Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Daniel 12:1-3 describes a time of great distress for God’s people. During this time of trouble, those “who are found written in the book will escape (v. 1, CSB). The prophet here is telling about those whose names have been placed in God’s book of life. We find in the New Testament that this refers to those who trust in Jesus. They escape the trials which would be their undoing. Verse two speaks of a resurrection of the dead. Those sleeping in the dust are the people whose mortal life has ended. God will raise them up.
Daniel describes the ressurection in a way that can be instructive to us. Notice that some are raised “to eternal life” but the rest are raised “to disgrace.” There will be a sorting. Almost every Christian admits to this. But let’s notice crefully the language used. We may be tempted to think of the resurrection to an eternal life of blessing or of torment. But the Bible makes it clear. Only the resurrection to blessing is actually considered life. Everyone has eternity. That’s not a problem. But only some have life. In the same way, throughout the New Testament, actual life is predicated on trusting Christ. To live is Christ.
What of a heavenly reward? We read in verse three that there may well be differences in the heavenly realms. But if we think about those differences, we still need no fear. The reward is life in the loving presence of God. What kind of reward do we want? It makes no difference. All the blessings of God go far beyond our imagination or our hopes. We simply receive them and rejoice.
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