Thy Kingdom Come

by | Nov 6, 2018 | Heaven

A good friend and I have been discussing how Christians will have an eternal, active life with Jesus and how there is an eternal hell, or punishment for those who reject him. We share these beliefs although we differ on the mechanics of how it plays out. She sent me three scriptures to check out.

Revelation 20:14-15 King James Version (KJV)

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Daniel 12:2 New International Version (NIV)

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 25:46 New International Version (NIV)

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

When it comes to the after-life, my friend and I don’t share all the same beliefs. She sides with a traditional Christian belief where the dead have an immortal soul that goes on to heaven or hell immediately after death, depending on how they lived their present physical lives. My understanding is less popular, I believe mankind is completely mortal and the dead are dead. Not having anything immortal about them, they must wait for God to resurrect them back to life when he’s ready. An important part of my belief is that through a resurrection back to physical life, God will give everyone who has ever lived an opportunity to accept Jesus and the salvation he alone brought to mankind.

To effectively comment on the scriptures my friend sent me to look at, I thought it would be helpful to explain how I believe the Bible describes these resurrections take place. Since most people aren’t familiar with the resurrections, it would mean nothing to most if I said one verse was an overview of all three resurrections and the other verses were about the third.

*A founding truth of Christianity is, we can only gain salvation by accepting Jesus as your savior. There is only one way.

Romans 10:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Acts 4:12 Good News Translation (GNT)

12 Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.”

*Those who are called by God have their opportunity now during this life.

2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

*Not everyone in the world is meant to hear about Jesus during this present life.

Mark 4:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]

 

*God has purposefully chosen the foolish of the world.

1 Corinthians 1:27 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

*Only those God draws to Jesus can come to him for salvation.

John 6:44 New International Version (NIV)

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

*Those who come to Jesus during this life will be resurrected into their new bodies at the return of Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New International Version (NIV)

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

*All the faithful believers will be resurrected into spiritual bodies like Jesus has. We get our new bodies together at the same event when Jesus returns to the earth.

Hebrews 11:39-40 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

39 God was pleased with all of them because of their faith. But not one of them received God’s great promise. 40 God planned something better for us. He wanted to make us perfect. Of course, he wanted those great people to be made perfect too, but not before we could all enjoy that blessing together.

*When teaching a crowd about eternal life, Jesus told them 4 times in John 6 when he would raise up his disciples.

39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me,but raise them up at the last day.

40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

*This is the first mass resurrection of humanity by God. It’s referred to as the first resurrection, although it isn’t technically the first resurrection of a person. Those who answer the call of God during this life will rein with Jesus. For the first thousand years after Jesus returns, they’ll be teaching the inhabitants of the world how to live a Godly life as the earth is being rejuvenated.

Revelation 20:6 King James Version (KJV)

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

*When Jesus returns to the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, he defeats the armies of the world who oppose him. We will be with him as kings and priests, ruling over those who survive this war and their offspring.

Revelation 5:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

*Satan is then bound for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:1-3 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

20 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven. The angel had the key to the bottomless pit. The angel also held a large chain in his hand. The angel grabbed the dragon, that old snake, also known as the devil or Satan. The angel tied the dragon with the chain for 1000 years. Then the angel threw the dragon into the bottomless pit and closed it. The angel locked it over the dragon. The angel did this so that the dragon could not trick the people of the earth until the 1000 years were ended. After 1000 years the dragon must be made free for a short time.

*The earth will be in shambles, in need of healing, barely able to sustain life.

Matthew 24:22 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the [a]elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

*Healing waters will flow out into the world, renewing it for that first thousand years.

Zechariah 14:8 New International Version (NIV)

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

*The first resurrection is for the followers of Jesus who come through the tribulation and are given new bodies at his return but there are more resurrections to come for humanity.

Revelation 20:4-6 New International Version (NIV)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheadedbecause of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reignedwith Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

*At the end of the thousand years, before Satan is released, there is another mass resurrection of humanity. The rest of the dead come to life at the end of the thousand years, in a second resurrection. It’s in this resurrection to physical life that all people who never had an opportunity to know Jesus will get their chance. Those who died young, or lived at the wrong time or place, those who lived a life free from the call of God, they will finally get their chance to hear that call. They will be resurrected onto a freshly renovated earth where they will be taught, free of any Satanic influence, by Jesus and his kings and priests. They will have a lifetime to decide if they want to follow Jesus. Not all will choose to follow Jesus, but it will be their free choice. God will not force anyone to follow his ways, we all must follow willingly.

