Eternity, Judgment, Heaven and Hell


A universal resurrection is seen not only from the proceeding, but also from Revelation 20:11-15, for the Apostle John "saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books opened" … and the dead were judged out of things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them [another way of saying they were raised from the dead, the word "resurrection" being anastasis, a standing or rising up]: and they were judged every man according to their works."

            The dead also rise with a body suited to whichever destiny awaits. Though the wicked shall be "destroy[ed] both soul and body in "hell" (Matthew 10:28), it is not a destruction of the being of either but of the well-being of both – otherwise there would be no "eternal punishment’ – no "torment day and night for ever and ever." If the fire should be literal, the Lord could still provide a body that would not be consumed, just as he appeared to Moses at Sinai in the bush that "burned with fire, and … was not consumed" (Exodus 3:2).

            "It is not yet made manifest [in complete detail] what we shall be. [But] We know that if he [Christ] shall be manifest, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is" (1 John 3:2). And he "shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that we may be conformed to the body of his glory" (Philippines 3:21).

            In 1 Corinthians 15:35-54,the apostle Paul does describe the bodies or the saints as far surpassing their earthly bodies in numerous respects, and assuring that the saints living when Christ comes will undergo a comparable change without having to experience death – "corruptible" bodies putting on "incorruption" (not any longer subject to dissolution), and "mortal" bodies putting of "immortality" (not any longer subject to death) – these changes being necessary to "inherit the kingdom of God" (verses 50-54).