The Difference Between The First And Second Resurrections
One thing. You mentioned that the lake of fire is not the easy way out. I know you are right but in what way? If I am not elect, then I go through the lake of fire which is not something anyone is looking forward to. But going through judgment now isn't easy either. So is one more intense or worse than the other?
No, it is the exact same fire in both cases. It just doesn't make any sense to postpone the inevitable. This trial must be experienced by every man who has ever lived. If anything comes between us and our Savior, we are not worthy of Him and His kingdom.
Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36 And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household.
Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
There is absolutely nothing to be gained by settling for the second resurrection. While the fire is the same, the loss is much greater in the lake of fire. All the blessings of Revelation 2 and 3 are forfeited in the lake of fire. And the needed stripes are simply being held in reserve:
Luk 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
The first resurrection is a much better resurrection with much better promises. There is so much to gained by being in that "blessed and holy first resurrection," and so much to lose by not being one of that group of most honored of all men. It is well worth the sacrifice at this time.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it .
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is]the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 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.
I pray that you will be given an appreciation for that blessed and holy first resurrection. It is few indeed who have such an appreciation.