Jesus Christ died and was raised to life again never to die again. He is now as the Bible describes immortal. We have the opportunity of being raised from the dead and being given the gift of God, everlasting life. There will be a resurrection of the dead when Jesus returns to this earth. The certainty of the future resurrection is confirmed in the resurrection of Jesus because Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus was the first of those to be raised from death, which is here described as a sleep.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23
The hope of the resurrection is for those who are Christ’s as the last verse above says and this means those who truly believe in Jesus and try to follow his example. In John chapter 11 when Lazarus had died, Jesus says to Lazarus’ sister Martha that her brother will rise from the dead. Notice what Martha says in response and then the words of Jesus…
Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…
Martha clearly understood that the resurrection would take place in the future at the last day. Being raised from the dead is no guarantee of living forever because the Bible tells us that a judgment will also take place. Only those who have responded to Jesus and God in the right way will be given everlasting life. Writing to believers in the first century Paul makes this clear.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Corinthians 5:10
That verse refers to the judgment seat of Christ and this means that it will be Jesus Christ who will act as judge at that time. This is confirmed in another of Paul’s letters.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom…
2 Timothy 4:1
Further reading on this and other topics is available on the website of the Christadelphian Office: