What in the World is Going to Happen? - Resurrections

Dr. Steve Viars May 29, 1990


- last week we began talking about the millennial kingdom

- we said that this was a major Bible theme and we talked

  about some very important things

- I'd like to begin tonight by reviewing a couple of the main



1)  What is the millennium? (1000 year rule of Christ on this

    earth following the tribulation)


2) What was one of the main reasons we highlighted last

    week for expecting a coming kingdom sometime in the

    future?  (old testament propmises which haven't been



3) We also said that, even though everyone has the same

   Bible, not everyone believed in a future millennium.  What

   were the three "millennial options" we discussed?

   (a-millennial, post-millennial, & pre-millennial)


4) What do each of these options mean?

   (amillennial - no future kingdom)

   (postmillennial - church ushers in kingdom, Christ returns


   (premillennial - Christ returns to this earth and

      establishes his kingdom)


5) What did we say was the main issue that determined which

   of these "milennial options" a person believed in?



6) What are three ways to interpret Scripture that we


   (literal method, spiritualizing method, critical method)


7) How did we tie this together with the three groups,

   amillennialists, premillennialists, liberals

    liberal - literal but wrong

    amil - right but must be spiritualized

    premil - literal and right


8)  What verse did we go to in the NT to show how believing

    in a premillennial return of Christ should affect us

    today?  (Col. 1:13 - "Who hath delivered us from the

    power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom

    of his dear son)


        - we said that while we are not technically living in

          the kingdom of God today, Paul could certainly make

          this statement because we are personally related to

          the king

        - it doesn't do much good to believe in a

          premillennial return of Christ unless we're working

          hard at kingdom living here and now--

            - that is looking for more and more ways to be

              submissive to his lordship



- tonight we're going to deal with an event that happens at

  the beginning of the millennial kingdom -- one of the geat


- you might ask - why take up that subject?

   - answer is - because the book of Revelation makes a big

     point to connect these two events (turn to Rev. 20)


- while you're turning there - let me just say that this

  subject of the resurections opens up a whole list of


- For example:

   - is there such a thing as "soul sleep" where people who

     have died are in a state other than conscious existence?

   - what happened to the people in OT times who died without

     believing in Jehovah God? - where are they now?  - is

     anything going to happen to them in the future?

   - What happened to the people in OT times who died

     believing in Jehovah God?  Where are they now? - is

     anything going to happen to them in the future?

   - What about the people in NT times who didn't believe in

     Christ who have died? - where are they now? - ...

   - What about believers in NT times who have died?

   - What if one of us died tonight - where would we go?

     What would we be like?  What would our existence be


   - What if a person down the street died? - where would

     they go?  ...

   - what good is it to be able to answer all these



    - lets see what this passage has to say about these


- read Rev. 20:1-6


I.  Where Are The People Who Have Already Died Today?


    - how that question is answered depends completly on

      whether or not the person was a believer


    A.  The Saved


        1.  the body separates from the immaterial part of

            man at death.  Jesus makes it clear that a person

            can live without a body.

              - Luke 23:43 - to thief on the cross - this day

                            shalt thou be with me in paradise


        2.  The immaterial part of man goes to be with God

            until the resurrection.

              - Ecc. 12:7 - then shall the dust return to the

                 earth as it was, and the spirit shall return

                 unto God, who gave it

              - II Cor. 5:8 - we are confident, I say, and

                 willing rather to be absent from the body

                 and to be present with the Lord


        3.  There is  a conscious existence of both the

            righteous and wicked, even though one has not yet

            been united with his/her resurrected body.

              - Luke 16 - rich man and beggar Lazarus -

                 neither had resurrected bodies but both were

                 alive and able to communicate

    B.  The Unsaved


        - just like the saved, they have conscious existence

          during an intermediate state before the

          resurrection of their bodies


        1.  They are in torment

            - Luke 16:23 - "And in hades he lifted up his

                            eyes, being in torment"


        2.  They are under punishment

            - II Peter 2:9 (NASB) - "The Lord knows how to

               rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep

               the unrighteous under punishment for the day

               of judgement"


    - point is that every person who has died and every

      person who will die prior to the end times will be in

      an "intermediate state" in the sense that they have not

      yet received their resurrection bodies

    - thats what the verses in Rev. 20 are talking about

    - verses 4 and 5 talked about different resurrections

      because verse 4 mentions a group who will be raised,

      but then verse 5 talks about those who won't be raised

      till 1000 years later


    - so that leads us to the question - how many

      resurrections are there?


II.  How Many Kinds of Resurrections Are There?    


    - lets let Daniel answer that question:


    - read Daniel 12:2


    - Daniel talks about two resurrections - lets see how

      that compares to what Jesus said:


    - John 5:29 (read)


    - so the Scripture makes it clear that every person is

      going to be resurrected - those who are saved to the

      resurrection of life--those who are lost to the

      resurrection of judgement


    - so, the answer to the question, how many resurrections

      are there is two,


    - Now we've already seen that these two ressurections

      don't take place at the same time

         - INPUT - where did we see that? (Rev. 20:4-5)


    - Now, (please don't answer this next question, but I'd

      like you to think about it

          - has the first ressurection taken place yet?


          - be careful on this one - Do you remember what

            heresy Hymenaeus and Alexander taught? (that the

            resurrection had already past - II Tim. 2:18)


          - so the first resurrection hasn't already past,

            but it has started

    - the point is - the first ressurection doesn't take

      place all at the same time


III.  What Is The Order of the Ressurections?


    - please turn to I Cor. 15 (read 20-24)


    A.  First


        INPUT - who is the first person to be raised in the

                first ressurection? (Christ)


        1.  Christ - I Cor. 15:23


        2.  they that are Christ's at His coming


            a.  Church age believers at the rapture


                I Thess. 4:13-18


            b.  OT saints and tribulation saints after the



                Rev. 20:4


    B.  Second


        INPUT - when did we see that the second ressurection

                would take place?


