Resurrection, as used in the Bible, means being raised to life again after dying.
The Bible refers to an event called “the resurrection” that will take place in the future at the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. As we examined in the previous section on baptism, a certain group of people have “fallen asleep” and wait for the resurrection. That group is comprised of people who have come to an understanding of and faith in God’s plan of salvation—the Gospel message—and have been baptized into the saving Name of Christ Jesus. They have died in hope as heirs of eternal life.
When Jesus Christ returns to earth, he will raise to life those people who are heirs of the eternal covenant. At this time in history, baptism is necessary for God to count us as an heir of the covenant. Then these resurrected people, who are “in Christ”, will appear before Jesus Christ, who will be a righteous and merciful judge as they give account of how they have lived their lives in his service. The heirs of salvation who are alive at Jesus’ return will also appear before him for judgment (1) (Daniel 12:2; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16).
Those people who Jesus Christ judges as worthy will receive eternal life; they will live and reign with Jesus Christ in God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom will be set up on the earth, centred in Jerusalem. Here Jesus will sit on his throne (2) (Micah 4:2, 8; Luke 1:32; Revelation 3:21; 5:10).
Just as resurrection is a restoration, so the coming Kingdom of God is a form of eternal restoration of the original kingdom of Israel. The Bible says Jesus will sit on the throne of his forefather, the Israelite king David. All nations will submit to the righteous rule of Jesus Christ.
We can see why Paul called God’s plan “the hope of the resurrection” (3) (Acts 23:6). This is the gracious prospect God presents to all humans in His Word, the Bible. Jesus himself was the first to experience this resurrection to eternal life (4) (Acts 26:23).
All who have who have made a commitment to God through baptism and have done their best to live a life of faithful service and have died, or “fallen asleep in Christ”, have the Hope of the resurrection and eternal life (5) (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:42-50; 1 Peter 1:3).
Read the next, final section to understand how the Kingdom of God will be a “new beginning”, a restored, perfect new creation.