The Rapture and the Prophetic Saints
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler
“There seems to be some confusion over the future resurrections these days. C. I. Scofield, for example, taught that at the Rapture, ‘Not Church saints only, but all bodies of the saved, of whatever dispensation, are included in the first resurrection.’ What are your thoughts on this statement?”
We hold the Scofield Reference Bible in high regard, but Dr. Scofield often failed to rightly divide the Word of God consistently, which is somewhat understandable, seeing that the truth of Paul’s gospel was still being recovered. With that said, the order of the future resurrections is as follows:
- Secret Resurrection of the Body of Christ: This glorious event will take place at the Rapture of the Church. It will only include those who are “in Christ,” from the Apostle Paul to the sound of the trump (I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thes. 4:13-18).
- First Resurrection of the prophetic saints: After the seven year Tribulation Period runs its course, it will be followed by the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. At that time, Christ will raise the believing prophetic saints of time past, along with the martyrs of the Tribulation, and usher them into the Millennial Kingdom (John 5:28,29; I Cor. 15:23; Rev. 17:6; 20:6).
- Resurrection of Damnation: This particular event occurs immediately following the 1,000-year reign of Christ. In that day, the unsaved of all ages will be resurrected from the dead and appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, where they will be found in their sins and judged accordingly (John 5:29; Rom. 2:4-6; I Cor. 15:24-26; Rev. 20:5,11-15; 21:8).
Thankfully, those who have trusted Christ as their personal Savior have been delivered from the wrath of God at the Great White Throne (Rom. 5:9). But what about that unsaved loved one or friend today? Don’t put it off another moment. Tell them about Christ before they slip away into a Christless eternity where all hope is lost.