              - after the millennium


    - the point of what we've seen so far is this:

        - Christ is going to establish his millennial kingdom

          using believers, both Old and New Testament, to

          rule and reign with Him


        - that means, Andy here may be given charge over a

          section of Oklahoma and be assigned to work with

          Moses and Aaron


        - Pastor Dutton may be assigned to northern Libya

          with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego


        - Ranny Wright will probably be assigned to Paduka

          Kentucky with Baalam's donkey!


    - now you might ask, well what will my body be like


    - the Scripture gives us some hints about that


IV.  What Is The Nature of the Ressurection Body?


    - Psalm 17:15


    A. Like Jesus

        (Phil. 3:21, I John 3:2)


        - by the way, that means we will eat in the

          millennium - how do we know that? (Christ ate a

          fish breakfast with the disciples after he had been


    B.  Tangible


        - could be seen and touched (Luke 24:36-43)

        - not made of flesh and blood (I Cor. 15:50)

        - made of a different flesh (I Cor. 15:39)


    C. Identifiable


        - I Cor. 15:38


    D.  Incorruptible


        - not subject to decay (I Cor. 6:13, 15:42-49)



- the last question we want to look at tonight is: Why did

  God give us all this information on the resurrection, and

  why did He tie it so closely with His description of the



V.  Implications of the Resurrections


    - I think we can find the answers to those questions in

      Rev. 20:6


    - read


    A.  You have nothing to fear


        - people are afraid of all kinds of things

            - heights, snakes, you name it - there a phobia

              that goes with it


        - but you know what folks are most afraid of - dying


        - have you ever thought about why that is?


        - I don't think its the pain associated with dying

          that scares folks as much as it is the uncertainty

             - not knowing what's going to happen next


        - John says that a person who has trusted Jesus

          Christ as Savior can be blessed, happy,

          secure...because the second death has no hold on



        - thats why Paul could write, "O death, where is thy

          sting, O grave, where is thy victory?  But thanks

          be to God, who giveth us the victory through our

          Lord Jesus Christ"


        - see, you have nothing to fear


        - that ought to put everything else in perspective


        - spoke last night to a friend from another state who

          works for a company that involved in an unfriendly

          merger (maybe you've been in a situation like that

          sometime in your career)


        - its a very fearful situation


        - the first thing the new management did to his

          department was fire half the workers and demote

          those they kept


        - he said working there has been an absolute



        - he never knows when he leaves for work that morning

          if thats going to be his last


        - but he's been able to handle it because he has some

          things that can't be taken away



        - there's great peace that comes from knowing you'll

          have part in the first resurrection


        - "they can take my job, they can take my livelihood

             - but my eternity's secure"


        - blessed and holy are those that have part in the

          first resurrection


    B.  You have a future


        - I think its interesting that the majority of the

          information on the resurrection is found in the

          book of I Cor.  and the book of Rev.


        - INPUT - what do we know about the church at

          Corinth?  (carnal, divisions, etc)


        - most of the Revelation churches had serious

          problems as well


        - God wants people to know, "You haven't messed up so

          bad that I can't use you"


        - if you'll trust Christ as Savior and Lord, there's

          a place for you in the kingdom of God


        - you've got a future


        - that truth ought to motivate us


        - God told churches like the one at Corinth and the

          Revelation churches about their futures because the

          more clearly a person sees his future, the more

          likely he is to change his present

        - see, show me a person who's willing to stand up for

          what's right even if it may cost them their job or

          their popularity

             - I'll show you someone who understands their



        - show me a person who's not just chasing after the

          world as if thats all there is to life

             - I'll show you someone who understands their



        - people who are wiling to make great sacrifices to

          serve God are people who understand their future


        - it would be good to get into the habit of asking

          the question:

               - is that any way for a future ruler with

                 Christ to be behaving?

                     ...thinking   ...speaking


    - see, you have a future


        - by the way - this subject has a way of putting this

          life in perspective


        - you might be here tonight and would say - Oh PV,

          I'm getting old - my work's about done


        - thats not what the Bible says, frankly, you've just



        - it doesn't matter how old you are, comparatively

          speaking, you're an infant


        - you've got a whole millennium to live through, and

          then all of eternity to praise the Savior


        - you've got a future, and you're just beginning


    C.  You have a productive future


        - if I asked you to fill in this blank tonight, how

          would you do it


        - the job I'd really like to have right now would be



        - the job where I could be most productive with my

          skills would be __________


        - maybe some would say


            - I'd like to be the comptroller of the company


            - I'd like to be the office manager


            - I'd like to be invited to work on the

              president's staff


       - think of the greatest position you could possibly



       - then remember this - you'll have a much greater

         position in the kingdom of God


       -the verse says that you'll be a priest of God and

          of Christ, reigning with him 1000 years


       - I think some folks view heaven as a place where

         they'll lay around and eat banana pudding


       - thats not what the Bible says

       - the Bible says that you'll be busy serving in the

         kingdom of God


       - but it will be much different than things today


       - you'll have a glorified body so you don't have to

         worry about the weakness of the flesh anymore


       - you'll have a perfect supervisor, the Lord Jesus



       - you'll be part of a government which is a perfect

         blend of mercy and truth


       - if you've trusted Christ as personal savior, you

         have a productive future ahead

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video