Is Resurrection Immediate? (was Devils Running Hell)

DrTom posted 06-18-99 02:24 PM

This is a position usually taken up by fundamentalists who rely on Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians and Revelations.

In Thes., Paul is winging an answer to what happens to the dead if Jesus is coming back any minute now? Paul has them sleeping and then rising when Christ comes, and then all of us living will join them in the air. Since Jesus did not come back in Paul’s lifetime, his answer to the question becomes suspect.

Revelations presents a complicated history of world salvation. It holds off a final judgment on everyone until the last days. So, what’s happening to the dead while they’re waiting? Good question. Revelations never answers it explicitly. Fundamentalists latch on to an explanation of the sleeping soul waiting for the real resurrection, final judgment, and entrance into paradise. But since Revelations is not the literal prediction of the future that fundamentalists think it is, then we must hold its view on the dead as suspect.

So, we go to Jesus (those who are Christian, i.e.). He does mention people rising up at the judgment, and he has parables of that final judgment. So, where are the dead while they’re waiting for that final judgment? He doesn’t say.

However, we also see parables where people are already in paradise (the story of Lazarus and the rich man puts Lazaras and Abraham immediately into paradise).

Jesus, in defending the resurrection, refers to God as being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – and God is the God of the living and not the dead. So, presumably, the three patriarchs are living somewhere.
Also, we have in the transifiguration Elijah and Moses appearing in glorified form with Jesus. Certainly their souls aren’t in a shadowy soul-sleep waiting for the final days.

And finally (no pun intended), Jesus tells the good thief on the cross that he will be with him this day in paradise. No waiting.

Christians who believe that there are saints up in heaven right now, or that their sainted mother/grandmother is watching over them, must certainly believe in an immediate resurrection. (This is the position of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and most mainline {i.e., non-fundamentalist} Protestant churches.)


Not to split hares, but shouldn’t the title of this new thread be “Were Devils Running Hell” rather tahn “Was Devils Running Hell” ?

Shouldn’t that be “Not to split hairs”?

Hey, slythe, you split your way, I’ll split mine.

Nah, moriah was following an old Usenet practice of putting the old Subject: line of a thread in parentheses with “was” in front of it.

He’s not asking if devils ever ran hell, he’s saying that the seeds of this topic came from an earlier topic that was entitled “Devils Running Hell”. And in this context, the “was” is actually shorthand for an implied “Hey, guys, the Topic line of this thread was”.

Um, tracer, the technical term is “whooooosh.” Surely the “hares” was a clue that what followed was a joke, a play on words?

I believe Henry the 8th did the first variation: Not to split heirs…

“What’s all this I hear about splinters? Never cared much for them, myself…”

  • Emily Latella