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Peter the apostle writes, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9). The wicked are reserved somewhere until the day of judgment arrives. Where are they reserved? Jesus gives the answer:
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 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). Our Lord made it clear that everyone would be reserved in their graves until called forth in the resurrection to receive either life or damnation.
Jesus adds, that the judgements are given only at His coming not before, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27). Rewards and punishments are given at the coming of the Lord.
Again, He confirms, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). This means that none of the righteous dead have gone to heaven or the wicked have gone to hell. All are waiting in their graves for the judgment and the end of the world.
Also, the OT states that the Resurrection of the dead to receive their justice takes place only at the coming of the Lord: “But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep” (Job 14:10, 12). And when will the heavens be no more?
The Bible gives the answer, “The day of the Lord will come … in which the heavens will pass away” (2 Peter 3:10 NKJV). The heavens pass away on the day of the Lord, when Jesus returns to the earth to judge every one according to his works. Until then, the dead do “not rise” from the grave.
In His service,
The BibleAsk Team