Bible Answer

Explaining the resurrections in the Bible

Please explain all the resurrections God has planned. Who is resurrected at each?

The Bible speaks of a First and Second Resurrection in God’s plan for all humanity. The first resurrection begins with Jesus Christ, Who Paul calls the first fruits of the (first) resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:20:

1Cor. 15:20  But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

Following Christ, the Church saints are resurrected at the Rapture (1Cor 15:52-53), which is the next stage of the First Resurrection. Later the 2 Witnesses are resurrected during Tribulation (Rev 11:11-12), followed lastly by the Old Testament saints (Dan 12:1-2). Collectively, these events are called the “First Resurrection” in Revelation 20:5, because this resurrection is limited to the saints of God. 

Following the resurrection of all believers, a second resurrection will take place at the conclusion of the 1,000 year Kingdom according to Revelation 20:5. This resurrection is reserved for all unbelievers from Cain until the final soul dies in sin. Revelation 20:12 describes the moment of the second resurrection for all unbelievers. 

Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

For a complete understanding of these events, we recommend you listen to our entire Revelation Bible study.