If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you (Rom. 8:11).

      Introduction: The belief in the resurrection of the body is what distinguishes Christianity from the heathen religions which view the body as a prison from which a man is released at the point of death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in Christianity because the believer’s resurrection is dependent upon the reality of Christ’s resurrection.

 If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain (1 Cor. 15:14; cf., Acts 2:30-31; 13:33-37; 26:6-8).

      The salvation of people, who are going to Heaven, depends on the resurrection because it completes the gospel of Jesus Christ, i.e., His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Christ was “raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). He promised that “because I live, ye shall live also” (Jn. 14:19). This is the great hope and comfort to the believer in Jesus Christ, a comfort and hope which the heathen do not have.

 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-14; cf., Eph. 2:12).

      Jesus Christ abolished death by His resurrection. He alone has the “keys of Hell and death” (Rev. 1:18; 2 Tim. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15:26).

     The preaching of the hope of the resurrection has brought scorn and persecution upon believers. Many have called our hope of the resurrection an incredible dream, an old wives’ tale, fanciful madness, a cruel doctrine which gives false hope.

 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? Other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection (Acts 17:17-18) … And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter” (Acts 17:32; cf., 23:6; 26:6-8).

      Question … If God can cause Aaron’s rod to bud, revive the dry bones, deliver Jonah from the whale, and take us from the dust once, He can sure enough take us from the dust again. Then … it need not be questioned that God can raise the dead!

 Old Testament Saints Believed in Resurrection Hope

     Hebrews Chapter 11, the great “Honor Roll of Faith Chapter,” is built around the issue of resurrection from the dead; i.e., Widows of faith (Heb. 11:34); Abraham (Heb. 11:19); Joseph (Heb. 11:22). See also Moses (Deut. 33:39); Hannah (1 Sam. 2:6); Job (Job 19:25-27); David (Ps. 16:10); Daniel (Dan. 12:2); Isaiah (Isa. 26:19).

 The Bible teaches that there will be two prophesied  resurrections (Dan. 12:2; Acts 24:15; Jn. 5:24-29; Rev. 20:5-15)  AND One unprophesied  Resurrection (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

 The First Prophesied  Resurrection

     This is for believers only. Those participating in this resurrection are to be uniquely blessed throughout all eternity with a resurrection to eternal life (Rev. 20:6; Lk. 14:14).

     The First Resurrection is a bodily resurrection. These believers will receive a body exactly like the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection body (1 Jn. 3:2). The resurrection body of Jesus Christ was recognizable as a human body (Lk. 24; Jn. 20:26-29). He made 18 post-resurrection appearances and He …

¨ Could be touched (Lk. 24:39-40; Mt. 28:9; Jn. 20:17);

¨ Could breathe (Jn. 20:20-22);

¨ Had a voice that was immediately recognizable (Jn. 20:16);

¨ Had flesh and bones but apparently no blood (Lk. 24:39-40);

¨ Could consume food (Lk. 24:30, 34; 42-43);

¨ Enjoyed a different atomic structure than ours (Jn. 20:19, 26; Lk. 24:36);

¨ Could appear and disappear (Lk. 24:31; and

¨ Could move both horizontally and vertically (Mt. 28:10; Acts 1:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:23).


     The First Resurrection will occur in a progressive chronology (Rev. 20:6; 1 Cor. 15:23).

 ¨ Jesus Christ: April 32 AD (Heb. 1:3);

¨ Old Testament and Tribulation saints—after the Tribulation and before the Dispensation of Christ (i.e., The 1000-year Millennium); and

¨ Millennium saints (Rev. 11:18).


The Second Prophesied  Resurrection

     This is for unbelievers only and is a resurrection of damnation:

 ¨ It will occur at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:5);

¨ The wicked will be raised to stand before the Great White Throne  for judgment and in such a state as to bear perpetual punishment; and

¨ Those participating in the Second Resurrection will be cursed and punished for all eternity (Rev. 20:15).


The Unprophesied Resurrection

     This resurrection occurs at the time of the Rapture—at the end of the Dispensation of Grace (1 Thess. 4:16-17), and is for believers who are members of the Body of Christ.

 Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Cor. 15:51-52; cf., Phil. 3:21).

      This resurrection is like the First Resurrection, in that it is dependant upon the resurrection of Christ, since Jesus Christ is the first fruits of them that slept (1 Cor. 15:20-23). However, it is not the subject of prophecy about Old Testament saints or Kingdom saints. It, like the Rapture, is a “mystery” revelation. Believer’s bodies will “all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51), and be raised in immortality and will be incorruptible, powerful, spiritual, and glorious in order to enjoy eternity enthroned with Christ in the heavenlies.

      Conclusion: The full impact of and appreciation for the Doctrine of the Resurrection is not fully felt or known until you put it into the context of the revelation of the Mystery. This Mystery is the revelation of what the resurrected Savior is now doing in relationship with those who are saved in this present Dispensation of Grace. This Mystery was revealed to us through the inspired Scriptures of the Apostle Paul. It is through his “preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25), that we learn of the baptizing work of God the Holy Spirit Who places us into the Body of Christ, so much so, that believers in the Dispensation of Grace receive a new identity. Believers are joined to Christ in a way that He is the Head and believers are made the Body: “so also is the Christ” (1 Cor. 12:13)! Christ is Head and Body: “Henceforth know we no [saved] man after the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16)! Our life is “hid with Christ”  – so that His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and session are reckoned to be ours! Our history ended at the Cross when we trusted Christ as our Savior (Gal. 2:20). We are made “heirs and joint heirs” with Him. It is no wonder that the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is called “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). For when He returns for the “Church which is His Body,”  few will not only receive a new body but will experientially enter into a new position, enthroned and  reigning with Him in “heavenly places.” Praise God! Give Him praise and glory!

     One day the air will be filled with the shout of joy, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55).