We’re leaving, are you coming?
I recently found an old Marco Polo conversation on my phone from 2018. It was a group of us that had all moved to Hawaii together. One of the people in the group titled the conversation, “God Speaks.” While I was listening to the dialoguing conversations, I found Ken talking on one of them. Ironically, he was speaking on one of his favorite subjects. The resurrection.
When I think resurrection, probably most of us think of when Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. But Ken would also reference the other resurrection that Jesus talks about in 1 Thessalonians 4, it’s where he talks about coming back to resurrect us all, from the dead. The good, the bad and the ugly. ALL people that have died from the beginning of time. Now I don’t know about you but this has always been mind boggling to me.
Ok, so here is the conversation from Ken. And I decided to repeat it basically word for word just the way he said it, it’s more authentic that way and if you know Ken then this will make sense. We had just been in Oahu at the hospital during a long hard week visiting with our dear friend Jesse who was 32 years old and teetering between life and death.
“Its healing then not healing.”
“Gods purposes? etc. It made me think.”
“All the different odds and all the ups and downs. He lives not to be healed per say, although we are all living for that, we fight for it. To be healed if we’re sick. We find ourselves bombarding the throne of heaven asking for that, but his hope is not in healing, it’s in the resurrection. I get so excited by that, it’s the resurrection and the world to come.
That’s why Jesus came. That’s why.
Is to redeem himself a people, and then beyond that to take back everything.
And giving us a new heaven and a new earth. Thats our hope.
It’s not even that we’re gonna be healed up for a short span here. Because we might not be.
But we Are gonna be raised up again someday and it’s gonna be these bodies that are gonna be raised. These physical bodies that we know so well here. These tents were borrowing while here on earth. And I find that so amazing.” Ken.
As I’ve been reflecting this, it’s quite astounding to me that Ken always talked so much about how these bodies will someday be resurrected. He was a beautiful artist and he loved the human body. He drew it often. All aspects of people from athletes in football to basketball, baseball and dancers. You name it, he drew it. And he loved it. It was his passion. He would reference how much these bodies were on loan to us and that someday these same bodies will be resurrected and made perfect as they were always meant to be since the garden of eden. The beginning of time. He would talk about no more ailments, no more blindness or deafness. No more pain or handicaps. No more aging or sickness. With all the talk he did about the hope of these things, I find great comfort now that he is gone to grasp hold of the truth of what he said. Often! He not only believed it, he lived it and he drew it. He lived it with all of his heart mind and soul. And now he’s living it for real. In heaven. Waiting for the day our bodies will join our spirits in heaven.
I’ve gone on to find the various verses that talk about our resurrection from the dead. I like to read different versions because even though the meaning is the same, some of the different ways it’s worded resonates with me and helps me better understand. And also I don’t want to miss any part of the importance of whats being said. If it’s helpful, here is the same verse in several different versions.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
The New International version-verse 16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
King James version -16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
New Living Translation-16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.
New King James version-16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
New Century version-16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first.
American standard version- 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
God’s word translation-16 The Lord will come from heaven with a command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet ⌊call⌋ of God. First, the dead who believed in Christ will come back to life.
New revised standard version-16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
New International Reader’s version-16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven. We will hear a loud command. We will hear the voice of the leader of the angels. We will hear a blast from God’s trumpet. Many who believe in Christ will have died already. They will rise first.
New American Standard — 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
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I also found some other references from the bible regarding resurrection and end times.
Daniel 12:2 summarizes the two very different fates facing mankind: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Everyone will be raised from the dead, but not everyone will share the same destiny.
Revelation 20:4–6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals. The first resurrection, then, is the raising of all believers. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29).
The first resurrection takes place in various stages. Jesus Christ Himself (the “first fruits,” 1 Corinthians 15:20), paved the way for the resurrection of all who believe in Him. There will be the resurrection of “the dead in Christ” at the Lord’s return (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and the resurrection of the martyrs at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4).
Revelation 20:12–13 identifies those comprising the second resurrection as the wicked judged by God at the great white throne judgment prior to being cast into the lake of fire. The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).
The event which divides the first and second resurrections seems to be the millennial kingdom. The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).
What great rejoicing will attend the first resurrection! What great anguish at the second! What a responsibility we have to share the Gospel! “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 23).
I always have to say that whether we believe or not doesn’t affect the truth of it. If it’s true then it’s true whether we believe or not believe. But what does affect us is what we decide to do with it. Now that you know the truth, it’s up to you to decide. God waits. And He waits patiently. He cries for you to come to Him. He died for you to come to Him. He resurrected from the dead for you to come to Him. He IS coming back to take us home. We will all be there! please come with us!