Paul says that there were:
men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:18 NASB
In Paul’s day there were these men who Paul mentions by name, who were teaching that the Resurrection had already occurred. And this according to Him and the other Scriptures was false teaching. It upset the faith. Their misunderstanding was evidence of their having gone astray. Paul goes on to say that we are not to be quarrelsome but able to teach:
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 2 Timothy 2:25 NASB
From these verses we can see that the resurrection and its timing for us is an important and a major doctrine of the church. It and it’s timing is shown here to be one of the major doctrinal truths of the Lord and His Apostles.
Does this mean that it’s timing as it relates to the rest of the prophetic events recorded in the scriptures is made known to us in scripture? Does it also mean that it’s timing in relation to the Tribulation is knowable, and proven by the Scriptures themselves? Certainly today once again it’s timing is disputed.
Paul goes so far in 2 Timothy 2:25 above to tell us that a false understanding, one that does not align with these teachings in the scripture must be repented of. In order for that to happen he says that one must be properly taught by a teacher, who employs the scripture with gentleness and corrects them rightly dividing the word of truth.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
Most teachers today will tell us that the timing of this event (the resurrection) is not positively knowable from scripture in relation to other prophetic events, and since they believe that it’s specific timing is not clearly taught in the scripture; therefore they tell us that it is not one of the Cardinal doctrines. Yet , Paul in this passage has made the timing of the Resurrection a Cardinal event. A wrong teaching should be repented of he says.
This should certainly mean that it’s timing is knowable from the study of scripture: rightly dividing the word of truth. Otherwise he, and the teachers of the word could not determine truth from error, and neither can we.
So the Dispensationalists tell us that the Elect are the dividing point in scripture. The “elect” they say is Israel, and the church is the dispensation of the gap between Daniel’s 69th and 70th weeks. But does this fit with Paul’s own teachings on the resurrection? Paul say’s:
Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:9-10 KJV
Paul obviously if speaking about Elect here, and if the Dispensationalist is correct it places any possibility of salvation for Her (the elect, Israel, whomever they are) to be only available in Christ Jesus. He confirms this elsewhere in 1 Corinthians 15:
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV
There is no other way for any man to be saved, and Paul is our teacher concerning this. But in this verse “made alive” equals resurrection. To be saved is the promise to us of this resurrection. Paul has been teaching on the resurrection throughout 1 Corinthians 15 up until this point. Why? — because false teachers were also teaching that there is no resurrection. In this passage Paul again makes the resurrection only available to those in Christ. So only the dead in Christ will take part in the resurrection of the righteous to immortality, as we read on in Chapter 15.
But what does this do to the timing of the Resurrection? How does it fit in the order of prophetic events? Understand that even the Dispensationalist believes that the Jews will be saved during the time of the Tribulation (The Time of Jacob’s Trouble). So what Paul endures in 2 Timothy 2:9-10, for the elect if they are Israel, will come to pass during the Tribulation when many of the Jewish and Gentile saints will die in Christ Jesus. So when will these who are in Him, but who have not died during Tribulation see Christ in the Rapture? Again Paul tells us this timing. He tells Timothy that he must teach these things by studying and rightly dividing the scripture, as he gently and lovingly corrects the misunderstandings of others. Why? — That they may repent of their error in truth or doctrine. So, when according to Paul does the resurrection occur in relation to the Rapture?
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep (dead in Christ), so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep (the dead in Christ). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB
And when does the Lord return? Immediately after this resurrection which is followed by rapture. He is seen in the sky immediately before this event, and He returns with us immediately after this event called the first resurrection.
24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
Mark 13:24,26-27 NASB
And I am sure that there are those who will say, “but you just said earlier that Paul believed the “elect” to be the Jews, or Israel”. Does not this elect then have to represent only the Jews?
If it can be proven from scripture that only the Jews are elect, then it must also be proven that only the Jews are in Christ in order to believe that this is only for them; for only those in Christ all the way back to Adam will be resurrected according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. The question one must answer is — what is scriptures teaching? — not man’s. But Timothy was a man. Yes, and he was told to properly divide and teach the scripture. So what does the scripture say about the Gentile believer, and election?
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “ Uncircumcision” by the so-called “ Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, Ephesians 1:4,2:11-14 NASB
Paul goes on to call us “one new man”. The teachings of man without scriptural support will try and tell you that this truth does not apply to another dispensation — namely the Tribulation.
If the Tribulation teaches that a people who must be in Him in order to be saved, and we know the tribulation Martyr’s are saved, and will reign with Christ; so, then they cannot miss the marriage of the Bride. Just where is that teaching in scripture upon which to base this left behind portion of the Bride?
Are these people who are in Him then not part of His bride? In that case do they not rule with Him? Yet, we are told that they do. And why does Revelation 19 teach that the Bride has made herself ready following Tribulation.
Too many problems from Dispensational teaching that does or will — upset the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:18b NASB
If the Rapture is the triggering mechanism for the resurrection then the blessed hope is the Rapture. On the other hand if the Resurrection is the triggering mechanism of the Blessed hope, than the dead in Christ must rise first, as the scripture teaches.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Psalm 146:5 NASB
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, Titus 2:13 NASB
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 NASB
If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:19 NASB
Yes, the blessed hope is for every saint, and it only begins with the resurrection. It will last for eternity.