The Resurrection to Judgment


Jesus says something about being like the angels of heaven in the resurrection (in Matt. 22:30), but I suspect He was talking about the resurrection of the just there (and if it weren’t real painful for me to go rummaging arround looking through things right now, I’d try to find a reverse interlinear to see if the definite article is used in the question put to Him, and His answer.)

What about the resurrection to Judgment?

Are the judged raised immortal, and incorruptible, or are they raised mortal?

You worship the wrong Jesus and have a different gospel
Is experiencing sin Neccessary?

Hi Michael,

You said:

I don’t think there is any indication from what Jesus says to the Sadducees that some who are to be raised will be raised mortal. When Christ says, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matt 22:30) he seems to be speaking of mankind in general, and not to some class of people. In Luke’s account we read: “Those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (Luke 21:35) The implication seems to be that all who are to be raised from the dead will be both immortal (“they cannot die anymore”) and “sons of God.” If any being is not an immortal “son of God” after the event of which Christ speaks takes place, then it will be because they weren’t “considered worthy” to be raised from the dead.

Regarding the “resurrection of the just” of which Christ speaks in Luke 14:14, it should be noted that the word anastasis does not necessarily denote a resurrection from physical death. The word can mean anything from rising from a seat to experiencing a positive change in one’s circumstances. The same word is used in Luke 2:34 to refer to a figurative “rising” of certain Israelites, and is contrasted with the “falling” of others. In the LXX, a form of the word occurs also in Lam 3:62 and Zeph 3:8, and in neither of these verses are the physically dead in view. We use this kind of figurative language today as well (e.g., the sequel to the movie The Dark Knight will be called The Dark Knight Rises, which I doubt has anything to do with Batman being raised from the dead!).

So what was Jesus talking about when he spoke of “the anastasei of the righteous?” I believe he had in mind the same figurative “rising” referred to in Luke 2:34 - i.e., the exaltation and vindication of his 1st century followers when the kingdom of God came with power (Mark 9:1), and their Jewish persecutors were overthrown and put to shame. I believe he refers to this change in circumstances (in which the righteous “rose” and the unrighteous “fell”) in Luke 21:28, 31-32: “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near…So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.”

As for the “resurrection of judgment” in John 5:29, I believe Jesus was referring to the same time in history referred to above (i.e., the period leading up to and culminating in the overthrow of Jerusalem), but was using different imagery to describe it. In this passage the people of Israel are figuratively represented as residing in “tombs,” and the rising is from out of these metaphorical graves. Those who did good (faithful Christians) rose from their tombs to enter “life” (i.e., an inheritance in the Messianic kingdom), and those who did evil (unbelievers and unfaithful Christians) rose from their tombs to face “judgment” (i.e., the “great distress” and “wrath” of which Jesus speaks in Luke 21:20-24). For more on my understanding of this passage see Will People be Raised as Immortal Sinners?.

I believe Scripture teaches that all who die in Adam - both the just and the unjust - are going to be raised immortal and incorruptible when the “last trumpet” sounds. I’m unaware of any verse that reveals that some will be raised to a mortal existence at this time, or at any subsequent time.


I don’t think it’s ruled out either.

Actually, I believe it says that those who are alive at Christ’s second coming will put on immotality at the last trump (of a series of trumpets, perhaps those mentioned in Revelation) and be caught up with those who are Christ’s at that time, and then (some time later) cometh the consumation, when He shall have put down all enemies–death being the last enemy.

Do you believe that Hitler saw the error of his ways in the bunker (right after he pulled the triger), and he, and Stalin, and Judas, and Ciaphas, and my sister (who never really lived this mortal life) will all be raised immortal and incorruptible (and glorified) without any correction or preperation?

Doesn’t that kinda make this whole mortal existence (with it’s trials, temptations, growth, lessons, and experience of good and evil) unnecessary and pointless?


Hi Michael,

It’s also not ruled out that some will be raised blind, deaf or with missing limbs, but I doubt you believe God’s going to do that.

“The end” comes when Christ delivers the kingdom to the Father. And while it’s true that this is to take place after the last enemy, death, is destroyed, I think it can be inferred that death is destroyed when - and not sometime after - the “last trumpet” sounds:

So is it your view that the unjust will be raised mortal before or after the time of which Paul speaks above?

I honestly don’t know what Hitler was thinking when he killed himself, but I doubt he underwent any kind of change that would make him fit for heaven. I don’t think any sinner undergoes a change before they die that makes them fit for heaven; this change, I believe, will occur at the resurrection. And yes, I believe that all human persons - whether they were just or unjust at death - will be raised immortal, incorruptible and glorious. And with the exception of Jesus Christ, I don’t believe any human being dies without being in need of some “correction,” so if that’s prerequisite to becoming immortal then I suppose we’re all going to have to be raised mortal! :open_mouth:

Why do you think removing pain, death and all temptation to sin from human existence would make this mortal existence “unnecessary and pointless?”


If we can be made that way with the snap of God’s fingers, why do you suppose this mortal existence (with all it’s death, pain, suffering, and temptation to sin) is necessary?

