In future life, people live like angels, not marrying or being given in marriage (Matt. 22:29–32). The context denotes the status, as achieved by the Saints, in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6). The second resurrection—for judgmental purposes—is not intended for immediate attainment of eternal life (Rev. 20:13).
During the Great White Throne Judgment, the dead get resurrected in their physical condition, though not expected to live according to their previous conditions. Converted Christians today are also expected to conduct their lives differently from habits before conversion. See [Christianity is defined in one word: Altruism].
At conversion, one becomes a new creation; expected to overcome, when gripped with a new reality in the meaning of life, yet still being physical. The life of a Christian is, therefore, a transition from physical nature into the spiritual reality.
Those resurrected at Great White Throne judgment, will also be in transition towards the promised eternal life. They are faced with the possibility of perishing at the end—after examining the truth using books that will be opened (Rev. 20:12). They face conditions that require renouncing folly in previous ungodly lives. This is similar to what current Christians experience at conversion:
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey God?” (1 Pet. 4:17 NIV). The only difference between current Christians and those resurrected then, is that, not many Christians appreciate their calling as constituting God’s judgment.
The Great White Throne Judgment focuses on all people—other than the saints who would have already been awarded the privilege of first resurrection. Those who could not be part of the first resurrection—according to Revelation 20:5—constitute the following three categories:
First category: Those who died without ever hearing about the gospel or having heard but taking no interest in it. This covers all ordinary people, having lived since Adam, but dying before Christ’s second-coming, including the Israelites (Isaiah 65 and Ezekiel 37). The resurrected Israelites will, somehow, be familiar with salvation promises—as recorded in Hebrew prophecies. But to the rest, this would be a completely new and surprising development.
Second category: Comprises Pseudo-Christians, resurrected to find themselves not privileged for first resurrection; just before Christ’s millennial reign. These would have remained dead—notwithstanding having been committed to Christian activities (Revelation. 20:6). See [Works bring the opposite of what is intended].
Their condition is classified with that of their counterparts—found still alive at Christ’s second-coming, but disqualified (Matthew 7:21-23). Bear in mind that these would have been sincere Christians, intent to please God in every way. Their only problem is failure to apply Godly principles, as taught by Christ. These people would have lived under the deception of false Christianity, but not intentionally.
Third category: These comprise Christians, dying after having consciously spurned God’s Spirit—taking comfort in self-centredness. These would have lived during the Christian dispensation, since the first century—up to the end of Christ’s millennial reign. Possibly, this includes prior prophets, since Adam? This is when considering incidents, like the one involving prophets, as disclosed in 1 Kings 13:11-33.
Those in the outlined three categories, get resurrected in their physical condition, as existing before their respective physical deaths. At that resurrection, all are expected to appreciate humility before Christ (Rev. 20:11-15). However, their judgments are different—considering their previous circumstantial conditions. What follows is applicable to each, from their respective category:
The first category is given allowance to understand what is written in books being opened (Rev. 20:12). There would be no trick—catching people unaware of God’s truth—in order to condemn them at final judgment.
Those people carry similar conditions as applicable to Christians in current dispensation, guided by Biblical principles. To them, this period rhymes with prophet Isaiah’s details of judgment and salvation, in Isaiah 65:1-25. This episode includes both houses of Israel.
Though the other house was responsible for killing Jesus (Rom. 11:25-32). We can link this with what is recorded in Isaiah. 11: 1-16 and Ezek. 37. The grace of our Lord covers all previous sins of humanity. But this depends on how willing those people accept the offer of salvation. This is similarly to how, currently, Christians respond to salvation offer.
God’s Word will be availed, for those people to make informed decisions, just as this is applicable to Christians throughout the world today. Old Testament prophesies give clue, as to the condition and possible duration of the judgment:
“I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said ‘Here am I, here am I,’ to a nation that was not called by my name…..” (Isaiah 65:1) (ESV)
“……No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit” (Isaiah 65:20-21) (ESV).
Ezekiel 37 is also a prophecy portraying a resurrection into physical existence—yet to be fulfilled—bringing together a divided kingdom (vs. 25). The restoration of David’s kingdom, divided after Jeroboam led a rebellion against heir-apparent, Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:1-19), is fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Isa. 9:7). The Ezekiel 37 bones, portray physical existence—not applicable in God’s Kingdom (1 Cor. 15:50).