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Risen From the Dust: Conclusions

So then what is the conclusion that should be drawn from all of this, regarding these critical subjects of hell, heaven, and the Resurrection of the Dead?...


  • First, we should recognize that all people have a flesh body, and also a spiritual soul, that dwells within that flesh body.
  • When a person dies they do not literally sleep, but their soul leaves their body and goes to either one of two places. If they are redeemed from their sins, they go on to dwell in a state of life, with the Lord in heaven (see ch.4 Souls in Heaven). If they are not redeemed, they dwell in a state of death in Sheol, which is also called Hades in the New Testament.
  • All of the dead, both in heaven and Hades, are awaiting something called the Resurrection of the Dead. This Resurrection of the Dead is an unique event, that involves the receiving of an eternal spiritual body.
  • The Resurrection of the Dead is divided into two parts. There will be a resurrection of the saints when Christ returns at the seventh trumpet, and later, a resurrection of judgment.
  • The first resurrection that will happen is the resurrection of the saints. At this time, God's elect (both in heaven and on earth) will be raised up spiritually to an eternal inheritance with the Lord. Then, before the rest of the dead are resurrected, will come a period of time known as the millennium.
  • The millennium will be thousand year period of teaching and enlightenment, when the faithful rule with Christ over the world (see ch.25 Outer Darkness). During the millennium, the dead will be given an opportunity to hear the truth (see ch.26 Millennium Nations).
  • After the millennium, will come Judgment Day and the second resurrection. At this time, the rest of the dead will be resurrected into spiritual bodies for the purposes of a final judgment. The ones who are found worthy will enter into eternal life, but the wicked will be cast into the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels.
  • Those who cast into the Lake of Fire will not be eternally tormented, but rather they will experience a second death, continuing on as lifeless corpses.

On the subject of the afterlife, there is a whole spectrum of opinions among churches and scholars. Really this shouldn't be, because there is only one bible, which we are instructed to rightly divide. One must consider it as a whole, made up of working parts, to bring forth the true revelations from God on these important and often overlooked subjects. Christ has foretold us all things, and if we are willing to wipe the slate clean by rejecting vain traditions, and sit ourselves down at the feet of the Teacher, we can begin to grasp the truth that has been so deliberately laid out for us.



Comments

Doug Buckley      26 Jul 2011, 23:05

(I'm moving some comments over here where they fit better)

Craig      26 Jul 2011, 23:13

Doug,
I really have enjoyed your website. I am currently writing a book about hurdles to Christianity. One such hurdle is hell. It has always bothered me. It seems like an unbelievably harsh punishment. However, your explanations about the final death being almost instantaneous makes it much more humane (for lack of a better term).
I have always been amazed that hell is, essentially, not even mentioned in the Old Testament, other than the passing reference in Isaiah 66.
I am not a Bible scholar. I'm just a guy trying to get to the bottom of this.
A few questions for you:

1. Why was so very little spoken about hell in the OT? If this topic was so real, why virtually no mention of it in the OT?
2. Why did Jesus just matter-of-factly speak of hell as if everybody knew what he was talking about? In Matthew 5:29-30, Jesus for the first time mentions hell, as if everybody knew what it was. For a topic as important as hell, you wonder why he didn't spend a sermon preaching what it was, why it exists, and why it is necessary. Instead, we only get bits and pieces of people being thrown into hell.
3. What do you make of those parables where Jesus talks about guys being thrown into jail until they have paid the last penny owed (Matthew 5:23-26) or of the guy delivered to the torturers until he paid all that was owed (Matthew 18:23-35). These verses seem to suggest that there's a second chance for folks, or that hell may not be eternal.
4 Peter 3:19-20 tells us the Christ went to “proclaim to the spirits in prison” to those that “formerly did not obey.” It appears that Jesus was in hell preaching to people. Thereafter, it appears that Jesus (similar to his parables) released the captives from jail. Ephesians 4:7-10 says that Jesus descended “into the lower earthly regions” before he “ascended on high” while bringing “captives” with him.

Again, I am not a scholar. I genuinely don't know about these things. I have read them many times, but don't know what to make of them. What do you make of these passages of scripture?

David      26 Jul 2011, 23:14

Dear Craig,
As you have noticed, 1 Pet 3:19-20 does not say "preach" in the modern sense of the word but "proclaim", which may mean one or more of many things. Some have therefore concluded that this is the proclamation of victory, and the captives are those who had already believed in God, whom Jesus had freed from death based upon his redeeming death on the cross.

Grace be with you,
David

Craig      26 Jul 2011, 23:16

David, Thanks for the reply.

I don't think that 1 Peter 3:19 talks about Jesus proclaiming victory to captive believers. First, when do you ever refer to someone as a captive who is a friend that is held by you? In the story of Abraham's bosom, we learned that the poor guy was being comforted in his stay. That does not sound like a captive.

Second, 1 Peter 3:20 clearly talks about these captives as being the people from the flood who did not believe Noah. If we know anything about the people in Noah's time, it was that God was sorry that he made them. However, in 1 Peter 3:20 these are some of the captives that he was speaking to. Why would he go and preach to sinners in hell?

For the longest time I was always taught that Jesus went to preach to the believers who died before Christ came to earth. It was their chance to be born again. Now that I look at it, this just seems like Christian propaganda (for lack of a better term). However, 1 Peter 3:19-20 does not suggest that this was the case at all. I am not trying to start an argument. In fact, the thing that has absolutely impressed me about this website is how incredibly civil it is, considering the issue that is being discussed.

Doug Buckley      27 Jul 2011, 01:29

Hi Craig. Right now nonbelievers go to a place called Hades. In the future they will be released from there and be judged according to their works. Only the wicked will go into the Lake of Fire (Isaiah 66).

So false teachings about hell are a major hurdle to Christianity. False teachings such as all those who don't believe in Christ are doomed to eternal hell.

The Hebrew word for hell is Sheol, but its not always translated as hell, and it isn't explicity described in the OT. The bible often goes against our preconceptions of what it should tell us or focus on.

Jesus jumps into alot of teachings, such as the Kingdom of Heaven, as if we should know what he means. The bible often works with riddles and metaphors and snapshots, and we are left to put the pieces together. Its all there, but perhaps we value things more that we have to work at.

The passages you cited are about forgiving others as God has forgiven us, not eternal or temporary hell.

Jesus did go to Hades. 1st Peter 3:19-20, says that Jesus proclaims to the dead, probably about the future hope of the resurrection of the dead. Ephesians 4 does NOT teach that he led them into heaven, but says he took captivity captive. See my bible question about the gulf of hades.

Hope this helps, and I try to keep things civil, thanks for noticing.

Doug Buckley      27 Jul 2011, 02:48

comment moved to ch.18

Skye      03 Feb 2012, 16:29

Great site. You share truth in the simplicity of Jesus Christ. I am Blessed I landed here. Praise to God, it was no mistake. I will return.
God Bless You brother. Your sister,
Skye
Keep on u will Phil 4:13

Doug Buckley      04 Feb 2012, 22:52

Thanks Skye, its good to hear from you. I'm always glad when someone is blessed by the studies and writings here. God bless you to.
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