What you need to know about the first ressurrection

The Bible says that the souls of all people will exist for eternity:

“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

All true believers in Jesus Christ will be raised to everlasting life. The souls of those who died in Christ are already with Him (Luke 23:43), but they will be given even more glory and honor at the first resurrection when they receive their glorified bodies.

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (I Corinthians 15:50-52)

So we see here that the resurrection of believers will be instantaneously, taking up virtually no time at all. This event will happen in the future after the seven year tribulation, before the thousand year reign of Christ. The book of revelation refers to this as the “first resurrection.” All those who are raised in it are blessed and holly:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

All believers alive today and during the tribulation will take part of this great changing, whether they are raptured alive or die before hand. However, unbelievers alive today are not described as being “ressurrected.” Rather they will remain conscious in hell, a temporary place of torment. Afterwards they will be presented before the Great White Throne of God and sentenced to eternity in the Lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). This event is not referred to as a “ressurrection” since it is a kind of conscious death. Instead, it is called the “second death.”

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