Over the years I have been asked, on more than one occasion, my thoughts or views regarding Paul’s statements in both 1Cor. 15 and 1Thess. 4 in regards to the Resurrection and the most common question being, will all believers be saved or does it only pertain to Israelites and if so, will all Israel be saved? It is no easy task to write an article on this subject, since other than Paul’s statements mentioned, the Bible has, to my knowledge and searching, no other additional information regarding this matter. Thus, whatever viewpoint we look at in this essay will be purely supposition and or conjecture.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Cor. 15:51-52)
To begin with, let us look at 1Cor. 15:51 first. Paul here states that we shall all be saved, but we should be aware, that is Bible terminology, “all” does not necessarily mean all, everybody, but refers to all those who are chosen of God, Israelite or otherwise, namely those elected for reasons only known to God. As an indicator to this fact let us look at Rev. 7 where just prior to the outpouring of the seventh seal of the great tribulation, the angels are told to hold off until all the servants of the Lord had received the seal of God in their forehead.(Rev. 7:3). It goes on to say that 144,000 out of all the Tribes of Israel received that seal, vs. 4. Now I believe this number to be symbolic, but it does indicate that of all the myriads of Israelites, only a relatively small number is chosen and if this scenario is applied to all believers, it also indicates that of the millions of believers during the church age the same holds true and this is in accordance with Matt. 20:16 where our Lord states that “many are called but few are chosen”.
In Ex. 19:6, 1Pet. 2:9 and Rev. 5:10 it is mentioned that we, that is Israelites, are a holy nation, a kingdom of priests, and Rev. 5:10 states that we shall reign on the earth. What was and is the responsibility of a priest? In Old Testament times they were in charge of the Temple services by rotation, including the sacrifices and sin offerings, but mainly they were the administrators of the Law and Ordinances of God. Since in the Kingdom age there will be no Temple service, the new priesthood will thus be solely tasked with the administration of the Law, according to and in the service of King Jesus, who by this time will have claimed and occupied the Davidic Throne. If therefore we hold that all believers will be resurrected and/or translated, the kingdom of our Lord would only contain rulers and no subjects, except those that are in opposition to His rule.
It is my belief that a great majority of all believers will continue with life as we know it now, under the Kingship of our Lord, but since Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:1-3), life will steadily improve, seeing that the origin of sin, Satan, is no longer roaming the Earth causing havoc. During this, let’s call it a transition period, for simplicity sake, Jesus will subdue all opposition, tears will turn to gladness, sickness will be replaced by good health and vitality and longevity will gradually be restored to the pre-flood era. But, as we know, Satan will be loosened toward the end of the thousand years and he, Satan will again gather his minions to make war against the Saints. Even though Satan knows that he cannot win this battle, his main objective is to prevent as many as he can lay his evil hands on to have a lasting relationship with God in the everlasting ions to come, but God Almighty will stop the Devil and his evil army with fire from Heaven and destroy the source of evil for evermore. Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire after which the Final Judgement will take place. All the dead throughout all the ages will stand before the Throne of God, not in physical form, but the souls of the dead will be judged according what is written in the records of the books. At this time also the last enemy, death, (1Cor. 15:26) will be cast into the Lake of Fire. This is important to understand, for when death is no more, time as we know it will be no more. In this present life we are born to begin a journey toward death through aging, but with death abolished aging will stop, the young will stay young forever and the aged will grow no older. Those souls found in the Book of Life will be re-united with a Resurrected body and immortality is realized.
The streets of the New Jerusalem will resound with the laughter of children and the music of the Angelic Choirs praising God forever. Edenic conditions will have been restored and God will walk and talk with His people, calling us all by name, just as He did with Adam. This is a concept too awesome and marvelous to comprehend. As I said at the beginning of this article, since the Bible gives us no clear information on this subject, what I have given you, our readers, is purely conjecture, for as Paul said in 1Cor. 15:51, where he calls it a mystery, it shall have to remain so, a mystery, until the Last Day when the Lord will have lifted the veil. AMEN.