by Dr. Ken Matto

(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, {29} 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.

I want to look at the above verses, not to interpret them according to a theological system but to interpret them according to the Scriptures. The Bible teaches us that no Scripture can be of any private interpretation. (2 Pet 1:20 KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. The word “private” carries with it the meaning of “one’s own or peculiar to oneself.” When we read this verse what normally pops into our minds is a person taking a certain verse and interpreting it according to their own school of thought. This is certainly true but the Scriptures mainly suffer when they are used by a theological system which uses the Scriptures in error.

When I speak of theological systems, I am speaking of belief systems such as Preterism or Dispensationalism which takes a verse or a group of verses and uses them as proof texts to develop their theological system. We live in the age of confusion where the Bible is not only being questioned and abused by the so-called “higher critics” but the actual words of Scripture are being used to prove erroneous systems of theology. I picked the above verses because these verses, when interpreted according to the Scriptures, as is the biblical mandate, teach us that there will be one general resurrection of every human on earth who has physically died. Dispensationalists teach us that we are going to have two resurrections, one is going to happen before the great tribulation in what is known as the secret rapture, when only believers will be raised to be with the Lord and the second will be on the last day when the unbelievers will be raised to be judged.

Now when we look at our verses, it is plain to see that not only believers will be raised but also all the unbelievers too. These verses go against the idea that there will be two separate resurrections, yet the major teaching is that there will be a separate resurrection for both believers and unbelievers. Why are these belief systems allowed to flourish like this? It is because Christians have totally refused to take up their Bibles and do independent Bible studies to see if the theological systems they are being taught are true. This is why study Bibles are so popular because they seemingly give instant understanding to passages and then when lazy people adapt that method of “acceptable non-study,” they are then prepared to be able to accept any false theological system. Why? Simply because the notes match the person they are listening to and when there seems to be “commentarial affinity,” it is accepted as is, whether it is true or not. These things should not be.

(2 Tim 2:7 KJV) Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.  (6/20/03)