The first few years of restitution blessings will find multitudes of people diligently seeking to be restored to health and strength; and as they grow strong themselves and prepare homes for themselves and their families, they will be thinking of their beloved dead. Naturally they will want to see them again, and they will pray to the Lord to restore them. And the Lord will hear their prayers and answer them. “It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) Jesus declared that “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 judgment”. (John 5:28,29) “They that have done evil” here means the entire human race aside from the church. They were born evil, born sinners. (Romans 5:12) They are coming forth to judgment, to a trial; and this is the great trial time spoken of by the Apostle, in which all men shall have an opportunity. (Acts 17:31) “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”—Acts 24:15.
St. Paul then produces his wonderful and beautiful argument on the resurrection, saying, “If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:16-22) Then the Apostle shows that after the resurrection of the church in the beginning of the kingdom every man must come forth in his own order. Jesus declared: “Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first”. (Matthew 19:30) This principle may be properly applied to the resurrection of the dead. Those who died last will be the first to be awakened; while those who died centuries ago will be among the last to be awakened.
In the World War millions of men died upon the battlefield. That was indeed the land of the enemy, the land of death. The Lord gives us a picture through the Prophet as to the coming days of blessing, saying to the woman who wept for her children, and thus illustrating all who weep for their dead: “Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.” —Jeremiah 31:16,17.