The Better Resurrection

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Better Resurrection

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." 1 Thessalonians 4:16

Wait a minute! I thought that the dead were already in heaven with Christ and come with Him at His return in glory. How could they still be in the grave? The truth is, the Bible says in many places that the dead are asleep in the grave awaiting the resurrection. Daniel said the dead know nothing and that when Messiah comes those who are asleep in the ground will arise.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 says that those who are alive when Christ comes will not precede the saints who sleep but will be changed after the dead are raised first. What! There are Christians on the earth at Christís advent? I thought the Church was raptured and return with Him?

Though the Bible teaches that those who are accounted worthy will be protected during the Great Tribulation, they will be in a "wilderness" on the earth, not with Christ in heaven, -"But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent." (Rev.12:14)

 Nor does the Bible teach that Jesus will come secretly a second time and openly a third time. When Christ comes every eye will see Him in the clouds. And if you didnít know this already, you might be very surprised to learn that there is more than one resurrection.

Some may argue that the Bible teaches that Christ will come secretly as a thief in the night to rapture the Church, but notice, -"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While THEY are saying ĎPeace and safety!í then destruction will come upon THEM suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and THEY will not escape. But YOU, BRETHREN are not in darkness that the day would overtake YOU like a thief; for YOU are all sons of light and sons of day. WE are not of night nor of darkness; so then let US not sleep as OTHERS do." 1 Thes.5:3-5

Christís coming will be LIKE a thief in the night to those who are not sons of light - to those who are not ready to meet the Lord.

The resurrections have order, first Christ, then the first-fruits who are asleep, and then the faithful who are alive at His return. Jesus said that those who rise in the first resurrection are blessed and holy and that the second death has no power over them. They will be priests of God and will reign with Christ on the earth for a thousand years. (Rev.20) This is the better resurrection, but there is another which will occur after the Millennial reign of Christ. "And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years - the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed."

Those who are blessed to be a part of the first resurrection will stand before God without reference to sin - these are declared innocent and appear to receive each their eternal reward, -"And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." (Hebrews 9:27-28)

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries