Something I’ve been pondering over since reading it recently:
24 Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 “Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; 27 and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John chapter 5 – emphasis added)
Within this passage many scholars see two resurrections: the first being a ‘spiritual’ resurrection (verses 24, 25). This first resurrection includes “only those who hear”. It being the initial act of salvation (being born-again) and being brought to life spiritually. “…the hour is coming, and is now here...” ( verse 25- present tense at the time Jesus spoke) when only some of “…the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live”
The “dead” being a reference to being spiritually dead and then being given new life.
The second resurrection is a bodily resurrection (verses 28-29) and includes all people hearing His voice and responding. Of this resurrection Jesus says, “The hour is coming (verse 28, note the lack of “and now is”, as is read in verse 25) when all who are in their graves will hear”. The second resurrection is both to life and condemnation.
The first resurrection is present–the other future; the first is spiritual–the second physical; the first is restricted to only “those who hear”–the other includes everyone; the first is to life–the other is to judgment to life or to death.
Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years. (Rev. 20:6)
Source, The Millennium by Alistair W. Donaldson