Summary: Last in a series on Bible prophecy. Deals with the prophecy of Damascus and the resurrections.
For the last six weeks we’ve been taking a close look at Biblical prophecy and how current events appear to be fulfilling some of the prophecies given in the Old Testament over 2,000 years ago. We started out with the rapture of the church, the snatching away of believers before the judgments of God are released upon the earth. And the last two weeks we have been looking at the prophecy of the destruction of Damascus. Today, we are going to tie those two thoughts together. It’s kind of like we have come full-circle and are right back to where we started.
I say this, because last week I told you that Isaiah 17:5-6 had two interpretations. These two verses refer to the survival and protection of the Jewish people during the time of Damascus’ downfall. We saw that while the Jews will suffer during this time, a remnant will survive. But these verses also have a special reference to the rapture of the church.
However, before I can explain this clearly to you, I must lay some groundwork. I don’t know how much you know or have learned about the resurrections as taught in Scripture, and in order to understand what Isaiah is saying you must first understand the resurrections. And yes, I did say resurrections, plural – as in more than one.
I. More Than One Resurrection
Some people believe, or have been taught, that at the end of time there will be one resurrection of people from the dead. They think that we will all be resurrected to stand before God and be judged for the things we did in this life and then receive either our punishment or reward. But this is not what the Bible teaches.
Let’s listen to the words of Christ in John 5:28-29 (KJV), “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.”
And Acts 24:15 (KJV), “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”
Scripture actually teaches that there are two resurrections - the resurrection of the righteous or just and the resurrection of the wicked or unjust.
I have included a handout that explains the different resurrections in a little more detail.
A. The Resurrection of the Unjust or the Second Resurrection
Let’s briefly look at the resurrection of the unjust first. When we did our study of the final judgments we spoke about some of the different resurrections. The resurrection of the unjust, also known as the second resurrection, occurs at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. Those who have rejected Christ’s offer of salvation will rise at the Great White Throne judgment. This is the last of the judgments, and those who appear here have no excuse. If their name is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life then they are condemned to eternity in the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown in to the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
But keep in mind that this is the resurrection and judgment of the unjust. Those who accept Christ’s offer of salvation are not judged here. Instead, we are part of what is called the first resurrection or the resurrection of the just.
B. The Resurrection of the Just or the First Resurrection
This is the resurrection that I want to focus on this morning, because believe it or not, this is what the passage in Isaiah 17:5-6 is talking about.
The resurrection of the just or the first resurrection includes all who have lived righteous lives for God, including Old Testament saints, the church, and Tribulation saints. This resurrection is often a little confusing, because it actually happens in three “waves”, or at three different times.