Shelby G. Floyd
There is a false doctrine being pedaled on those who are naïve and believe without checking the evidence to back it up. People searching for the truth should be like the Christians at Berea, who searched the scriptures daily to make sure Paul and Silas were teaching them the gospel of Christ (Acts 17:11).
Premillennialism is being taught in most denominational churches as the truth about the end times. The teaching is that Christ will come back and set up an earthly kingdom and reign for a thousand (1,000) years on the earth. They also teach that the dead in the graves will be raised at different time intervals.
This teaching was refuted and demolished years ago by Foy E. Wallace Jr. and other faithful preachers. I heard Wallace define premillennialism like this: pre—means before; millennial—means a thousand years; and ism—means that it is not so. It is false just like most “isms.”
Concerning the Day of Judgment, Jesus Christ made this statement: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV). There are several points here that need to be amplified.
THE WHEN-THE HOUR
1. There is a definite time when all of the dead will be resurrected. “…for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth…” The words “the hour” can be used in several different ways, but here in this context [hour-ωρα-hora], refers to “any definite time, point of time, moment” (Thayer, p. 679). The definite time period here is when “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth” (John 5:28-29). This is a reference to the resurrection at the last day mentioned in many New Testament passages.
2. Notice who it is that will come forth in “the hour.” It will be “all that” are in the graves. Who is to be resurrected at “the hour” that is coming? The answer is “all!” All is translated from (pas-πας), and means “all, every, every one, any one.” Literally, it is “all the ones in the tombs” will hear his voice and come forth—be resurrected.
THE SOUND-HEAR HIS VOICE
3. When our Lord comes back every person in the tombs will hear his voice. Paul advises us that he will come audibly: “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. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NIV). To the church at Corinth Paul adds that all the dead will be raised “at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52 KJV). Jesus taught the same thing when he said that the Son of man “…shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31 KJV). Therefore, the voice that all the ones in the tombs will hear is the voice of the LORD himself with a LOUD COMMAND, THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and THE TRUMPET CALL OF GOD!
THE RESURRECTION-SHALL COME FORTH
4. So far we have noticed the time—the hour; the who—all the ones in the graves; the sound—the command of Jesus, the angels and the trumpet; and now we will notice what will happen when all of this takes place—they will “come forth.” Jesus said plainly, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV).
“Come forth” is from (ekporeuomai-εκπορευομαι), and means “to go forth, go out, depart” and properly means “to come forth, of the dead who are to be restored to life and leave the tomb” (Thayer, p.199). This is a third person plural future indicative verb that refers to all who are in the graves that will come forth at the last day. This universal class is now broken down into two groups.
Who will come forth? It will be ALL that are in the graves. When will this take place? It will be in the HOUR that is coming—a definite time period. What will take place at that time? All those who are in the tombs will “COME FORTH.” How will this take place? There will be two groups resurrected.
THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE
Jesus described this coming forth of, “those who have done good, to the resurrection of life” (John 5:29, NKJV). Daniel the prophet spoke of this resurrection six or seven hundred years before Christ: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Jesus taught that his obedient servants “…will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14, ESV). In Acts of Apostles Paul declared that “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15). Those who have done good are those who by faith, repentance, and confession have been baptized into Christ and purified by the blood of the Lamb and have lived a faithful life (Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 1:3, 7).
THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION
Those who have done evil will also be raised at the last day, for Jesus declared, “and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29, NKJV). There will not be two resurrections at different time periods. There will be the general resurrection at “the hour is coming,” but in that hour “the sheep” will be divided from “the goats.” “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25: 31-33). This is the same great separation described by Jesus in our text in John 5:28-29 and in other places by the apostles (Romans 14:10; Revelation 20:12-15).
“The Hour is Coming, and Now Is”
The difference at the last day is whether we will hear the voice of Christ now and live or whether we will wait and hear the voice of Christ in judgment and be separated from God forever. In the very context we have examined, Jesus declared that we can hear his voice NOW!—“The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:25-26 KJV). This simply teaches that we must hear the word of God, trust and obey, because Christ is the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey him (Hebrews 5:8-9). Hear his voice calling today!
Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142