How Many Resurrections Will There Be?
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. – I Thessalonians 4:16
The passage quoted above is often used by millennialists as a proof text confirming the teaching of a double resurrection, each resurrection separated by one thousand years.
Yet, that is not what the passage says, is it? Of course not. It’s not there. In fact, there is not one tiny, scarcely detectable amount, no, not one glittering particle of evidence of any such teaching in this passage.
But, they, millennialists, still teach it, and this passage is their go-to proof-in-the-pudding cherry-picked verse for soothing their eisegesis error.
The fact is, there is not one word here which indicates that believers will rise 1000 years before unbelievers.
The Apostle Paul simply says, as you can see by the plain reading of Scripture, that living believers will be taken to heaven only after the dead believers have been risen first. And that is not two resurrections.
It should be noted that the contrast here being made is not between believing and unbelieving dead – it doesn’t say that at all. The contrast in this passage is between living and dead believers. “The dead in Christ will rise first.”
Paul asserts emphatically that believers still living will have no advantage over those believers who have fallen asleep when our Lord comes again.
How can I be so certain that my ‘interpretation’ is the correct one?
Simple, the Bible, God’s Word, tells me so, in the very next verse, I Thessalonians 4:17, which reads:
Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
See that? “Then we [Christians] who are alive and remain will be…] God has communicated to His children clearly, there is no misunderstanding here. The problem is belief in what God has clearly communicated – and the pride and rebellion of those who refuse it.
Now, read those two passages quoted above together again, and I pray you will believe the clear communication of God to us, rather than the absolute fantasies of millennialists.
God has clearly taught us that there will be a resurrection, just assuredly as He has taught there will not be two of them.