And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5 :28-29).
A great deal of the Bible was written as prophecy. It is one of the prerogatives of God to speak absolutely of what the future holds. In the Old Testament, God taunted the idols of the nations for their inability to foretell coming events. "Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods" (Isaiah 42:22-23a).
The implication is that mankind needs a definitive statement of what the future holds to be able to grapple with the greatest issues of his existence. The truth is, many of the great teachings of the Bible, and many of the great events of God's eternal purpose are inseparably connected with Bible prophecy.
From Jesus' words quoted above on the coming resurrections of the just and the unjust, we learn immediately that prophecy matters to every person. Everyone will, in God's time, be brought from the grave and stand before God. Then they will enter, body and soul, into their eternal condition. God wants us to know that heaven or hell awaits every person, so each can prepare while there is time.
Which resurrection one participates in will be determined in this life. There is one resurrection for the just and another for the unbelieving. Acts 24:15 tells us that, "there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust". And the final book of the Bible speaks definitively. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection" (Revelation 20:5).
I cannot imagine a more profound meditation. We stand on the threshold of eternity now. As we are confronted with the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death for our sins we make a decision that determines where we spend eternity, body and soul.