The dead are people who are lifeless; who do not know anything. To rise means to come back to life and live again. Many today believe that when someone dies, he goes to heaven if he is good but if evil he will go to hell fire to burn for ever and fire. This is of course a denial of resurrection, which teaches that the dead will be in the grave until they will come back to life again by the power of God.
God Almighty created man to live forever. But when man broke the law given to him, God imposed the death sentence on him. (Genesis 2:7-9, 15-17; 3:1-6, 14-19, 22-24) Since then human beings have been dying, having inherited the sin of Adam. (Romans 5:12; 3:23) But God has made the promise that the dead shall rise again.
God Almighty gave promises to raise the dead, including children, as stated in Hosea 13:14; Jeremiah 31:15-17; Ezekiel 37:1-14. Also, servants of God like Job, Isaiah, St. Paul, had hope in the resurrection of the dead. (Job 14:13-15; Isaiah 26:19; Acts 26:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19) St. Paul even declared that “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-19) Jesus Christ is the One God Almighty has given power to raise the dead. – John 5:21, 25.
There are different categories of resurrection. The first resurrection belongs to Jesus Christ and the saints, who will be given immortality and dwell in heaven for ever. (1 Corinthians 15:40-50) There is the better resurrection which is for the ancient worthies from the first righteous man Abel to John the Baptist. (Hebrews 11:4-40) Then there is the General Resurrection for the just and the unjust. (John 5:28, 29) While the just will be given life, the unjust will be given 100 years to work and those who are obedient will get life while the disobedient will die eternally, which is the second death. – Isaiah 65:20.
St. Paul stated, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.