This would be Luther’s third addition to his 95-Thesis–clarifying and distinguishing between the two resurrections.
Consider all the interesting ways that organisms reproduce and produce copies of themselves, men and women have babies, orangutans have little fuzzballs in their own image, trout and turtles and teal all having little ones in their own image; so why do ugly caterpillars wrap themselves up in an unimpressive, boring, pale cocoon, wait a few weeks, and then emerge as brilliant butterflies, one of God’s most beautiful creatures? I think God was giving us hope in a resurrection, an event when this ugly mortal puts on beautiful immortality. The Bible says that when Jesus comes there is a resurrection of the Just and seemingly a few of the unjust. Look at this verse from Revelation 1:7
7“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.
Add to this Jesus’s words in Matthew 24:30-31 about His coming:
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Add this passage from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 about believers who have died:
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
At earth’s darkest hour, Christ will come, with holy angels and with God Himself. Christ resurrects the righteous, and they with those still living are gathered up by the angels to meet Christ in the air. It sounds as though some of the most wicked will be raised too, to see Him fulfill his promise, those who pierced him, which may include Judas and others who mocked Him. These people are raised only to see how wrong they were and are put back to “sleep” in wait of the resurrection of the wicked. The righteous are escorted to heaven to study the books of life and rest up from this earthly ordeal. Only after all the saints from a hundred generations have reviewed the books, after looking over the evidence explaining why some of earth’s residents made the choices they did, does God raise the wicked.
At the end of the 1000-years of study, the New Jerusalem, adorned as a bride, is brought back to and relocated on the earth. The saints and the city are now on earth again, and Christ resurrects the wicked. Thinking they have one more chance to overthrow God and His government, Satan and all the evil angels and evil resurrected people surround and then attack the city, showing once again how unsavable they are. God in mercy, reveals his glory, the glory hidden ever since the conflict began, and all those out of harmony with His presence are consumed; they become ashes under our feet.
For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up like calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this,says the LORD of hosts.
0. Others in the series 95 Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
1. Others in the series 95+1 The War in Heaven
2. Others in the series 95+2 Immortality
3. Others in the series 95+3 Two Resurrections
4. Others in the series 95+4 Jesus Father
5. Others in the series 95+5 Wrath
6. Others in the series 95+6 The Mountain Top