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House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 6 John 5:28-29

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead 

Part 6 John 5:28-29


David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Strimple Argument #6: John 5:28-29 obviously teaches a physical

resurrection of the dead in that it speaks of a time in which “all who are

in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good

to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection

of judgment” (297).


Answer: In order to understand John 5:28 and 29, we must first look

three verses above it, in John 5:25, where Jesus said that the hour “now is

when “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear

shall live.” As most Reformed interpreters agree, Jesus in that verse was

referring to the preaching of His death and resurrection. The preaching

of that message commenced at Pentecost. “The dead” were physically

living people who were spiritually dead in sin, and “the voice of the Son of

God” was the gospel. Having heard the gospel, those who were spiritually

dead” were spiritually resurrected. They lived in that they received eternal

life through faith in the gospel (“the voice of the Son of God”).


Then, in verses 28 and 29, Jesus expanded His teaching on the resurrection

to include those who were not only spiritually dead, but who were

also physically dead. He did not call them “dead” (as He had already called

the living who were spiritually dead), but He referred to them through another

figure of speech as “all who are in the graves.” They were not literally

in their graves or tombs, of course, but were in Hades/Sheol.


What is often missed in this passage is that, like the physically living

in verse 25, the physically dead in verse 28 were also going to live

by means of hearing Christ’s “voice.” As we know from verse 25, that

voice” is the gospel. The physically dead therefore were going to hear

the gospel (cf. 1 Pet. 4:6.) and were, as a result of hearing the gospel,

going to be resurrected (regenerated, born from out of death and Hades).

This means that the physically dead were, like the physically living,

spiritually dead. And this inescapably means that both the physically

living and the physically dead were going to be spiritually resurrected

by means of the gospel-voice of the Son of God. One resurrection in

two main stages: First, the last days saints; then, the Old Testament

dead (“the rest of the dead” in Revelation 20:5).


After hearing the gospel, the dead were raised out of their Adamic

graves (Hades) in the end of the age. And those among them who believed

the gospel received eternal life in the kingdom of God. But those

who hated the gospel (those who had done evil) were raised out of Hades

only to stand before God and to enter into “eternal punishment” /

the second death” (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:14).

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Mike Sullivan