The resurrection of Jesus is a central theme in most Christian denominations. Southern Baptists are no exception. Southern Baptist theology allows for significant diversity in some areas of belief, but the resurrection of Jesus is not one of them. Southern Baptists also hold a common belief that the dead will be resurrected when Christ returns.
Resurrection of Jesus
According to Southern Baptist belief, Jesus Christ died on the cross. Three days later, he was resurrected. They believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead. His dead body came back to life, according to Southern Baptists. They believe that Jesus' body was now 'glorified.' This glorified body functioned just as it did before the crucifixion. Southern Baptists believe that the marks of the crucifixion, including the wounds created by the guard's spear and the nail holes in Jesus' wrist, were still visible in this glorified body.
Resurrection of All People
Southern Baptists believe that all of the dead will be raised at the end of time. Jesus will return in his resurrected body to the earth, and then the dead will be raised. This resurrection will be followed by a judgement. According to Southern Baptists, the unrighteous (presumably non-believers) will be sent to hell in their resurrected bodies and punished forever. The righteous will receive their reward and spend eternity in Heaven with God in their resurrected bodies.
Rejection of an Allegorical Interpretation
Some Christian denominations believe that the story of the Resurrection is meant to be allegorical. They suggest that Jesus didn't physically rise from the dead. Rather, they teach that the story of the resurrection is meant to describe the kind of transformation that occurs in a Christian's life. Southern Baptists specifically reject this approach to the Resurrection. A literal understanding of the resurrection narrative is integral to the Southern Baptist understanding of scripture and doctrine.
Southern Baptists have some latitude when it comes to specific details about the end times. Some believe that all of the dead will be raised at once when Jesus returns. Others believe that there will be two separate resurrections. This group believes the resurrection of the righteous will occur when Jesus first returns to the earth but the resurrection of the unrighteous will occur after specific end-times events unfold.
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