Chapter 6: Resurrection and Judgment

People, in their future lives, live like angels, not marrying or being given in marriage (Matt. 22:29–32). The context denotes the status achieved by the Saints (Rev. 20:6). The second resurrection, designed for judgmental purposes, is not intended for eternal life, necessarily (Rev. 20:13). People will be resurrected to face judgment.

During the Great White Throne Judgment, the dead get resurrected in their physical condition, though not expected to live according to their previous lives. Converted Christians today are also expected to conduct their lives differently from habits before conversion.

At conversion, one becomes a new creation; expected to overcome, when gripped with a new reality in the new meaning of life—yet still being physical. The life of a Christian is, therefore, a transition from the state of physical nature into a spiritual reality.

Those resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgment will also be in transition towards the promised eternal life. They face the possibility of perishing at the end––after examining the truth using books that will be opened (Rev, 20:12). Such conditions require them to renounce folly in their 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 Peter 4:17 NIV).

The only difference between current Christians and those resurrected at that time 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, having already been awarded the privilege of the first resurrection. Not being part of the first resurrection constitutes being among any of the following three categories, according to Revelation 20:5:

First Category: Those having died without accessing the gospel or having heard but taking no interest in it. This covers all ordinary people, since Adam, but having died before Christ’s second coming, including the Israelites (Isaiah 65 and Ezekiel 37). The resurrected Israelites may, somehow, be familiar with salvation promises––as recorded in Hebrew prophecies. But to the rest of humanity, this would be a completely new and surprising development.

Second Category: Comprises Pseudo-Christians, resurrected to discover having not been privileged for the first resurrection—at Christ’s millennial reign. These would have remained dead––notwithstanding having been committed to Christianity before dying (Rev. 20:6).

Their condition is classified similarly to that of their disqualified counterparts––found still alive at Christ’s second coming (Matt. 7:21-23). Bear in mind that these would have been sincere Christians, intent to please God wholeheartedly. Their only impediment would have been the endemic deception. These would have been sincere Christians––but under the influence of false Christianity—though not intentionally.

Third Category: These comprise Christians, who died after having consciously spurned God’s Spirit––taking comfort in self-centeredness. The majority would have lived during the Christian dispensation, from the first century––up to the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign. Possibly, this includes prior prophets, since Adam. This is when considering incidents––disclosed in some of the Old Testament Scriptures like 1 Kings 13:11-33.

As outlined, these get resurrected physically, 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 applies to each, from their respective categories:

Let us begin with the first category: These are accorded the allowance to understand for the first time, what is written in the books being opened (Rev. 20:12). There obviously would be no trick––catching people unaware of God’s truths––to condemn them at the final judgment.

Those people carry similar conditions as applicable to Christians in the current dispensation—guided by Biblical principles. This period rhymes with prophet Isaiah’s details of judgment and salvation: (Isaiah 65:1-25). This episode includes both houses of Israel.

That is even though the other house was responsible for killing Jesus (Rom. 11:25-32). We can link this with what is prophesied 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 similar to how, currently, Christians respond to the offer of salvation.

God’s Word will be availed for those involved, to make informed decisions––just as this applies to Christians throughout the world today. Old Testament prophesies give clues, as to the condition and possible duration of the judgment, after the millennium:

“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 another 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 (Isa. 9:7). The Ezekiel 37 dry bones portray physical existence––not applicable in God’s Kingdom (1 Cor. 15:50).

While marriage is considered important and necessary in this life––in God’s Kingdom marriage holds no value. In God’s Kingdom, the focal point is God’s will. This is one of those realities that, even most Christians, today, cannot fathom.

But, if Christ is truly the way, the truth and the life, He certainly would have set an example, by marrying and bringing up children, standardly. Marriage is necessary, only when conforming to the dictates of this world’s standards, and not necessarily applicable in God’s Kingdom.

In short, the one-thousand-year reign by Christ should not be regarded as God’s Kingdom, but the restoration of David’s Kingdom. Marriage and sex are not included in the Kingdom package (Matthew 22:29-32). There is a strong possibility that the previously unconverted may eventually accept God’s grace.

Unfortunately, others will still take comfort in Satan’s alluring ways, thereby, succumbing to destruction (Rev. 20:7-10). Pride appears as would chiefly be the only reason for people to choose destruction, even where Jesus’ ethical government would be evident.

Nonetheless, after crushing the rebellion Satan will no longer be existent to deceive humanity. But those being resurrected then would have been acquainted with Satan’s influence—having admired it during their previous lives. They would be informed––when electing to succumb to sulphuric condemnation (Rev. 20:15).

The second category is just similar to pseudo-Christians, caught still alive at Christ’s second coming––these get resurrected––but discover being unqualified to reign with Christ (Rev. 20:5). They would have been identified with Christianity, before dying, yet having not attained the privilege of the first resurrection. They may have loved Christ, yet not identified with Him, at His Second-coming.

