We can state emphatically that there are TWO RESURRECTIONS. There is the “resurrection of life” (for believers in Christ) and the “resurrection of condemnation” (for Christ-rejectors). Jesus spoke of this in John 5:28-29: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the RESURRECTION OF LIFE, and those who have done evil, to the RESURRECTION OF CONDEMNATION” (NKJV). We shall see other scriptures which teach that the “resurrection of life” is the FIRST RESURRECTION and that 1,000 years later the “resurrection of condemnation” (the SECOND RESURRECTION) shall occur. Many have wrongly assumed from the Lord’s words that there is one resurrection and they teach that “this is a general resurrection resulting in two destinations.” But I trust we will all see that there are indeed two resurrections with two destinations separated by 1,000 years. It should also be pointed out that the Lord was NOT teaching that one is raised to eternal life BASED ON GOOD WORKS nor was He teaching that one is raised to condemnation BASED ON EVIL DEEDS. One is saved and given eternal life BASED ON FAITH IN CHRIST and one is condemned BASED ON NOT BELIEVING IN CHRIST. We see this taught in John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Good works in the believer is simply proof that they have been saved (Ephesians 2:8-10) and evil deeds are what characterize the unbeliever (Ephesians 2:2-3 and Titus 3:3).

1) The RESURRECTION OF LIFE (the FIRST RESURRECTION). This resurrection was taught by the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:20-23: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one in his own order: CHRIST THE FIRSTFRUITS, AFTERWARDS THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING. What we learn here is that there are stages involved in the First Resurrection: 1) Christ is the FIRST One who was raised to life; 2) Believers will be the raised “at His coming.” Believers include Old Testament saints and believers who died during the present Church Age. They will be resurrected when He comes to take His church home to heaven…see 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18). Believers also include those who will be martyred during the Tribulation Period. They are raised when Christ comes in power and glory to establish His kingdom. All of these believers are referred to in Revelation 20:4-6: “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

2) The RESURRECTION OF CONDEMNATION (the SECOND RESURRECTION). We just saw that the FIRST RESURRECTION includes the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of believers at the Rapture, and the resurrection of Tribulation saints when Christ comes to set up His kingdom. We also saw that “the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” Who are “the rest of the dead?” Clearly, they are all unbelievers who died without believing in God’s salvation through Christ. After the thousand-year reign of Christ comes to an end they will be “raised to condemnation.” This is taught to us in Revelation 20:11-15, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw THE DEAD, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And THE DEAD were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up THE DEAD who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up THE DEAD who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” It is obvious that THE DEAD are all those who did not have a part in the “first resurrection.” They all DIED IN UNBELIEF and thus they “died in their sins” (see John 8:24). The Book of Life will reveal that their names are not there and the other books will reveal all of their evil deeds. Their “lack of faith” in Christ condemns them to the lake of fire” and their “evil deeds” will determine their “degree of punishment in the lake of fire.”  (DO)  (550.3)