Isaiah 65:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

Ezekiel 37:11-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’

*At the end of their lifetime Satan will be released from his chains. He goes out to deceive mankind.

Revelation 20:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

*Again, the wicked follow Satan and fight against God.

Revelation 20:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

*Now God deals with Satan and the demons. Being immortal spirit beings, they cannot die and will be tormented eternally.

Revelation 20:10 King James Version (KJV)

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

*Everyone who has ever lived has now had an opportunity to freely come to Jesus. Called by God during their first life, some were blessed by successfully struggling against Satan to become kings and priests of God. Others were resurrected to a second physical life where they decided if they would follow Jesus or not. Those who followed Satan into rebellion against God were killed by fire. Everyone who has ever lived have now had their call to follow Jesus, either during their first or second life.

It’s at this point where the verses my friend pointed out to me come into play. This is when God puts an end to all evil forever, as all those alive have chosen to follow Jesus in the ways of love, death and hell are cast into the lake of fire as they will never be used by mankind again.

Revelation 20:14-15 King James Version (KJV)

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

*Some scoff at my beliefs of a second life for mankind. I think it’s important to remember that before we can have a second death, we would need to have a second life. That’s why those who are in the first resurrection at the return of Jesus cannot be hurt by the second death, they are resurrected into immortal bodies like Jesus has, not a mortal one that can die.

Revelation 20:6 King James Version (KJV)

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

*However, there are still people to deal with. Those who were called by God but didn’t effectively put their talents to use in following Jesus during this first life, will now be resurrected back into a mortal body to give an accounting to God for their decisions, in what I call, the third and final resurrection. Not being found in the book of life they will be cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15 King James Version (KJV)

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

*Like in the teaching of the sheep and the goats or the wheat and the tares, those who believe in Jesus are separated into two groups. The good ones have already been resurrected into glorious bodies at the return of Jesus. When the others, who are resurrected into physical bodies are thrown into the lake of fire, they will die for the last time, their second death. Having only received a physical life from God, this last death will last for all eternity.

Luke 9:62 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plough and then looks behind him is useless for the kingdom of God.”

*There will be no one left for God to resurrect back to life, as all of humanity will have now had their one opportunity to accept Jesus as their savior. This is also when a second verse from my friend takes place. Those who die in the lake of fire will be dead for all eternity. Being dead they will know nothing, feel nothing, think nothing. They will be nothing for ever. Their punishment will be eternal; not eternal punishing. Those who decide to follow Jesus will have eternal life, the opposite experience.

Matthew 25:46 New International Version (NIV)

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

*The last scripture is an overview of the end time. Some who are asleep will awaken when Jesus returns, others at the second resurrection where they will be called to Jesus for the first time. In the third resurrection others will be resurrected only to give an accounting for themselves. Everyone will be resurrected back to life, some to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt.

Daniel 12:2 New International Version (NIV)

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

*I believe the Bible is the true word of God. If it appears to be contradictory, then we are misunderstanding the scripture. Therefore, all scripture must be accounted for and understood so all scripture can be understood in harmony. I believe the only way to seamlessly fit verses like Romans 6:23 or John 3:15-17 into end time events, is to understand how the resurrections take place.

Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 3:15-17 King James Version (KJV)

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

*My friend and I both agree that those who love Jesus will be with him for all eternity, while those who choose not to follow Jesus will be eternally punished. We both believe God will not, nor cannot, force sentient, free thinking humans to love and obey him. That’s something we must decide to do for ourselves.

This series of resurrections is the only Bible based process I’ve found, where everyone who has ever lived gets to come to know and freely choose Jesus for themselves. Christians have a great opportunity ahead of them in the kingdom of God as they teach the bulk of humanity about the love of Jesus, ultimately sharing it with all the children of God forever.

Luke 1:33 King James Version (KJV)

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Isaiah 9:7 King James Version (KJV)

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.