Let’s read Revelation 20:4, “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 worshiped 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” (NKJV). This verse is speaking of all those who will reign with Christ during His Millennial kingdom. It includes all the Old Testament saints, the saints that comprise the church of God, and those who were saved and killed for their faith in Christ during the 7-year Tribulation Period. Before they do reign with Christ, all those who had died will be raised from the dead. Scripture calls this the “first resurrection,” as we see in verses 5-6:

“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the FIRST RESURRECTION. Blessed and holy is he who has part in 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.”

If there is a “first resurrection,” it stands to reason that there must be a “second resurrection” and that it will take place one thousand years later. We saw that those who were part of the first resurrection are “blessed and holy,” and that “the second death has no power” over them. Again, it is logical to assume then that the “second resurrection” will include all those who died without believing in Jesus Christ and that instead of being blessed and holy; they will be cursed and will indeed experience the second death. Let’s see if Scripture supports this view.

In John 5:28-29 Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice; those who did the good deeds to a RESURRECTION OF LIFE, those who committed the evil deeds to a RESURRECTION OF JUDGMENT” (NASB). Here we see the TWO RESURRECTIONS; the first resurrection involves LIFE and the second resurrection JUDGMENT. No wonder the apostle John called those who participate in the first resurrection “blessed and holy,” for ETERNAL LIFE will be their portion. But those who are raised in the second resurrection will experience ETERNAL JUDGMENT in the lake of fire (as we shall see in our next portion).

In Revelation 20:11-12 we read: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away. And there was found no place of 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.” This solemn event is the “second resurrection” where all the “unsaved dead” will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ as He sits upon His throne of judgment. It takes place at the end of the one thousand year kingdom (as we saw in verse 5). The Lord Jesus will open the “Book of Life” (the Book which records the names of all who were given eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior) and He will show them that THEIR NAMES ARE NOT THERE! They will recall the times in their life that they had the opportunity to trust in Christ and be saved, but because they refused to accept the Savior they died in unbelief and they will be damned. This is brought out clearly in one of the most sobering verses in all of Scripture. I’m referring to verse 15, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” This is the “second death” (see verse 14 and Revelation 21:8), which will mean they (their body, soul and spirit) will be separated from God for all eternity. (260.5) (DO)