I’ve noticed you seem to believe that most Bible prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., but (given your stated position here) I don’t understand how you can see any judgment (past or future) as necessary.

Have you ever read about all the pain and human suffering that was caused by the Roman/Jewish war?

People driven to madness, eating their own flesh (and even their own children)?

What do you suppose was the point of it all?


Hi Michael,

You asked:

That’s a good question, and I’m afraid the most satisfactory answer I can give right now is this:

For a more speculative answer (which I don’t think you found very compelling), you can revisit the following thread:


That might be an answer given Tom Talbott’s stated position (or Bob Wilson’s), but you deny any Divine knowledge or wisdom underlying any of the pain and suffering of this mortal existence, by maintaining that anyone (saint, genocidal mass muderer, or one who’s had no experiance, and has done nothing) can instantaneously be made perfect (without any preperation, trial, or correction.)

That is what you’re arguing here, isn’t it?

How does that leave room for any necessary, wise, purpose for human suffering?


How does my position (i.e., that all sinners will be made sinless in the resurrection) equate to a denial that “any Divine knowledge of wisdom” underlies the pain and suffering of this mortal existence? It’s not my position that the pain and suffering of this existence is unnecessary; I believe it will ultimately serve to glorify God and promote the eternal happiness of all rational beings. I trust that, just as the greatest evil ever to take place in human history was planned and predestined by God for a benevolent reason (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28), so are all other evils in this life.


But Hitler will be raised sinless, immortal, incorruptible, and glorified without repentance, without making any conscious choice, and without facing any correction or judgment–and he could have been born that way, or simply skipped this mortal existence and been created that way (as could Judas, Ciaphas, and all sinners), right?

That means that the same ends could have been acheived without sin, suffering, death, and the cross (or all the concentration camps of the last century)–so how is any of it necessary, and how does it “glorify God” or “ultimately serve to promote the eternal happiness of all rational beings”?

How is a God who arbitrarily wills the temporary existence of needless pain, sin, suffering, and death “glorified” by these things?

You alluded to the cross, but how would the cross glorify God (or demonstrate His love) if sin and suffering existed only because God willed them to (and worse, if He didn’t take the cross upon Himself, but allowed some creature to do it–as you believe, if memory serves me correctly here.)

And how does the existence of such things “ultimately serve to promote the eternal happiness of all rational beings” if they could have been made happy, immortal, and sinless from the beginning?

You are arguing that this life isn’t a learning process, that learning isn’t necessary, and that all sinners (regardless of what they’ve learned, or haven’t learned) will be instantaneously made into saints–but then you say “It’s not my position that the pain and suffering of this existence is unnecessary.”

That is your position Aaron.

If learning, growth, and repentance aren’t necessary before a Hitler becomes a saint, how is any of this mortal life necessary?

How can the pain and suffering “glorify God”?

And how can it possibly “serve to promote the eternal happiness of all rational beings” (If eternal happiness and holiness can be granted by Divine fiat, without all the pain, suffering, sin, and death)?


Hi Michael,

You wrote:

No; I believe that the antemortem existence of Hitler, Judas and Ciaphas was a necessary part of God’s sovereign purpose and will contribute to their future, postmortem happiness, along with the postmortem happiness of all who are a part of their story.

No, I believe that everything that happens is a necessary part of God’s sovereign plan. I don’t believe that God ordains or allows gratuitous evil; I trust that everything man intends for evil, God intended for good, and that it will ultimately contribute to the happiness of all who experience it - if not in this existence then definitely in the next. God is glorified by evil because it gives him the opportunity to save us from something (e.g., events and circumstances that may appear to be irredeemable tragedies). In doing so God manifests himself to us more fully (i.e., as one who delights in saving people from seemingly hopeless situations) and promotes the happiness of those who suffered in a way that would not have been possible had they not suffered.

I don’t know; perhaps you should ask someone who believes that God arbitrarily does things. :wink:

It’s not my position that sin and suffering exists “only because God wills them to.”

I never said they could, Michael.

No, my position is that people don’t have to be raised in the same moral state in which they died in order for this life to be meaningful and necessary to both God’s plan and their future happiness.

I suppose the postmortem experience which God, in his love and wisdom, wants Hitler to have wouldn’t have been possible without everything that took place during his mortal life.

Pain and suffering can glorify God if it ultimately serves to promote the happiness of those who experience it.

I don’t think God could have granted them the kind of happiness that he wants them to experience in the resurrection state had they not experienced the pain and suffering that they did. If those who suffer could have been just as happy in the resurrection without having suffered at all, then I don’t think they would have suffered.


So will my sister (who never experienced any pain or suffering, or did anything evil) be less happy than Hitler, Stalin, and those who suffered under them?

But you are saying that my sister (and any like her, who never really lived outside the womb) can be raised as a perfectly righteous, perfectly happy adult, incapable of falling into the same sin as our first parents did…Right?

Nothing gratuitous about Auschwitz and Dachau (or three months on life support) when those who die at birth, and monters like Hitler, can be instanteously made into saints?

That’s what I believe I’m doing here Aaron.

The problem is that such people seldom realize the logical implications of what they’re saying.


