From the Old Testament, to the New, the faithful followers of God have always trusted that the giver of life would not leave the dead in their graves, but would raise them back to life at a future time. They didn’t believe they would be whisked off to be with God as soon as they died. They understood that they would be in their graves for a time and then be awoken back to life later on, when God was ready.
Isaiah 26:19 New International Reader’s Version
19 Lord, your people who have died will live again. Their bodies will rise from the dead. Let those who lie in the grave wake up and shout for joy. You give life, Lord, like the dew of the morning. So the earth will give up its dead people.
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 International Children’s Bible
8 Brothers, we want you to know about the trouble we suffered in the country of Asia. We had great burdens there that were greater than our own strength. We even gave up hope for life. 9 Truly, in our own hearts we believed that we would die. But this happened so that we would not trust in ourselves. It happened so that we would trust in God, who raises people from death. 10 God saved us from these great dangers of death. And he will continue to save us. We have put our hope in him, and he will save us again.
The early followers of Jesus didn’t have a full picture of how God would resurrect the dead until John recorded his vision which revealed how Jesus would return to the earth. During his ministry Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. The book of Revelation describes how that Kingdom will arrive and how God comes to dwell with humanity. How do you help spread the gospel that Jesus came to preach? What do you understand about the Kingdom of God and how it arrives to mankind? Can you find Bible verses that support your beliefs for those who ask? Are any of those verses contradicted by other scripture?
Revelation 1:1-2 King James Version
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Luke 4:43 GOD’S WORD Translation
43 But he said to them, “I have to tell the Good News about God’s kingdom in other cities also. That’s what I was sent to do.”
Matthew 24:14 King James Version
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.