After a restless night, I tried to make it up with some rest during the day. I did take advantage of some “cyber Monday” buys for Christmas cards. I also had a work out at the fitness center and made my final preparations for my teaching session with the men’s group at church tonight.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Blessed and holy are those who share in this first raising of the dead. The second death has no power over them. They will be priests for God and for Christ and will rule with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6 NCV
Resurrection is at the heart of the gospel message. Resurrection speaks of a new life, a new beginning a fresh start. We read in Paul’s words, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins…But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much….he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1,3-6 NLT)
The good news of being in relationship with Christ is moving from darkness to light, from death to life. To the Colossians Paul writes, “…you were dead in your sins….God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins…” (Colossians 2:13 NIV)
This resurrected life not only has a spiritual dimension but one that relates to our future and give us hope for eternal life in Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and spoke of the importance of Christ’s resurrection for the forgiveness of our sin and for our own future resurrection from the dead. “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NIV)
Jesus Himself said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” (John 5:24,25 NIV)
We see the end of Revelation reveals the fulfillment of the words of Jesus. Those who place their faith in Christ are raised to rule and reign with Christ. As Paul said, it will be a time of honor and glory for all those who place their faith in Christ.
But we see Jesus tells that all will be raised. “…for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:28,29 NIV)
Revelation also, describes the resurrection of those who “rise to be condemned.” It is what is referred to as the “Great White Throne Judgment.” “I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and the book of life was opened. The dead were judged by what they had done, which was written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. Each person was judged by what he had done.” (Revelation 20:12,13 NCV)
Those who accept Christ are raised to rule, those who reject Christ are raised to be judged. They will face the opportunity to “justify themselves” before the God of the Universe, and give an account of all their deeds, attitudes and actions.
All will be resurrected, but not all will be raised to rule. Your resurrection depends on your present faith in Christ. Understanding that you are dead (spiritually) while you are physically alive, will enable you to be alive, after you are physically dead.