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by Wayne Blank
First, a review of the different resurrections as described in your Bible - see The Last Day and Predestination? (if knowledge of these resurrections is new to you, please go to your Bible, and prove it for yourself from the quoted Scriptures in The Word of God - don't just take my word for it!)
The First Resurrection
The people given the opportunity to understand through all the ages prior to The Return Of Jesus Christ - (a) those who repented will be resurrected if dead, or instantly changed if alive that day, to spirit, at the Return of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) and will reign with Him during the first 1,000 years of The Kingdom of God (last part of Revelation 20:4). (b) those who rejected God's offer of eternal life through the ages will remain dead until later (see below).
The Second Resurrection
Those who did not have the opportunity to learn and repent will be resurrected to physical life at the end of the 1,000 years and will be given their first opportunity to repent and obey (Revelation 20:4-5). Those who obey will be transformed into spirit just like those in the first resurrection. Those who refuse to repent will, like those who refused during the time prior to the Return of Jesus Christ, not be changed to spirit but will be cast into the lake of fire.
The Lake Of Fire
All of those previously described who refused God's offer of eternal life, after having been given the opportunity to repent, will be destroyed in the lake of fire, never having been resurrected or changed to spirit (Revelation 20:13-15). They will be completely destroyed, so utterly obliterated that it will be as though they never had been (Malachi 4:1-3).
One Fair Chance For All Who Have Ever Lived
Upon close examination, it becomes clear that everyone has only one chance to accept or reject God's offer of eternal life. There will be no favoritism, and no one will be left out - but sooner or later just one chance. The apostle Paul spoke clearly that there are no second chances -
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in The Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of The Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying The Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned." (Hebrews 6:4-8)
Is Evangelism Necessary Then?
Does this mean that ministers and evangelists need not work as hard? Not at all! They must still work just as hard, but the simple reality is, only those who are being called now will "have the ears" to hear now. Their responsibility right now is to those many millions of people, from all around the world, who are being offering the chance to be in the first resurrection.
Fact Finder: How did Jesus Christ describe events leading up to His Second Coming?