The order of the three coming resurrections, according to the Holy Scriptures, are as follows:
- The Secret Resurrection is of the members of “the Body of Christ,” which we call the Rapture.
This glorious resurrection will take place in the course of the Rapture of the Church (below). It will include those who are “in Christ” from the time of the Apostle Paul to the sound of “the trump” (cf. 1Cor. 15:51-53).
“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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
“For our (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious (resurrection) body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV)
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (our physical body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house (a body) not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)
“If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him (Christ)…” (2 Tim. 2:12)
- “The First Resurrection” is of the deceased prophetic Kingdom Believers who are to co-reign with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom come on earth.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death (in the lake of fire) hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 (KJV)
After the Rapture of “the church… the body of Christ” to dwell in heaven and the subsequent seven-year Tribulation Period Judgments on earth run their course, they will be followed by the Second Coming of Christ to save the believers of Israel and set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth. At that time, Christ will resurrect the “Kingdom to come” believers of time past, along with the martyrs of the terrible 7-year Tribulation Period, to usher them in and reign with Him in His Millennial Kingdom (John 5:28-29; I Cor. 15:23; Rev. 17:6; 20:6). Christ’s Millennial Reign will be followed by the Eternal Kingdom on the restored, “New Earth” (Rev 21:1); but first must come the final judgment at “the Great White Throne.”
- The “Resurrection of the Damned unto the “Second Death” will occur at the end of all ages.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 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. (Revelation 20:11-15 (KJV)
These are they, “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2 Thessalonians 1:9 (KJV)
This event occurs immediately after the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth and prior to the eternal kingdom on the New Earth. In that day the unsaved lost souls of all ages, will be resurrected from the dead to “stand” at the Great White Throne Judgment, where they will be found in their sins and judged accordingly unto eternal destruction (Jn. 5:29; Rom. 2:4-6; 1Cor. 15:24-26; 2Thes. 1:9; Rev. 20:5, 11-15; 21:8).
We can be sure that a day of reckoning and a day of eternal blessing is soon coming to this world and to the dead of all ages. Though God has been patient for several thousand years… none will escape justice due!
Thankfully, all those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior during today’s age of grace have been delivered from “the wrath to come” and from the Great White Throne (Rom. 5:9). We and all those we know need to believe to receive Christ’s freely offered salvation… by faith in His Cross where He fully paid our sin-debt… otherwise, unbelievers will slip away into a Christ-less eternity where all hope is lost.