The Resurrection of the Dead
One cannot believe the Bible and fail to believe in the resurrection of the dead. Not only do we have examples of the dead being raised in the Old Testament, but we have Old Testament passages which teach this cardinal doctrine.
In I Kings 17:17-24, Elijah raised the widow's son from the dead. Also in II Kings 4:8-37, Elisha raised the Shunammite's son from the dead. In Hebrews 11:35, the writer, in speaking of Old Testament events, said, “Women received their dead raised to life again . . .” Several Old Testament writers set forth the doctrine of the resurrection. Job stated in Job 14:13-15, “If a man die shall he live again?” Then in Job 19:25-27, he affirmed he would see God after his death. In Daniel 12:2-3, it was stated that many that sleep in the dust shall awake. David stated in II Samuel 12:23 concerning his dead infant child, “I shall go to him but he shall not return to me.” Peter said in Acts 2:31 that David was speaking of the resurrection of Christ in Psalm 16:10. Luke declared that these things concerning Christ's death, burial and resurrection were written in the law of Moses and in the Psalms (Luke 24:44-48).
In the New Testament, we read of Jesus raising Jairus' daughter (Luke 8:52-56). Many witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead in John 11. Paul raised a young man named Eutychus from the dead in Acts 20. To deny the doctrine of the resurrection was to “err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). In II Timothy 2:17-18, we read of Hymenaeus and Philetus, “Who, concerning the truth have erred, saying the resurrection is past already: and overthrow the faith of some.”
The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was firmly established from the Old Testament Scriptures. We read in the New Testament of a group known as the Sadducees who said there is no resurrection (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27). Their doctrine was a plain denial of the Old Testament Scriptures.
Jesus believed and taught the resurrection from the dead. In Luke 7, John sent two of his disciples to Jesus asking, “Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?” Notice Jesus’ statement in Luke 7:22, “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised . . .” In Luke 14:14 Jesus said that some would “be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Jesus spoke of the general resurrection in John 5:28-29: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” As Jesus discussed Lazarus' death with Martha, she expressed faith in the fact of the resurrection in John 11:24, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said unto her in verse 25, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
As was His custom, Jesus often proved many points from the Old Testament Scriptures. In Mark 12:18-27, we read of the Sadducees trying to trap him with their illustration of the seven brothers, all having the same wife. Notice how Jesus turned the situation on them and proved the doctrine of the resurrection. In Mark 12:26-27 Jesus said, “And as touching the dead, that they rise; have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.” Luke's account in Luke 20:37 says, “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush. . .” Jesus argued that these Old Testament passages prove the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Luke 11:31 states that the Queen of Sheba shall “rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them. . .” Then in Luke 11:32 Jesus said, “The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment…”
Nothing could be more important than the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ. Luke declares in Luke 24 that when they came to the tomb early on the first day of the week, Jesus was not there. In verses 6-7, an angel declared: “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
To be an apostle one must have been a witness of his resurrection (Acts 1:22). Peter declared his resurrection on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:22-32). Peter said in verse 32: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” Paul stated in Romans 1:4 that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead. Jesus declared to John in Revelation 1:18: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore.” And in Acts 17:18 Paul “preached unto them (the Epicureans and stoics – RDG) Jesus and the resurrection.”
Many New Testament passages speak of the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead: Philippians 3:10-11; I Peter 1:3; I Peter 3:21; I Corinthians 15:3-21; I Thessalonians 4:14-18; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 6:1-2; I Corinthians 6:14.
No doctrine could be more crucial to the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament, than the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Yet, look at those who denied this biblical truth: the Sadducees (Luke 20:27), some Christians at Corinth (I Corinthians 15:12), Hymenaeus and Philetus (II Timothy 2:17-18). To deny the Biblical doctrine of the resurrection is to deny the Old Testament Scriptures, the New Testament Scriptures, God, Christ, the Apostles and the Holy Spirit.
Those who hold to the A.D. 70 theory teach by implication the resurrection is past. The following passages teach that when Christ returns the second time the resurrection and the judgment will occur (I Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 5:28-29). If Christ returned in A.D. 70 then these events are history.
Could any doctrine be more damnable than to deny the resurrection or to say the resurrection is past?