He asks, “Where is this mixture of resurrected and unresurrected individuals taught, or even implied in the Scriptures? “
Answer: Why can it not be taught in Revelation 20? Why is that chapter suddenly off-limits?
Further: As we have seen, the New Testament writers all anticipate the final consummation to occur at the time of our Lord’s Second Advent. They do not anticipate the half-way step of an earthly millennium before the final consummation such as that associated with all forms of premillennalism.
But that is not how 1 Cor. 15:20-27 reads. One can legitimately make the case that the tagmata represent three different orders of events, given Paul’s eita…epeita construction. Even progressive’s like Jurgen Moltmann concede the point and even advance this reading.
His strongest argument:
Perhaps even more problematic is the following dilemma raised by the premillennial insistence upon people in natural bodies living on the earth alongside of Christ and his resurrected saints. How do people living on the earth at the time of Christ’s second coming escape the resurrection and the judgment? The Scriptures are very clear that Christ returns to judge the world, raise the dead and renew the cosmos. According to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, those who have died in Christ are raised from the dead at his coming. Those who are Christ’s and who are still alive when he comes are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. This includes all believers, whether living or dead. But those who are not Christ’s, we are told, will face his wrath and will be taken away to face final judgment (Matthew 24:37-41). This includes all unbelievers living at the time of our Lord’s return. Therefore, premillennarians must explain just who, exactly, are these people in unresurrected bodies living during the millennium.
Why is this exactly a problem? Premillennialists have dealt with these rebuttals for a long time. Dr Paul Henebury notes,
So what? If someone born in the Millennium can be summoned by Satan to rebel against Christ at the end of the thousand years, surely there are a lot of unsaved people who need saving? Why is that a problem?… So what? Does the Bible say anywhere that there will be no death after Christ’s second coming? What about Rev. 20:7-10? … Zech. 8? Easy, apocalyptic. Isa. 65? same. Zech 14? more of the same. Rev. 20? symbolic.
I should point out that Dr Riddlebarger’s criticisms are theological in nature, not exegetical. If this is what the Bible teaches, then I fail to see the problem. We must adjust our ontology about created reality if that’s the case.