Universal Resurrection?

     The term ‘universal’ implies the whole of a given population, or more simply, all.  The concept of universality has several profound Biblical applications.
     The first significant use of the term ‘all’ was to quantify the universal consequences of the original sin in the Garden of Eden.
     “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…”  Romans 5:12
     Paul stressed the universality of sin.
     “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”  Romans 3:23
     Universal sin produces universal consequences.
     “For as in Adam all die…”  1 Corinthians 15:22a
     God had announced to Eve in the Garden that disobedience to His commands would result in death.
     “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat it…lest you die.’”  Genesis 3:2-3
     Satan’s deceitful response:
     “…You will not surely die.”  Genesis 3:4
          The unintended consequence of sin was revealed to King David a millennium before Jesus’ birth.
     “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”  Psalm 51:5
     However, since man was created in God’s own image, mankind will never cease to be.  All will be resurrected from their graves.
     “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
     The wording ‘those who have done good’ does not mean good works or personal efforts; rather it means those who have obeyed Jesus’ teachings and believed in Him for redemption and forgiveness of sins.  ‘Those who have done evil’ refers to those who have rejected His teachings and relied on their self-righteousness for salvation.  Such are embodied in current day Pharisees, which abound.
     Remember Jodi Arias when she thought she would be given the death penalty.  She commented that ‘death was the ultimate freedom.’  How foolish according to the Bible.
     The phrase ‘resurrection of life’ defines the believers of Christ who will be raised in His likeness and spend eternity in His presence.  The ‘resurrection of condemnation’ defines those who will be raised to stand before the great white throne and be condemned to eternal separation and torment.
     Therefore, all of mankind born after Adam:
1)     Are born with a predisposition to sin
2)     Will sin during their lifetime
3)     Are consigned to die for their sin
4)     Will be resurrected
5)     Will remain forever
     Christ was raised from the grave as proof that His propitiation was accepted to appease a holy and righteous God for the sins of repentant mankind.  Furthermore He was raised to judge those who rejected His sacrifice.
     “…He (God) has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”  Acts 17:31
     Note again the word ‘all’.  It reiterates Christ’s resurrection was/is known to the whole world, i.e. universal awareness.
     Rejecters of Christ will spend eternity in the place prepared for the one who deceived Eve in the Garden and his followers.
     “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’”  Matthew 25:41, 46
     This teaching is reaffirmed in the final book of the Bible where the destiny of those who rejected the remedy for sin is described.
     “And they were judged, each one according to his works…And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:13b, 15
     Therefore, there will be a universal resurrection and each person can choose in which resurrection they will participate and where they will spend eternity.
     Glory to the resurrected Passover Lamb of God!

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