Like their counterparts––caught still alive at Christ’s second coming––they become gripped with disappointment. They experience similar shame for not being among the Saints. Their experience is harsher, compared with those having not been associated with Christianity, as hinted:

“…But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you.” (Matt. 11:21–24 NIV).

The Sodomites––in the first category––committed the most abominable sins, unimaginable. But Christ bears with them––ahead of those having failed to take Christ’s teachings seriously––choosing to succumb to deception.

The resurrected pseudo-Christians get exposed to harsher treatment––having failed to take Jesus’ teachings seriously––but not the burning Sulphur yet. This is another “gnashing of teeth” episode––similar to what would have been experienced by those found alive at Christ’s second coming.

Though facing hope, their unpalatable experience confirms how difficult accepting new data can be when assuming being knowledgeable (1 Cor. 3:11-15). This is why humility is strongly encouraged (Matt. 18:3-5).

Having gone through the process of humility, some of them receive redemption. The rest fail, due to pride. They assume being knowledgeable, thereby supposing that they deserve consideration—ahead of those they despised—yet identified with Christ.

Their predicament lies in assuming that salvation comes by works, rather than taking Paul’s admonition (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The testimony of the saints enables some of them to appreciate God’s grace.

They will identify with some of the saints—having lived with them before physically dying. The saints comprise several—including those with conducts previously considered to be unsuitable for deliverance.

This is where most people finally realize that salvation does not consider works, denomination, or scriptural knowledge acquired. Salvation depends on becoming humble before God. There is no other condition that enables being led by the Holy Spirit (James 4:10-12).

The third category: These are not different from the participants in rebellion—after Satan’s release from prison—leading to their being cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:9). These are resurrected after having died before Christ’s second coming. They deliberately rejected the gesture of God’s love (Heb. 10:26–29).

“And so, I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against The Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt. 12:31–32 NIV).

What Jesus stated is as true as the prediction of the rising sun tomorrow. There is a difference between mere carelessness and conscious rejection of The Holy Spirit. While God is in control of human existence, the principle of self-determination—left to individuals—cannot be violated.

Christ has gone all the way—including crucifixion—but without taking away the infallible right of an individual’s self-determination. Jesus is interested in those accepting His invitation by choice—not under coercion or manipulation. Nobody will ever be cajoled to be in God’s Kingdom.

Jesus provides guidance—only when one chooses to rely on Him. It is not surprising that even after Christ’s perfect millennial reign; others remain disagreeable with God’s truth. Those people will be exposed as being badly influenced by Satan’s momentary release from prison (Rev. 20:7-9).

Having failed to see the folly in their actions, death becomes the final destiny for those in the third category. Fortunately, their physical condition prevents them from acquiring Satan’s status—together with the beast and the false prophet. Satan and the demonic forces experience eternal punishment—as their spiritual condition cannot perish like those existing in terrestrial bodies.

The beast and the false prophet refer to the systematic principalities conjured by Satan—whose final destiny would be day and night torment in the lake of fire (Revelations 20:10). The demons are aware of their horrible destiny (Matt. 8:29). As a spirit being Satan is tormented for eternity, in a most degraded condition, without anyone else to manipulate, to sustain his relevance.

Self-centred people get consumed in the lake of fire. They will not be tormented day and night, due to their physiochemical composition. They get easily consumed by sulphuric fire. This suggests a reason why God deals with humanity in physical condition until final fate is determined.

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man illustrates the occurrences at the final judgment (Luke 16:19–31). The rich man had enjoyed life in prosperity, contrary to Lazarus’ abject poverty condition before their deaths.

Riches were associated with Godliness, whilst poverty portrayed the condition of sinfulness—as assumed by those legalistic worshipers. Yet all humans are associated with sin (Rom. 3:23). The redeemed are the humble ones without any consideration of good or evil works in their physical lives.

Proud people lead, among those destined for destruction. The condition of poverty under which Lazarus lived may have facilitated his humility. But nothing shows Lazarus as having necessarily been a good fellow—according to accepted norms at that time.

The fact that Lazarus is captured with Abraham, suggests him being one of the saints—privileged to be in the first resurrection. Thanks to God’s grace. Riches naturally appeal to worldliness. The exposure to life in abject poverty annuls cherishing worldliness—making repentance unproblematic.

Nevertheless, both men experienced death (Luke 16:22). And both may have been aware of God’s existence—being regarded somehow, as religious. This is when also considering that Jesus gave this parable—as a follow-up—after the mutterings of the religious Pharisees. They had ridiculed Jesus’ teachings—due to their love of money—yet they identified themselves as religious people (Luke 16:14-15).

The story captures the rich man—then without possession of the things that he cherished in his lifetime—before dying. He recognises Lazarus, seated, blissfully, with Abraham in paradise. The rich man is not aware of developments after his death. In Lazarus, Jesus gives a hint about blessings in the first resurrection—not necessarily associated with good works—but with Abraham’s belief (Rom. 4:3).

