Daniel 12:2 — And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
In every town and community you drive through, a graveyard is somewhere to be found. Cemeteries are filled with the bodies of people who once lived on the earth just as we do now. They had lives filled with hopes and aspirations, responsibilities, and chores. They paid bills, cooked meals, and worked jobs. The headstones in these final places of rest are reminders that everyone’s life will come to an end at some point. That is what most people think about when they drive past a graveyard.
But something I often think about when I drive by or see a cemetery is that one day every person buried there is going to stand outside their own grave. A resurrection of the dead is as certain of a fact as the reality of death.
Our passage today is from the book of Daniel. In Daniel 12:2 we read, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” When it says “sleep in the dust of the earth” it is speaking of death. Those who have died will awake, meaning come back to life. As we read the rest of Scripture we learn this event will transpire upon the return of Jesus to the world. The trumpet will sound, Christ will descend, and the dead will be raised.
Notice what will happen when He comes. Daniel says, “some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” There is a judgment coming upon the return of Christ. This judgment will be authoritative. Jesus will sit on the throne of judgment and some will be raised to live eternally. Others will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt. This is the judgment of Hell. What determines our eternal state is what we’ve done with Christ. We must put our trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins. He must be our Redeemer or He will be our Judge. But make no mistake, when He returns, those cemeteries filled with the dead will be filled with the living. The only question is where they will live forever.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do we rarely think about the fact of the resurrection to come?
- What is going to transpire at the resurrection?
- How can we have confidence about what verdict we will receive at the resurrection?
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