“…He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:31. The period of the judgment of the entire world is here represented as one day. It is this all important day that we would like to consider.
The Just to Be Resurrected on the Last Day
“…There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:15. Martha understood the resurrection of the just to take place in the day under consideration: “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jn. 11:24. “…and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn. 6 verses 40, 44, and 54.
The last day then is the time when the resurrection of the just will occur. This will be a blessed day indeed for all of the faithful in Christ, for these shall be made evermore alive. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Cor. 15:22. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” I Cor. 15:52. Those who are alive at the time of Christ’s appearing shall be changed, and those who have died in the Lord shall be resurrected. Again we understand by the foregoing scriptures that this resurrection of the just takes place on the last day.
The Unjust Will Be Resurrected on the Same Day as the Just
The resurrection of the unjust is also referred to as a day. However, the day of their resurrection is a woeful day–a day when they shall reap the wrath of God for their refusal to live according to the gospel of His dear Son.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Rom. 2:16. “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Rom. 2:5. For the unjust this day is a day of eternal suffering, loss, and no hope. “…When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
But when will this resurrection and judgment for the unjust transpire? “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Jn. 12:48. The resurrection and final pronunciation of the fate of all the unjust–to face the judgment throne of God–occurs in the last day, as also does the resurrection of the just.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…” Matt. 25:31-41.
At the day of Christ’s appearing, all nations will be gathered unto Him for judgment. Those who have followed Him in this life, being justified by faith through His blood, will at that time be set on His right hand to inherit eternal glory. At the same time, those who did not obey His gospel will be placed on His left hand for the declaration of their sentence into everlasting fire. This judgment is proclaimed on the exact same day which is termed in scripture as one day, due to its accomplishment being at the same time for all people, both the saved and unsaved.
“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.” Jn. 5:28-29. There is one general resurrection and all of the dead, both the just and unjust, will be partakers of the same. One will be resurrected to eternal life, the other to that of eternal damnation. This is one event in which two classes of people receive their rewards. By these texts, we are again made to see clearly that the resurrection of the just and the unjust happens simultaneously, on what is referred time and again as the last day.
What then happens after the dead are raised? “Then cometh the end…” I Cor. 15:24. Of a one thousand year reign when Christ will set up His kingdom, we can only state that we find no biblical cause to promote such a notion. On the contrary, we find that the end, this last great resurrection day, is followed by the delivering up of the kingdom to God. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father…” I Cor. 15:24. What irony that the teaching of the religious world is that Christ will come back to set up His kingdom, when the scripture makes it plain that at His coming Christ will not set up His kingdom at all, but rather deliver it up to God.
According to Col. 1:12-13, the Christians have already been translated into this kingdom at the time of their new birth. They reign in this life, being washed in the blood of the Lamb and have been made kings and priests–such are the just. These will reap eternal glory in the last day.
Others do not obey the gospel, being sinners, and have no part in the kingdom of God–such are the unjust. These will be outside of the kingdom on the last day in the same manner as they lived outside of the kingdom in this life. Therefore, when the kingdom is delivered up to God, they will be evermore separated from God. “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power …” II Thess. 1:7-9. All of this will occur “…When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…” vs. 10.
The last day is a day when the saints will evermore rejoice, being forever in the unhindered presence of God. It will be one long, eternal woe for those who obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, being eternally banished and without hope. There is but one general resurrection for both the just and unjust.
We, as Christians, cannot, in the face of so many clear passages from the holy scriptures, afford to entertain thoughts that are contrary to the plain Word of God for abstract interpretations or theories on a few misunderstood passages. We must not allow Satan to dull our urgency of being prepared and preparing souls for this last great day.
We cannot advance a so-called gospel which infers a second chance, or confusing and mysterious events which must first occur before we reach the end. There is no opportunity, no hope for anyone–not one soul–after this day! It is appointed, and all who have ever lived will be resurrected, both the just and unjust, to receive their eternal reward in that last great day.