What Will the Resurrection Be Like for My Friends Who Aren't Christian?

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What Will the Resurrection Be Like for My Friends Who Aren't Christian?

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What Will the Resurrection Be Like for My Friends Who Aren't Christian?

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Revelation 20 specifically records two separate resurrections. First it references a group of individuals who will reign with Jesus Christ for 1,000 years—a time period commonly called the "Millennium"—and then it references "the rest of the dead," who will be resurrected to life after the Millennium years are over (Revelation 20:4-5 Revelation 20:4-5 [4] And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
American King James Version×
).

Describing the events after the Millennium, the judgment of the rest of the dead is addressed and the eventual end of those who refuse to live by God’s way is outlined—a second death in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15 Revelation 20:12-15 [12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. [13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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).

God’s magnificent plan takes into account individuals who did not know God, or who didn’t fully understand Him in this life.

We can read these passages and sometimes be concerned for our friends who don’t share our beliefs, or people we know who might be atheist, agnostic or of a different faith than our own.

It’s important to remember that God is a merciful God, and he will not forget the promises that he has made (Deuteronomy 4:31 Deuteronomy 4:31(For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore to them.
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). He also desires that no man should perish, but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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). The passages in Revelation 20:12-15 Revelation 20:12-15 [12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. [13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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are describing all of those individuals who have ever lived being brought back to life in a general resurrection and being given an opportunity to truly know God and His ways, some for the very first time.

They will have their opportunity, just as you have; and they will have a choice to make, just as you did.

Death itself is referenced in numerous places in scripture as sleep (Daniel 12:2 Daniel 12:2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
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for example), and that’s not a coincidence. When a person dies and their eyes close for that final time in this life, Scripture states they know nothing in the grave while they await their time to be resurrected (Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
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; Acts 2:29-34 Acts 2:29-34 [29] Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us to this day. [30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; [31] He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. [32] This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. [33] Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear. [34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,
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). After the 1,000 years are ended, when God restores their physical bodies (Ezekiel 37) and resurrects them back to life, their eyes will open once again. Like a child that falls asleep in the back of the car and awakes in someone else’s home, this resurrection might be disorienting or confusing as they process the last memories they experienced before their death and their newfound reality.

It will be helpful to have someone there with a familiar face. It will be helpful to have a person who lived this way of life here on earth and has experience with it, someone who can help to teach them the way of God so that they can have their opportunity to make their choice.

But the choice is theirs.

After they have been raised and shown God’s way, if they choose not to live by it, they will be sentenced to the lake of fire, where they will cease to exist (Revelation 20:14-15 Revelation 20:14-15 [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
).

God’s magnificent plan takes into account individuals who did not know God, or who didn’t fully understand Him in this life. He is a merciful and loving God and greatly desires to bring many sons to glory.

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