In Proposition 128, George Peters states:
“The language of the Gospels and Epistles is in strict accord with the requirements of a Pre-Millennial resurrection.”
Peters rightly continues his examinaton of his position on the Pre-Millennial resurrection, in this Proposition stating how it aligns with the Gospels and Epistles. He notes in his short discussion of the Proposition that “A doctrine to be consistent must preserve its unity in all the inspired writings. Having seen how the Old Test. and the conclusion of the New Test. coincide, it will be important to notice how the Gospels and Epistles corroborate the Jewish views of the resurrection based on covenant promises.”
To demonstrate this necessary unity, Petes explores in his various observations a number of passages from the Gospels and Epistles that connect the coming Kingdom with a Pre-Millennial resurrection, thus tying together the unified message of Scripture on this topic.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 128 is the following:
“The believer can meet death without fear. While death is an enemy, while feeling and acknowledging his penal power, yet with the assurance thus given of a speedy, complete victory over him, they can receive him as one over whom they are destined to triumph. He can well use the language of Micah 7:7-8, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will want (comp. Is. 25:9) for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy (death); when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause and execute judgment for me; He will bring me forth to the light (like David, Ps. 17:15), and I shall behold His righteousness.” The believer has “hope in his death,” and “his flesh shall rest in hope.”
One might find it interesting that I selected an observation that does not interact with the Gospels or the Epistles. Perhaps I chalf this up to my current studies on death and the eternal fate of the righteous and wicked. Moreover, what led this observation to stand out to me was Peters footnote comments which state:
“Our doctrine forbids the mystical view, so largely prevailing, of a resurrection immediately after death, which completely spiritualizes away the Second Advent itself. This makes the believer gain at death a victory over death, while the Scriptural idea is that death gains the victory and will retain it until the Coming of the resurrecting Jesus, the victory being evidenced by the body consigned to the grave. The believer anticipates, in death, victory, and the sting of death being removed, can die in hope and triumphant faith of ultimate redemption.”
Petes makes some very important statements here. One is the reality of death for everyone. Unless we are alive and remain when Jesus returns, we will all face the grave, both the righteous and the wicked. Yet there is hope for the righteous, namely the promise of eternal life. This promise of eternal life is not something immediately obtained upon death as proposed by many theologians and biblical scholars. If it were immediately obtained at death, the question be asked as to what is the purpose of the resurrection and the great hope ascribed to it for the believer by the biblical authors? Our hope rests in a final redemption, one that takes place at the Second Advent when the bridegroom returns for his bride. It is vitally important we do not get the cart before the horse in our understanding and application of the hope of the resurrection. This truth is outined all throughout Scripture and we had best take note of the timing God has provided and where our hope lies as it relates to this subject.