The First Resurrection (10 of 12)

The First Resurrection (10 of 12)

Tue 8 Sep 2020 AM

The First Resurrection is presented as the great hope and the prize to be won by the believer.

Believers and unbelievers will both arise together in the General resurrection at the end of the 1000-year Millennial Kingdom of Christ.

However, the First resurrection is for those believers who qualify to participate. It is possible for a believer not to qualify for this First resurrection. Some principles of selection are shared in this important study.
Audio Transcript
Welcome to the next study, we're doing Eternal Rewards, and this is #10. We're looking on the First Resurrection. We've already talked a little bit about the First Resurrection in one of the early studies. I really want you to understand the scriptures around it, because this is an area in which there's major disagreements in the body of Christ, so it helps if you do some search of the scriptures yourself.

Matthew 16:27 - “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father, with His angels, and He will reward each one according to his works”.

In this scripture, and in many other scriptures, it tells us very clearly, of reward for our activities; but it's not just any kind of works, it's works that come out of a life that's yielded to the Lord, and wanting to honour Him, and please Him - so there's a dimension of faith to it.

Our status before God is totally based on faith, not works.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - “By grace you are saved, through faith. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone boast.”

We know that our standing is totally related to what Jesus did; but our reward, and our position and status for eternity is very much determined by how we respond to God's call on our life. Each of us have got a calling, and that calling is individual. It's also corporate, and that calling involves us becoming into full sons, full maturity and the issue of intimacy with God, with personal growth and transformation and with fulfilling our assignment.

We talked about the rewards, and put them into three categories:

1) Eternal Intimacy - many of the rewards describe a deep, intimate connection with Jesus.

2) Eternal Authority - having responsibility to govern with Him and bring total order to creation.

3) Eternal Glory - we looked at resurrection, and our status and honour in the coming kingdom.

There are two resurrections…

Revelations 20:4-6 – “I saw thrones and they sat on them, and judgement was given to them and I saw the souls of them who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and the word of God, which did not worship the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ 1000 years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the 1000 years were finished. This is the First Resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the First Resurrection. On such the second death has no power. They shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with Him 1000 years”.

This is the key verse, and the clearest passage, that there are two resurrections. If there's a First Resurrection, then there's a second one. This is the First Resurrection, and it's very clear that the people who are in that First Resurrection are given responsibility and authority to rule with Christ in the coming kingdom.

“Blessed and holy is he that has part in the First Resurrection, on such the second death has no power, they shall be priests of God and Christ, shall reign with Him 1000 years”.

Here's a few key thoughts...

1) This is a limited resurrection. Some people are excluded from the First Resurrection. Many people are excluded from that, and most Christians would accept that.

2) The First Resurrection is for believers, for followers of Christ. There is no indication anywhere that there would be unsaved in that. The First Resurrection is a resurrection of reward, and it's for believers.

3) Here is the controversial part... Although only believers are in the First Resurrection, there's nothing anywhere says that all believers will be in that resurrection. In fact, there's several descriptions which indicate quite the opposite - that it's limited. It says: those who participate in the First Resurrection will rule and reign with Christ in the millennium - that's very clear!

That promise is given to overcomers, in Revelations 2 & 3. The promise of ruling is part of the First Resurrection; and the promise given to overcomers is ruling with Christ; so quite clearly, overcomers are the people that have qualified to enter into this First Resurrection, and participate in ruling and reign with Him, and establishing His kingdom on earth.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: First resurrection, general resurrection, second resurrection, resurrection, high calling, Feast of Trumpets, Feast of Tabernacles, parables, faithful service, Overcomer, Enoch, better resurrection, growth, transformation, worthy, counted worthy, sons of Zadok, Joshua the high priest