I found a very good description of what the human conscience is:

Conscience is nothing but that judgment which men do make, and which they cannot but make, of their moral actions with reference unto the supreme future judgment of God. (Owen, J. (1855). Vol. 22: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Volume 5)

Following human conscience to the judgment brings a question about our common sense of justice. One question I have is, ‘Does a resurrection from the dead to the judgment instinctively necessitate the appearance of the body?’ In addition to the ‘appearance of the soul’, does justice necessitate that ‘our body’ appears before God’s tribunal to receive the penalty, or reward, which it deserves for the sins we have ‘done in the body’?

I know the Bible declares the necessity of the resurrection upon the grounds that Christ is resurrected, but what is the Biblical basis to say justice also makes it a necessity for the resurrection?


1 Answer 1


The Final Judgement that determines that the wicked are to be cast into the Lake of Fire is detailed in Rev. 20.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [If there is a 1st resurrection there must be at least a second]

It will be 1000 years after the resurrection of the righteous that the wicked will be resurrected for Judgement before being cast into the Lake of Fire.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God [This is the only place that makes sense for the second resurrection]; 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. [After being raised the dead are judged]

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. [Every dead person will be raised at some point]

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [The punishment is then executed]

It is very poetical in nature, but these verses together show that the dead are indeed resurrected, just as the righteous, shortly before being judged then cast into the Lake of Fire, the second death. Some do argue that the resurrection is not bodily, however, they are a small minority.

I don't think justice necessitates the resurrection, unless you adhere to Annihilationism. It just happens to be the order that it will be done according to the Bible. I currently have a related question about why the wicked are raised only to suffer eternal hell because it seems unnecessary to me to give the wicked a body unless punishment has something to do with the body.

  • Since this is better for comments, in my opinion, the second resurrection, the resurrection of the wicked, only makes sense from the Annihilationist perspective. Why give a body to the damned if it will only be destroyed so that the soul can then suffer in eternal torment? I have this question going.
    – user3961
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 8:20
  • You are not really arguing for a biblical basis. That's how these questions work. I am asking for the biblical basis. If you can't think of one then you can't really answer.
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 12:12
  • @Mike Verse five calls the resurrection of the righteous the first resurrection. If there is a first there is at least a second. Then 1000 years later the dead stand before God in verse 12. Although not explicitly said, this is the only verse that makes sense for what the second resurrection is. Verse 13 goes on to say that none will be left unjudged; all the wicked everywhere are found. Perhaps the confusion here is that there are two resurrections, and seemingly only the wicked are truly judged and sentenced.
    – user3961
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 18:43
  • Ok - I did not see the thread of what you were arguing. +1 for the attempt :)
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 22:57
  • Thanks. I made an edit to highlight the line of thought.
    – user3961
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 23:09

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