Two Deaths Two Resurrections
TWO DEATHS TWO RESURRECTIONS
This is a very interesting passage of scripture because in these few verses Jesus speaks of two deaths, one that has already taken place for all of us with the exception of the young, and one which will take place for everyone.
- And He speaks of two resurrections, one of which has taken place for most of us here this morning and one that will someday take place for all of us.
- And the thing that is really interesting is that if you are not part of the first resurrection mentioned in this passage the second resurrection will not be good for you.
- So, you and I want to make sure that we are a part of the first resurrection.
So, to begin let me explain the first death and resurrection that Jesus mentions here.
Now, in the overall context of this chapter Jesus is telling these Jews who, in vs. 16, were persecuting Him for healing a man on the Sabbath who had been sick for 38 years.
- And in this discourse from vs. 18-47 Jesus tells these Jews that He is God.
- He is not saying that He displaces God.
- He is not saying that He is another God; or that He is a different God.
- He is telling them that He is God; that He and the Father are One.
- And if these Jews have any hope of salvation; if you and I have any hope of salvation we must believe that.
- Now, vs. 25 and the first death and resurrection mentioned in this passage.
25 “Truly, truly, I say to you…
- Notice He once again says, “Truly, Truly.” What that means is He is fearlessly speaking the resolute truth! It is like He is saying, “Do you want to know the truth? Well, here it is!” “This is no joke!”
- “Truly, Truly” is an expression of authority.
So He says, “I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.”
Now, in this verse you might think that Jesus is talking about the final, end of the world resurrection of the dead when He returns someday.
- You might think that if it wasn’t for those two words “now is.”
- Those two words mean that He is not talking about the end of time resurrection; what He is talking about is happening now!
Look what He says again: “An hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.”
- The “dead” here is not talking about those who are physically dead. He is not talking about dead people in the physical sense. He is talking about people who are alive physically but “dead” spiritually; dead because of their trespasses and sin.
- And the only way that they “will live” is if they “hear His voice.”
And this isn’t a general hearing; this is effectual hearing of the heart; this is not just receiving information, this is receiving information that causes a transformation; that causes changes.
- Remember the Parable of the Sower when Jesus speaks of “seed that falls on the good soil” and when the people “heard the word they accepted it, and they brought forth fruit, 30, 60, a hundredfold.”
- That is the kind of hearing that Jesus speaks of here.
- When an individual who is spiritually dead because of sin, effectually hears His voice, that individual is resurrected so to speak, and is made alive.
- There is only One voice that can do that.
But, what if an individual is dead in their sins and does not “hear Jesus’ voice; does not hear His word; He refuses to hear; He refuses to let that word transform Him; what happens?”
- If he is never made alive, he is still dead.
Jesus says basically this same thing in vs. 24. Look what He says: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has (present tense) eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed (past completed action) out of death (spiritually dead because of sin) into life.
So, every one of us when we were old enough to know what sin is, when we committed that sin we were separated from God, we were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1); but when we “heard His voice; when we heard the word and obeyed that word; and let that word transform us; we passed out of death into life.”
- We were dead (that is the first death mentioned in this passage) and we were made alive (that is the first resurrection mentioned in this passage).
Now, look at the second death and resurrection mention in this passage. Look at vs. 28.
“Do not marvel at this (this points back to vs. 26-27 where Jesus says that “His Father gave Him the prerogative of bestowing life to all things; and to have authority to execute judgment. Once again Jesus is saying that He and the Father are One.
So, He says, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, 29 and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
Here is the second death and resurrection mentioned in these verses and this one is about the final, end of time resurrection and judgment.
- “Every person who has or will ever live on this earth will experience this.”
- When this fleshly body goes into the grave, or disappears into the sea, or is destroyed by wind or fire that is not the end. I do not profess to know how the Lord will do it, but everyone who ever lived on this earth will be raised from the dead.
- And the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:42-44 that when that resurrection takes place we will receive an “imperishable body”; a spiritual body.
- John tells us in 1 John 3:2 that “it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.” Only that we will be “like Him when He appears.”
So, we could discuss it all day long what exactly is that going to be like and what kind of body we will have; but what we do know for certain is “everyone who has or will ever live on this earth will be raised from the dead.”
- And from what Jesus says in vs. 29 when that resurrection takes place there are only two possibilities: a resurrection to life;
- 1 Peter 1:3 tells us what his is. He says: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
- Revelation 21:4 indicates that God Himself shall be there, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;
- We cannot imagine or comprehend what “the resurrection to life” will be like.
- That is the first possibility.
And the second possibility is a “resurrection to judgment”, a word that could also be translated “condemnation.”
- This would be a separation away from God; from His love; from His care; from His provision; a separation from heaven.
- Jesus in Matthew 22:13 uses descriptive terms like “outer darkness and the weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
- And in Matthew 18:9 He speaks of a “fiery hell.”
- In Mark 10 He speaks of a place “where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched.”
- In Philippians 3:19 the apostle Paul says that those who are “enemies of Christ will end in destruction.”
- I don’t know exactly what being “resurrected to judgment” literally means; will there literally be an unquenchable fire; will there literally be worms that never die; I don’t know.
- What I do know is “being resurrected to judgment” is so bad that no one should ever want to go there;
So the two possibilities that Jesus speaks of here in vs. 28-29 is a “resurrection to life, and a resurrection to judgment” and do you know what is going to determine which of the two it will be for you and I?
- It will all depend on whether or not we have heard His voice, heard His word and let that word transform us so that we have passed out of death into life.
If you or I are not raised to life in vs. 25, then we will not be raised to life in vs. 28-29 either.
So, I am going to ask each of you to hear the voice or word of Christ again and if your desire is to be resurrected to life, will you come afterwards.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Rom 10:9 If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;
Acts 2:38-39 “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2024