The most fascinating revelation is that—for the sake of God’s Kingdom—any person is at an advantage when despised or ridiculed (Matt. 5:11–12). What is highly esteemed by men is abominable to God (Luke 16:15). Having been used to living in prosperity, the formerly rich ‘mbinga’ burns with a passionate desire to be associated with Lazarus’ comfort.

At the resurrection, people are not connected with their former wealth—enjoyed before death. Abraham gives this former rich man an unpleasant response (Luke 16:25–26). Surprisingly, the rich man’s pleading does not include methods of coming out of miserable conditions. He requests that Lazarus—with whom he identified—be sent with some water to quench his thirst—affecting those living in physical flesh.

Once again, the cited “fire” is a figurative description of the discomfort experienced by physical people. Real fire does not give liberty to talk in that manner. The man is not conscious of the time lapse since dying.

“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward and even the memory of them is forgotten” (Eccles. 9:5 NIV).

The general context of the parable is intended to help those living like the Pharisees who despised Jesus’ teachings (Luke 16:14). The resurrection of such people takes place in future, not immediately after death—according to Revelation 20:5. In as much as people fear dying; the dead are not conscious of developments during that period when in their graves.

They get resurrected without awareness of a period in their graves. To them, resurrection translates into an instant awareness of existence, as if experiencing it immediately after losing consciousness at the point of death. They get resurrected in their former physical condition, before dying.

The rich man views his then-current status as taking place immediately after his death. He imagines this being the punishment for his previous ungodly condition. However, the truth is that he wakes up unable to recover his previous wealth to restore the cherished pride and good living—enjoyed before death. He is gripped with the torment of abject poverty—a condition he would have not been accustomed to.

The chasm separating two principles of living cannot be reconciled—Self-centredness, on one hand, and altruism on the other. Some people may assume that the rich man’s sorrowful condition appealed for transfer to Abraham’s side. However, his mindset had still not changed—even though having possibly recognized the cause of his then-repugnant condition.

This is confirmed by his request for Abraham to send Lazarus to preach to his household (Luke 16:27-28). Thinking only about his household reflects a mindset still preoccupied with self-centredness, instead of altruism. That mindset is different from Jesus who died for the entire humanity—without consideration of relational background.

Before dying, the former rich man had consciously recognized his relatives whom he seriously considers after regaining consciousness. He fails to appreciate that those relatives—long dead—would possibly be also facing a similar experience. What happens to those not in his household, is not of his concern.

This highlights two philosophical concepts that are irreconcilable—self-centredness on one hand and altruism on the other. Consider also the behaviour of one of the two thieves—desperately desiring release from execution—as both faced the damning verdict along with Jesus (Luke 23:39-43).

His counterpart—whom Jesus confirmed to be in paradise—had owned up to the responsibility of what caused their prosecution. Yet that other thief—preoccupied with self-centredness, desired release—though still unrepentant. The behaviour of the two represented the divergent philosophies, discussed in this book.

The thief with whom Jesus said would be in paradise had done nothing to deserve that—except repentance from self-centredness. His friend, still rooted in self-centredness, could not be in paradise. Nevertheless, the condition of the former rich man could have changed, had he framed his request differently:

“Is there any way I can help fellow humans avoid being in this condition?”

This said, when aware of the error of self-centeredness, instead of altruism. Abraham would then probably have advised him of Jesus—holding the key to salvation. This reveals how impossible it can be, to think of altruism which—to such people—is foolishness, when gripped in self-centredness.

This agrees with Jesus’ camel and needle’s eye remark concerning a rich young man, in need of eternal life (Matt. 19:16-23). Achieving eternal life starts with the mind transformation so that the person adopts altruism when conducting real-life experiences.

What brings comfort to physical flesh does not always attract comfort to the spirit—not stimulated by sensual cravings. By chasing after things attractive to the flesh, the spiritual value becomes forfeited. Yet the physical condition could conveniently facilitate achieving spiritual goals.

After the resurrection discourse, the next chapter then describes a scenario when the old order—characterised by a materialistic world—disappears (Rev. 21). Even that beautiful millennial world order—under Christ’s leadership—disappears. Nothing of physical nature remains after the redeemed have adopted eternal lives and the evil ones destroyed in the lake of fire. Paul reiterates:

“There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies, but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of the earthly bodies is another” (1 Cor. 15:40).

The scenario of the new heaven and earth is different from the current materialistic conditions.

As humans, we naturally take comfort in this life. But our present life is as temporary as mist, appearing now—only to eventually disappear into oblivion. Jesus represents real life, as was designed by God when He created humanity in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).

Jesus described Himself as being the only way, the truth and the life. But it is just unbelievable that Christianity—as observed in denominationalism—each follows their respective ways, rather than Christ’s ways. Everyone seems oblivious to the deception that Jesus talked about. The real problem appears as emerging from the condition of pride.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at  for $6.99

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