Many of us have been taught that when someone dies, they immediately go to Heaven or Hell. It's a nice thought for those who expect to go to Heaven, but the scriptures clearly show a definite order of resurrection that occurs at different times. It may be beneficial to first review the Bible study on this website called "Death and Resurrection". However, if you are already scripturally convinced that those who have died are still unconscious in the grave, then this study on the Order of Resurrection may further illuminate the topic for you.
The Bible contains numerous references proving that when a person dies, they go into a state of perpetual sleep--or complete unconsciousness--as king David did (1 Kings ). It states that in the grave, there is no work or knowledge (Ecclesiastes ). The apostle Peter said that king David was still dead and buried, even though hundreds of years had elapsed from David's time until Peter's time (Acts ). This helps to prove that the resurrection for mankind has not yet begun. Once in the grave, our hope rests in Christ: As he was raised from the dead, we hope of being resurrected back to everlasting life at the appointed time (1 Peter 1:3). As Christ is first in all things, so he was the first to be resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Not everyone is resurrected at the same time due to the reward they have been judged to receive. Christ's second coming will signal the beginning of the first resurrection for those who are judged worthy to live as spiritual beings in heaven (saints). After all of the heavenly class are raised, then those who will inhabit the renewed earth in a perfect fleshly body will be resurrected. Eventually, all who have ever lived throughout time will be resurrected and judged to either live or die forever based on the kind of existence they lived.
1 Peter 1:3-4
Hope by the resurrection of Christ.
Those that believe on Christ will be resurrected.
1 Corinthians 15:12,20-23
Many are made alive by Christ.
21. Order of Resurrection
Acts 24: 15
All will be resurrected.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
At Christ’s 2nd coming, the dead saints resurrected first, the remaining saints resurrected later.
How long before all the saints are resurrected? There is a time period between the first and the last saint’s resurrection.
The completion of the resurrection of the saints is the first resurrection.
The beginning of the resurrection of those that will inherit the earth.
Isaiah will be resurrected with those that inherit the earth.
After the 1000 years are finished, the rest of the dead are resurrected.