PROPHECY HEADLINES: Showdown looms as massive Russian ‘aid convoy’ heads for Ukraine border | U.S. begins sending arms to Kurds in Iraq | Netanyahu says United States is ‘ultimate target’ of Islamic radicals | Chaldean Patriarch cites ‘deplorable situation’ among 130k Christian refugees in Iraq | U.S. urges China and its neighbors to resolve disputes and avert another crisis
The Bible says in Luke 17:28-30: “As it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
PROPHECY BOOTCAMP: “The Two Stages of the First Resurrection (Part 1)” from Dr. Tim LaHaye
The Bible is a book of life — eternal life. Yet we are faced every day with the reality of death, from the deaths of babies to the deaths of elderly people. The only way to correlate these two contrasting states of life and death is to remember that all the dead will eventually be resurrected. We have already seen that our Lord’s bodily resurrection guarantees the Christian’s eventual resurrection.
It is important to realize that there are two resurrections in Scripture: the first resurrection (also called “the resurrection unto life”) and the second resurrection (which is the same as “the resurrection of damnation,” or judgment). Daniel, the great Old Testament prophet, associated both of these resurrections with the time of the end, when “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” Then he added, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
The first resurrection is not a single event, but takes place in two stages that are separated by at least seven years. The first stage of the first resurrection is the rapture of the church, which, as we have already seen, includes both living and dead Christians. When the Lord shouts for His church from heaven, He will resurrect the dead in Christ (all those who “sleep in Jesus”). “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Very simply, this means that all those who have received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, whether living or dead at the time He comes in the air to rapture His church, will be a part of this first stage of the first resurrection. The most comforting aspect of this resurrection is the promise that no matter what happens after that, we will “always be with the Lord.”
What many people don’t seem to realize is that the first resurrection has two stages. After the first stage, millions of people will yet call upon the name of the Lord and be saved, principally during the seven-year Tribulation. Then, when our Lord comes to this earth to set up His 1,000-year kingdom of righteousness, He will resurrect the remaining believers.
OCCUPY TILL I COME: “Waiting on the Second Coming — Whatever Became of Integrity (Part 7)” by Ray C. Stedman
MUSICAL SELECTION: “The King is Coming” by Newsboys