"If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job. 14:14). This is one of the oldest questions ever asked. When a person dies, he is dead, and Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, "the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything." This admonition is given to those still living: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." (Ecclesiastes 9:10). People who think, would tell you that if the one who is dead, ever lives again, he must be resurrected. The word resurrection is from the Latin word resurgo, and means arising again. In Paul's address to Felix as recorded in Acts 24:14-15, we read: "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets; and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."
In the New Testament, the word "resurrection" is mentioned many times, but not once in the Old Testament. Since Paul and all other Jews, except the Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the just and the unjust and since they were sticklers for the Mosaic law, let us go to the Old Testament and see if the subject of resurrection is set forth by Moses and the prophets. In Luke 20:27, we read, "Then came to him certain of the Sadducees which deny that there is any resurrection," and Jesus, the master teacher, proved the doctrine of the resurrection by showing that it was God's intention to raise Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from the dead and cites Exodus 3:6 as proof. Jesus said in Luke 20:37-38, "Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Now note carefully verse 38, "For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living." As Abraham and Isaac and Jacob are now dead it certainly necessitates a resurrection for them that they may again be among the living (and this time for evermore). This resurrection is anticipated in the passage from Romans, 4:17 where it reads "God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they were."
In Genesis 13:14-15, we read, "And the Lord said unto Abraham, after that Lot was separated from him, lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; For all the land which thou seest, to thee (Abraham) will I give it, and to thy seed, forever." We read in Genesis 25:7-8 that Abraham lived 175 years "Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died" and in verse 9 we read, "His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah. In the New Testament, Acts 7:5, we read that God gave him (Abraham) none inheritance in it, (the land promised in Genesis 13) no, not so much as to set his foot on, yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession and to his seed after him when as yet he had no child. This same promise was made to Isaac and his seed, to Jacob and his seed and in Hebrews 11:13 we read these all (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) died in faith not having received the promised blessing (Diaglot rendering). Paul tells us in Galatians 3:16 who the seed is, "He saith not an to seeds as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ." Radio friends, do you believe the Bible? Abraham has been dead nearly 4,000 years but he lives in God's plan and purpose and at the proper time he will be resurrected for he can never inherit the land unless he is resurrected and he will have to be made immortal to inherit the land forever.
Resurrection is taught in many of the Psalms. Note what is said in the 49th Psalm, verse 20, "Man that is in honor and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish," verse 14, "Like sheep they are laid in the grave." Such people never get a resurrection. Why? God is not their God. What about David? Will you let the Bible be your guide in this important matter? If so, read Psalms 49:15, David says, "But God will redeem by soul (me) from the power of the grave (the marginal rendering is hell) for he shall receive me." David is one of God's dead men. Where is David now? He's right where he was when Peter on the day of Pentecost said, Acts 2:29, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried and his sepulcher is with us unto this day." In verse 34 "For David is not ascended into the heavens." His soul, i.e. David, himself, is yet to be redeemed from the power of the grave (hell) and by faith, looking forward to that event, he says in Psalms 17:15, "I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness." This, to the people who believe God's word, points forward to the resurrection when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all God's dead are brought forth from the death state to give an account of what they have done whether it be good or bad.
One said recently, "Do you Christadelphians mean to tell me that some who have did will not be resurrected?" Our reply was, "What we tell you is of little importance but what the Bible says should be final. "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:13). People who do not believe the word, i.e. neglect, loathe, or dislike it, maybe said to despise the word. Now, to our friend's question as to whether some who have died will never be raised, Proverbs 21:16 reads, "The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. " Before the flood all except those who went into the Ark, were wandering out of the way of understanding. The wickedness of man was great in the earth. If we believe God's word we are bound to believe that all who were destroyed by the flood will remain in the death state. All animals except those in the ark and every man, all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land died. (Genesis 7:21-22)
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness, suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
The prophet Isaiah did not believe that all who die will get a resurrection. He refers to lords, i.e. earthly rulers, who had dominion over him and others, see Is. 26:13. Consider carefully. Don't take my word but believe God's word for that is what counts. Verse 14 reads concerning the lords that had dominion over Isaiah and others, "They are dead, they shall not live, they are deceased; they shall not rise; therefore, hast thou visited them and destroyed them and made all their memory to perish." Please read Isaiah 26:14. While your Bible is open, drop down to verse 19. There we read, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise, awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Before these can sing they must awake, and to awake they must be resurrected, and resurrection means rising from the death state.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks in no uncertain terms on the subject: "Will all who sleep in the death state awake, i.e., secure a resurrection?" In Jeremiah 51:39, we read, "In their heat, I will make their feasts and will make them drunken that they may rejoice and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord." Verse 57 of this same chapter reads, "I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, and her captains and her rulers and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts." If we believe God's word we are going to admit that the people Jeremiah mentions here will never wake or get a resurrection.
People are often worried about the destiny of the heathen nations. They point to the fact that whole nations have existed and passed off the stage and never appeared again. Does the Bible give us any help in solving such questions regarding the destiny of heathen nations? Obadiah verses 15-16 throw light upon this question. There we read, "For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen; as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head, for as ye have drunk my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been."
This subject will be continued under the next heading which will deal with the subject of resurrection in the New Testament. If a man die, shall he live again? The Bible is the only book that gives the correct answer.
The Resurrection, New Testament