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Fri Apr 17 Q. 109: The Resurrection of the Unjust


109. Will this resurrection not be common to the evil and the good?
Yes indeed, but not in the same way. Some will rise to salvation and joy, others to condemnation and death (John 5:29; Matt. 25:46).

 

How glorious it will be to be raised from the dead bodily (just like our Lord Jesus) unto life eternal! Of this, the Catechism expresses certainty (Q. 107-108). How odd, however, it will seem that the wicked too will be raised from the dead. Should they too get a pass out of the grave? Why should they simply not perish in annihilation, or as souls forever trapped in watery-like graves, or in the ranks of Hades forever?

 

Those who spurn the Son of God and his mercy, reject the immanent visitation of the transcendent Creator (cf. Ps. 8; Jn 1:14), and thus remain in their unholy state must stand before their Maker and Judge in judgment. They must hear the crimes for which they are charged, enter the only plea they will be able to enter in eternity—“guilty,” and be sentenced accordingly with a penalty that measures to the debt of rejecting the glory of God. They must be given a capacity to endure the punishment of eternal damnation for rejecting eternal glory.

 

The wicked will share a common resurrection with the saints: they will be raised bodily. The wicked will not share common joy: resurrection until life eternal and the very presence of God. It only appears in the present that the wicked are prospering without end. They will be resurrected in order for the Creator to deal with their sins eternally. How horrible it will be to experience the wrath of God bodily.