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Choices and Decisions
by Wayne Blank
"all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation"
The Messiah confronted the scribes and Pharisees for what some of them were - hypocrites (not all were bad; some became great Christians, such as the apostle Paul, a former Pharisee who wrote much of what became the New Testament - see Pharisees). They knew better, but blatantly didn't do better. And even worse, they knowingly led others away from the truth. They privately admitted that they knew that Jesus was of God e.g. "we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do, unless God is with Him" (John 3:2 KJV) but later "And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils." (Matthew 12:23-24 KJV). Christ had nothing good to say to them because there was nothing good to say about them.
"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matthew 23:13-15 KJV)
It was those hypocrites that the Christ said faced the "damnation of hell." The original Greek word in that verse translated as "hell" is Gehenna. To understand the different meanings of "hell" in the Bible see Where Is Hell?.
"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:33 KJV)
The Lord also described when all of the incorrigible wicked, not just those few Pharisees, will face damnation - when they are resurrected. Again, see "When Will You Be Judged" in the Fact Finder question below.
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29 KJV)
Fact Finder: How is it that different times of resurrection mean different times of judgment?