The Resurrection of the Dead

Jesus Christ, as the second Adam, ‘will draw all men’ to Himself [John 12:32] upon the great day of the resurrection from the dead. Not a son or daughter of Adam will be missing and the sentence of the first death (i.e., physical death) will be fully abrogated for all time.

1 Cor. 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

This universal reversal of the first death does not relate to spiritual death or to the second death. The second death is a fruition of spiritual death and is fully realised in the complete separation of a resurrected person from any experiential sense of God’s presence in hell. That death that is abolished by Jesus in 1 Cor. 15 relates only to the first death.

1 Cor. 15:21,22 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

In this sense, Jesus is the savior of all men [1 Tim. 4:10]. He effectually makes all men alive from the first death. He does this by means of giving His flesh for the life of the world [John 6:51]. The resurrection of all men simply could not take place if Jesus’ death and resurrection were not universally effectual as an atonement for all sin. It is an impersonal atonement for those who are not members of Christ’s body by faith, and therefore, does not relate to the sinner’s spiritual death, which will fully eventuate in the second death in hell.

The abrogation of the first death by means of the general resurrection will make possible both the salvation of God’s people and the perfect judgment of those who have followed Satan’s rebellion. For God’s people, they will have their resurrected bodies glorified with that full manifestation of God’s glory. For the lost, their newly resurrected bodies will be able to fulfil the just demands of the Law, for sins committed in the body, requiring a punishment in which ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’ [Mark 9:48].