Today's Foundations Devotional: Sinners will hear the voice of the Son of God
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each
one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are
Christ’s at His coming.
(1 Corinthians 15:22-23)
Last week we examined some of the main passages of the Old Testament which foretell the resurrection. We saw that the Old Testament foretells the following three main events: 1) Christ Himself will be raised from the dead. 2) Those who believe in Christ will share His resur- rection. 3) There will also be a resurrection of the wicked for purposes of judgement and punishment.
If we now turn to the New Testament, we find that the revelation it gives concerning the resurrection of the dead agrees exactly in these three main points with that of the Old Testament. However, a good deal more infor- mation is also given, to make the whole picture clearer and more detailed. The first New Testament passage we shall consider is found in the Gospel of John. Jesus says:
Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live (John 5:25).
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).
Jesus here uses two different phrases. In verse 25 He uses “the dead”; in verse 28 He uses “all who are in the graves.” The context seems to indicate that these two phrases are not identical but are contrasted with each other.
If this is so, then the first phrase, “the dead,” must be taken to describe not those who are physically dead but rather those who are spiritually dead in sin. This is in line with the language which Paul uses in Ephesians 2:1.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
Here the context makes it plain that Paul is not speaking about people who were physically dead, but he is speaking about people who, as a result of sin, were spiritually dead and alienated from God. Again, Paul uses language borrowed from Isaiah to exhort the sinner.
Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light (Eph. 5:14).
Here, too, the one whom Paul exhorts to awake and arise from the dead is not physically dead but spiritually dead in sin. It would seem, therefore, that we should apply this interpretation to the words of Jesus in John 5:25. We will look at this further tomorrow.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing me to look forward with all
my heart to that wonderful day that Jesus will return. However, please also
help me to be a living witness to You, to all those around me who are still
spiritually dead because of sin. Amen.