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THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
The Saved only, or Saved and unsaved?
There is no doubt whatsoever that resurrection is one of the most important and basic
doctrines of the Scriptures. Without it salvation is a mockery, and the whole Divine
purpose of redemption falls to pieces. It is not therefore dispensational, that is, belonging
to any particular stewardship of truth, but runs as a foundation throughout every
dispensation. Each dispensation has a resurrection as the means of attaining its prize, and
also as a means of attaining its hope, and these need to be distinguished, otherwise
contradiction and difficulty will result.
However, we are not concerned at the moment to elaborate this, but to ask if the
Scriptures teach that the unsaved will be raised from the dead? Some definitely assert
that this is not so. Certain movements have held this as a doctrine for many years, so
there is nothing new in this view. Others believe it because they say they cannot see any
point in God raising unsaved sinners from the grave. Let us state this at the outset. Our
knowledge or capacity to understand is no basis for truth. If it were so, many of us would
have a very small Bible! There is one criterion and one only, namely, what saith the
Scriptures? And so to the Word of God we turn.
To those whose minds are already made up, John 3: 36 settles the matter:
". . . . . He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."
But what does John mean by "life"? Fortunately we need be in no doubt of this. He
uses the word zoe, life, 36 times, alternating "life" with "eternal life":
Life (1: 4).
Eternal life (3: 15, 16, 36).
Life (3: 36).
Eternal life (4: 15, 36; 5: 24).
Life (5: 24, 26, 29).
Eternal life (5: 39).
Life (5: 40).
Eternal life (6: 27).
Life (6: 33, 35).
Eternal life (6: 40, 47).
Life (6: 48, 51, 53).
Eternal life (6: 54).
Life (6: 63).
Eternal life (6: 68).
Life (8: 12; 10: 10).
Eternal life (10: 28).
Life (11: 25).
Eternal life (12: 25, 50).
Life (14: 6).
Eternal life (17: 2, 3).
Life (20: 31).