By Oscar M. Baker
Both these terms are generally misunderstood because of traditions of men. And these sayings of men are more or less founded on the lie of Gen. 3:4, "Ye shall not surely die." And from this came the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. So then resurrection is not really needed, and salvation has come to mean avoiding the punishments and tortures in hell for sins.
Immortal soul is a term foreign to the Scriptures. And hell is simply the grave in which there is no knowledge or device, the dead know not anything. So in the light of these things, many have to revise their ideas of resurrection and salvation.
In the first place, these two are inseparable. Salvation includes resurrection. That is why that we find in 1 Cor. 15:12-18 the fact that salvation without resurrection leaves men in a miserable state, and faith vain. In John 3:16 the alternatives are perish or having everlasting life. Those who believe are given everlasting life and will be raised at the last day (John 6:40,54).
In Eph. 1:14 resurrection is spoken of as the redemption of the purchased possession, i.e., resurrection. Likewise in 4:30 the believer is sealed unto the day of redemption, i.e., the day of resurrection. Those who have believed as in 2:8-10, have then the certainty of resurrection. Since resurrection is a part of salvation, and that is for the believer, then the unbeliever can have no part in it. He has no salvation, hence no resurrection.
Those who profess to believe that there is a universal salvation for all men, then must also believe in a universal resurrection. But this is not to be found in the Scriptures.
In the past dispensation, we find Rom. 13:11, "For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Salvation here covers quite a bit. It is the Lord, His coming, the raising of the dead and the change of the believers that are alive at His coming. This is their salvation.
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin, unto salvation" (Heb. 9:28). Again the second coming and resurrection are the salvation the Hebrews were to look for.
So we have to conclude that salvation includes resurrection. Even those who are not overcomers will be raised. All that have life, both just and unjust are in this group. But no resurrection has been provided for the unbelievers. Satan does not have that power, and so his are forever dead. That is where God has the advantage. He may have only a remnant in each age, but all these will be resurrected and accomplish God's purpose in them. Satan will have none when death and hell cease to exist. And he, himself, will also perish and be no more. Salvation and resurrection belong together!
(Reprinted from Truth For Today - Vol. 29)