be a firstfruit and have the priceless “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) of being in the better first one!   Such blessing brings responsibility (1 Peter 4:17) and judgment on you now.

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OFF TO CAMP—Mary and I are driving away Monday to serve on staff again for our fifth year at Camp Hye Sierra from June 24 through July 3.  Why not treat yourself by following my camp blog at www.ucgcamps.wordpress.com

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