If the dead are asleep until the resurrection, where are the wicked now, and when will they be resurrected? Peter testified, “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). Peter explained the same truth about evil angels: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to [Tartarus – abyss or pit], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). Both wicked angels and wicked humans are being reserved until the day of judgment to be punished. “That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath” (Job 21:30).
The wicked will not be resurrected until the time of their judgment. The book of Revelation describes two judgment scenes. One takes place in heaven, happens before the second coming, mostly angels are present, very few humans, and only involves the righteous (Revelation 4:2-4; 5:6, 7, 11; 6:9-11; Daniel 7:9, 10). This judgment takes place without the presence of the righteous. Thankfully, God will not mention our sins to us if we have confessed and forsaken them (Proverbs 28:13). “None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live” (Ezekiel 33:16).
The second judgment scene takes place on the earth, happens after the thousand-year millennium, all the wicked humans are there, and only involves the wicked (Revelation 20:11-15). The wicked are judged after the millennium. That is when they are resurrected. Revelation 20 gives us a lot of information about the two resurrections. John explained, “This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:5, 6). The first resurrection is for the blessed and holy people. They will live and reign with Christ during the thousand-year millennium. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5). “The rest of the dead” are the wicked. They do not live during the millennium. Instead, they are dead, awaiting their resurrection. (For a thorough study on the Millennium, please contact us to request your free copy of our study entitled, “The Millennium.”)