How many resurrections are there? Just one… two… one divided into two elements… or will there be three with one of those divided into two parts? As I wrote earlier (Click here), it was this question that made brought questions to my mind. Is there a resurrection before The Tribulation… one after The Tribulation for those who were killed during the seven years… and then a last one at the end of the Thousand Year Reign of Christ that includes the righteous and the unrighteous? That’s what I’m trying to figure out…
NOTE: Just F.Y.I., I am in the process of trying to figure these things out. By no means am I saying I’ve figured it out and have all the answers. I’m just trying to make sense of Scripture as best I can. Oh… one more thing… Romans 14:5, “Let every man be fully convinced in his own mind” means there is “wiggle room” in some Christian doctrines for nuances and differences of opinion without being or becoming enemies.
When I began studying eschatology 34 years ago, here is what I was taught about the resurrection…
When Jesus comes back the next time it will be a secret to everyone except believers. At this secret return, all those who are dead in Christ will be resurrected and those still alive will be raptured into heaven with them. This event will trigger The Great Seven Year Tribulation.
During the tribulation, some will be killed because they do not worship the beast of Revelation 13. So when Jesus comes back at the end of the tribulation, and before He reigns on earth for 1,000 years… those believers will be resurrected.
At the end of the 1,000 years Satan will make war against the people of God and Jesus Himself. This war will result in many deaths, but those who are faithful to the end will be saved. Thus when the 1,000 years are over the final resurrection will take place where all who have not yet been resurrected will be resurrected… some to eternal life and others to eternal damnation.
To help understand the nuances of this timeline, I was presented charts and graphs that were supposed to make it clear what God would do and the timing of it. Like the one picutred below… but all those charts and graphs did was confuse me.
I was confused because here’s what I read in Scripture…
Dan 12:1 And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (One resurrection… divided into two parts. Resurrection of life and one of shame.)
John 5:28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (One resurrection… divided into two parts)
John 11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life…” (Again… one resurrection… on the last day)
Acts 24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. (One resurrection… divided into two parts)
It was because of these passages, and others like them, I wondered why I was taught there were multiple resurrections? Why one before the Tribulation and another after the tribulation and another after the 1,000 years? Either my understanding was incomplete or what I believed needed to be tweaked.
What is the answer? I’m not sure… just yet. But this much I know… there is an answer that will harmonize everything because the Bible does not present contradictory evidence. I’ve just got to keep studying… thinking… and seeking God for an answer.