Christian Church of God - Grand Junction, Colorado

We believe in three Resurrections: the righteous to everlasting Life; the un-called to a resurrection of physical life (following the millennium); and the incorrigibly wicked to everlasting Death in the Lake of Fire.

Among the six foundational principles of the Doctrine of Christ that we find listed in Hebrews chapter 6 we find reference to “the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.” These six are offered as the foundation necessary for us to ‘go on to perfection’. Our question should be, is it to a personal perfection OR is it to a doctrinal perfection? The fact that they are listed in a particular order should draw our attention to the realization that it is BOTH!

Now, the ‘going on to perfection’ exhortation is not within the order of the other six. If perfection were to be set within the sequence of the six, it would be placed between our receipt of God’s Spirit and our resurrection. In other words, the process of our becoming perfected would occur within the span of our Christian lifetimes. Being not placed within, we’re left to see ‘perfecting’ as a process, that must encompass all of these principles, we are to experience:

  1. Repentance from dead (or death-producing) works,
  2. Development of Faith toward God,
  3. Undergoing Baptism, symbolizing remission of sins,
  4. Having hands laid upon us, for the receipt of God's Spirit,
  5. Each of these as a pre-condition to our experiencing:
  6. The Resurrection from the dead, and
  7. Being Judged worthy of Eternal Life.

But, the process of salvation is not the objective of this Statement. The above is presented only to show the relevance of the Resurrection Doctrine as it involves our being brought into a state of perfection and ultimately the receipt of Eternal Life.

    In the Statement above, three important events are listed:
  1. The resurrection of the dead in Christ coincident with the Second Coming,
  2. The resurrection of the dead who died without having the opportunity for salvation after the millennium, and
  3. A resurrection in which all who have ever lived will be sentenced to their just and due destiny: Life or Death.

The average Christian, when thoughtfully considering the Resurrections Doctrine, will notice a conflict with what is typically represented in the churches as being our ultimate destiny. Most teach our immediate reception into Heaven (or that other place) at the moment of our death. Under that expectation, it leaves us with a major question: What NEED is there for a resurrection, let alone more than one? Yet we see clearly that there is to be a resurrection before the millennial age and another after it. (Rev. 20:5-6) In order to understand this Biblical Truth (one of the six foundational principles of the Doctrine of Christ) we must understand exactly why! While religion in general leaves this matter aside, the Bible is in fact quite specific. We CAN understand this as Christ was emphatically clear!

Does the Soul Sleep? The major premise of the Heaven & Hell expectation is that the human ‘soul’ remains fully conscious after death. After all, why go to heaven if not aware of being there? A great many religious denominations speak against those who hold to what they call a “soul sleep” theology. Yet, it is within the realm of this view that we can find logical answers to the obvious questions. If a person has been in heaven for some period of time, why would he or she need to be resurrected and what would change? A related question would be that since our receipt of our immortal bodies doesn’t occur until the Second Coming (2nd Ths. 4:13-17) in what form does a person in heaven exist? IF that form is perfectly adequate in that situation what further need is there for another body at some point afterward?

Considering the above referenced passage and others, we are provided a more correct framework with which to address these questions. This tells us what Paul and the early Church understood: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2nd Cor. 5:10) Paul places the judgment as being necessary prior to the receipt of our new body. He places the judgment at the onset of the Kingdom. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” (1st Tim. 1:4)

Revelation 11:15-18 also confirms the timeframe of the ‘first’ resurrection: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world…

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