The First Resurrection (10 of 12)

Mike Connell

Clearly, not all Christians are overcomers - many are overcome. They're overcome by sin, by worldliness, by temptations and pressures, by offences… overcome by so many things. It says: these people will rule and reign with Christ - they are the overcomers. Those who are in the First Resurrection are blessed and holy. That means they're set apart for God, and blessing sits on their lives.

What about the rest of the dead? The rest of the dead includes people who are dead at the time this happens; and those who are living, who will then subsequently die. It says those who participate in the resurrection, they're going to live; but those not in the resurrection, will rise in the General Resurrection, at the end of the 1000-year reign.

It says “the rest of the dead did not live again until 1000 years were finished. This is the First Resurrection”. Now just stop there for a moment and imagine: if you understood your calling was to grow, and become like Christ, to serve Him on this earth; and then the reward would be putting off this body, and putting on a resurrection body, and being able to move, with unlimited freedom, unlimited access, into the realm of heaven, into the realm of earth - being able to move anywhere, at any time, you wanted to. And that those who failed to enter that, would then live their life out and die - imagine the impact of this on you, knowing that you were called to this, but now you have been excluded from it!

“The rest of the dead did not live until the end of the 1000 years” (we'll come to the General Resurrection in a moment). Clearly, the First Resurrection is the better one to be in. Two resurrections; and that's the one you want to be in.

Revelations 20:11-15 talks about the Second Resurrection, or the General Resurrection. From what we've already read, we know that it must take place at the end of the millennium.

Revelations 20:11-15 – “I saw a great white throne and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away. And there was no place found for them. I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. The books were open, another book was opened which is the Book of Life, and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books according to their works. The sea gave up their dead which were in it, then death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, every man according to their works. Everyone that comes up in the Second Resurrection is judged. Death and hell were cast in the lake of fire. This is the second death. So whoever's not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”.

Notice here, in that resurrection, there are people small and great; and there are people dead, and people alive. There are many, many people; and there are both believers and unbelievers in the Second Resurrection. The only people that won't be in the Second Resurrection will be the overcomers, because they come up in the first one. The Second Resurrection - that's those who are alive at that time, who are changed; and those who have died, will be raised at that time. Now whether they're believers or unbelievers, they will all appear before Christ, and there will be a judgement.

This one is called the Great White Throne Judgement, in comparison to the other one we looked at, which is just the Bema, the Judgement (or rewards) Seat of Christ. Believers and unbelievers are both in the Second Resurrection. We know that, because people are found written in the Book of Life, so that means they're a believer. The First Resurrection contains believers; but not all believers, only overcomers.

Not all Christians make it into the First Resurrection. This is the area of this teaching in which you do need to know the scriptures, because it's an area where people assume: everything's all right, I make it no matter what kind of life I live. It's the teaching that we can come to Jesus, and then just do whatever we want after that. It's the kind of complacency and half-heartedness that we see in so many places, and it comes about because of a lack of revelation.