I would suggest that her happiness will simply not be derived from an ante-mortem existence of rational, self-awareness. Assuming the angels in heaven were brought into existence as sinless, immortal beings, I’d say the post-mortem experience of those who died without experiencing any pain or suffering prior to death will be similar. Does this mean those who are raised (or brought into existence) without a previous existence that included rational self-awareness, suffering and pain will be “less happy” than those whose ante-mortem existence did include this? Not necessarily; it just means their happiness will be different from the happiness of those whose ante-mortem existence included this. Apparently God wants the happiness of those in heaven to be (at least partially) derived from a variety of different experiences.

Right; but see above.

No, not if it contributes to the future happiness of those who suffered.


Why assume they were brought into existence as perfect beings, when a third of them sinned?

Of course the two thirds who didn’t might be perfect now, but if it’s taken the third who did this long to change (and will take another aion of correction), being human might be a safer, shorter path to perfection (if I’m allowed to assume a few things myself.)


Why assume that the “stars” of Rev 12:4 symbolize immortal, heavenly beings? Do you think the stars of Rev 8:12 also symbolize such beings?

If you don’t think the angels of heaven were brought into existence as sinless, happy beings, then that’s fine. My view regarding the future happiness of those deceased human beings whose ante-mortem existence didn’t include rational self-awareness or suffering doesn’t require an acceptance of this premise.


You/ve still not convinced me that it doesn’t involve a great deal of gratuitous evil (willed to exist for no constructive purpose.)

Angels were created as happy, immortal beings.

They didn’t have to be tested, non of them fell, and we all could have been created as happy and immortal as they are, but intead we live in a world of sin, sufering, pain, and death.

And non of this is willed arbitrarily.


Well you still haven’t convinced me that it does, so I guess we’re even. :slight_smile:


As I said above (while you were replying to a partial post.)

Your position is that Angels were created as happy, immortal beings.

They didn’t need to be tested, none of them fell, and we all could have been created as happy and immortal as they are.

But intead we live in a world of sin, sufering, pain, and death.

And yet you say none of this is willed arbitrarily.

I not only find that unconvincing, I find it insulting.

It’s insulting to anyone who’s ever had to suffer, or watch someone they loved suffer (and I believe that includes God and His Son.)


I’m sorry you find my position so insulting. I’ve had to watch people I love suffer just as you have. Just one recent example is my grandmother, who has had Alzheimer’s for the past 8-9 years. She died over the weekend, and I attended her funeral yesterday. But as I’ve said, I believe that all suffering will contribute to the future happiness of those who experience it, and that the kind of happiness such people will experience (and which God, in his love and wisdom, wants them to experience) post-resurrection would not have been possible had they not suffered. Again, I believe that part of God’s sovereign purpose (which is, in many ways, a mystery to us now - Rom 11:33) is that the happiness that people will enjoy in heaven will be at least partially derived from a variety of different experiences. Moreover, I believe that all who suffer in this lifetime will, after they have been saved from sin, death and all possible evil, thank God for the suffering they experienced in this mortal lifetime when they realize how it served to promote their post-resurrection happiness. I also believe that even those who never suffered will, to some extent, be able to partake of the post-resurrection joy of those who did. No one, I believe, suffers needlessly, because there is no experience of suffering that will not ultimately contribute to our future happiness. And I believe that just one second of the happiness of heaven will more than make up for even the greatest suffering that one could possibly experience during this mortal lifetime (and I believe that God and his Son would agree).

So what do you think the alternative is, Michael? That God “permits” evils like Auschwitz and Alzheimer’s so that human (and angelic?) beings can have the ability to love as God loves? If this is not your position, please explain.


So my sister might ultimately be almost as happy as your grandmother, the victims of Aschwitz, Stalin, and Hitler (but not quite, since she can only share their post-resurrection joy “to some extent.”)

Right now I’m looking for answers.

I’m not seeking to be a teacher, and I really don’t have to explain anything to you–but I will say this.

If God doesn’t arbitrarily will gratuitous evil, it would seem to me that (whatever their disagreements) C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Tom Talbott (in “The Essential Role of Freewill in Universal Salvation”), and Bob Wilson must have a point.

They all see this world as fallen, and see choice, judgment, learning, and growth as important elements in becoming happy, holy, and immortal.

From everything you’ve said here, you don’t.


Hi Michael,

You wrote:

You misunderstood me here. I believe your sister and those like her will be as qualitatively happy as those who experienced pain and suffering prior to death, but that part of their post-mortem happiness will be derived from the joy that they will share with those who did experience this. That is, I believe the ante-mortem experience and post-mortem happiness of those who suffered prior to death will contribute to, and somehow complete, the post-mortem joy of those who didn’t have this experience.

And I commend you for your honest search for truth, and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Nor do I “really have to explain anything to you,” but this is a discussion forum, after all…

While I respect their position, I obviously disagree with it.

I believe it’s reasonable to understand all of the choices, judgments, learning and growth of this mortal existence as being important elements to our being happy in the resurrection, but I don’t believe our immortality or our holiness in the immortal state are contingent on a moral process that begins in this lifetime.