Answer: Man’s hope for a future life is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The apostle Paul explains this in 1 Cor. 15:13-22 (NASB):
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; (14) and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. (15) Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. (16) For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; (17) and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. (18) Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (19) If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (20) But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. (21) For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
In Paul’s day, some men were preaching that there was no resurrection of the dead. Of course, such preaching ignored the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35-43), the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), Lazarus’ resurrection (John 11:1-45) and the resurrection of Jesus. (Matt. 28:1-8) Paul asserts that if there is no resurrection, then Christ is not raised, and the faith of the Christian is vain. However, Paul confirms that Jesus was raised from the dead because he had seen the risen Lord on the way to Damascus. (Acts 9:1-6)
Jesus during his earthly ministry promised a resurrection for all mankind in John 5:28-29 (NASB): “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, (29) and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” A spiritual resurrection was promises to the followers of Jesus – those who did good deeds. An earthly resurrection of judgment was promised to everyone else – those who had done evil deeds.
The resurrected of mankind will be given perfect human bodies when they are raised from the dead (Isa. 33:24) and given an opportunity to know God (Jer. 31:33-34), to receive his spirit (Joel 2:28) and walk the “Highway of Holiness” back to mental and moral perfection, harmony with God and everlasting life. (Isa. 35:-10) They will have the opportunity to regain everything Adam lost though disobedience in the garden of Eden.
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