The Resurrection of the Unsaved

"Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2).

The Bible teaches the resurrection of the unsaved as well as the resurrection of the saints. Some Christians believe these events are separated by a one-thousand year period known as the Millennium. Other Christians believe the resurrection of the saved and unsaved is a single event. Both positions are acceptable.

The unsaved will be resurrected to stand in the final judgment. Those who have rejected God's salvation will be judged according to their works: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them ...Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:12-14).

At the resurrection of the unsaved, the time of judgment, there is no second chance for those who have rejected Christ: "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Many cults deny the resurrection of the unsaved, and the final judgment. Some prefer to believe in universal, or near-universal, salvation. Others prefer doctrines of birth and rebirth eventually resulting in enlightenment and escape from the cycle. Those teachings deny the reality of the utter sinfulness of man, and always result in a salvation by works doctrine. This, of course, denies the clear teaching of Scripture. It is sobering to note that God, who cannot tolerate sin, will bring to light all works done in the flesh. Any sin will be enough to bring condemnation and eternal separation from God's grace. Since the unrepentant sinner will have rejected Christ's offer of salvation, they will have to pay the price themselves.

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