In Surprised by Hope, N. T. Wright argues extensively that “resurrection” refers exclusively to a bodily resurrection. First Century Greeks, for example, believed in the immortality of the soul (our disembodied selves) but had no concept of a resurrection.
I’ve earlier noted that the New Testament teaches that we are not, by nature, immortal. Rather, immortality is gift from God for those in Christ. But does that mean only those in Christ will be resurrected? I think not.
Some passages seem to suggest that only the righteous will be resurrected, such as –
(Luke 14:13-14) “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
But when we go looking for explicit teachings, we find that, in fact, both the wicked and the righteous will be resurrected –
(John 5:28-29) “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out — those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
(Acts 24:14-15) However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
But this only makes sense. After all, this fits well with –
(Mat 10:28 ) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Jesus certainly seems to say that that the body of someone outside of Christ will be destroyed in Gehenna, not just their soul. That’s not really possible absent a bodily resurrection.
In 1 Cor 15:35ff Paul explains the nature of the resurrection body, but he is clearly speaking of the bodies of the saved.
(1 Cor 15:42-43) So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
Surely, it’s only the bodies of the saved that receive glory rather than dishonor, power rather than weakness. If so, then it’s only the bodies of the saved that are raised imperishable.
This means, I think, that the lost will be raised, will have perishable bodies, and will be destroyed and so will perish.
Beyond this, I really can’t say much for sure. I mean, I have no idea how the bodies of the lost and the saved will differ, other than the fact that the saved will have glorious, imperishable bodies and the lost will have something quite different. They will perish in the Second Death.
Now, this surely seems a bit inefficient. Why give someone a new body or go to the trouble to resurrect their old body, just to destroy them? But God isn’t subject to the rules of efficiency that humans must contend with. We have finite resources and finite time and so must not waste what we have. God, however, has infinite resources and time. He has no reason to be efficient. (It must be nice!)
Besides, I have no idea why the scriptures describe a bodily resurrection for the saved. I just know they do.