Raising The Dead In Fredericksburg, VA

Hi, my name is Bryce Souve, and I am the new pastor of Bethel Reformed Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the OPC in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I have been confessionally Reformed since about 2004, I gratefully attended and graduated from Westminster Seminary California, and I have been preaching the gospel in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) for the past five or so years. To shed light on our mission at Bethel, I would like you to consider the doctrine of resurrection with me.

When we think about the deep truths of the resurrection, we realize the depth of what it means for the dead to be raised. As Paul makes clear, if Christ has not been raised, our faith is a joke and we are dead in our sins. But in fact, Christ has been raised, and so we have a sure hope; indeed, we have an everlasting hope. This is the gospel—hope in Christ. Truly, this reality of resurrection has struck me anew, having now spent my first few weeks as pastor here in Fredericksburg.

Consider 1 Corinthians 15: Paul was not merely debating the reality of Christ’s resurrection particularly; he was also focusing on Christ’s resurrection as evidence for the reality of the concept of resurrection itself. Indeed, the dead will be raised. Every single man and woman who has ever died will be raised—all of them.

As you travel around Virginia, one is struck by the fact that so many people have died on the very ground you walk upon. Although the blood soaked in long ago, bullets and belt buckles from the dead Confederate and Union soldiers still spring up along people’s hikes. But there will come a day when the bodies that once shot those bullets and wore those belts will not only spring up but will walk again. How exactly God will do this might be hard for us to imagine. But since God is the one who formed the first man, Adam, from the dust and breathed life into him, and since God is the one who returns all back into the dust, we can be sure that everybody—truly, ever body—will be reunited with their soul and stand before their Creator at the last day.

But the question is this: To what end? Thankfully, God has described this day with vivid clarity in the last book of his new covenant: the Revelation of Jesus Christ. There, God gives John the vision of the last day, the great and final day of the Lord God Almighty, when Jesus will put away Satan and all his enemies in hell to suffer his wrath for all time. In particular, God speaks of the second death—when those who died in this life without faith in Christ will be raised and cast into hell, along with Satan and the rest of God’s enemies, to be judged forever. But God also speaks of the first resurrection—when those who have previously died in Christ will enjoy their glorified bodies being reunited with their souls, to be kept from all harm, and to enjoy perfect safety from the wrath of that great and final judgment.

Indeed, the dead will be raised. For some, this is absolutely terrifying—to think of their body being raised only to suffer the death of God’s unending wrath. But through faith in Jesus Christ, there is no need to fear. Truly, for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life—for those who have been chosen by God before the first creation to be saved from their sins and made perfect in the finished work of Jesus Christ unto everlasting life in the new creation—these people, the people of God, will never suffer death again, but will only know peace, joy, and rest as they live with God forevermore.

What does this have to do with me being the new pastor of Bethel Reformed OPC in Fredericksburg, Virginia? Well, this is my calling from the Creator and Redeemer himself—God has sent me to preach his gospel, the saving message of hope in Christ, so that the dead would be raised to new life in Jesus, so that the people of God would be nourished and built up by the Spirit of Christ, and so that all of God’s children would long to hear the anthem that will sound at the beginning of the rest of their life: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:3–4). Amen.

So, if you or someone you know is in our area and needs this kind of hope, please reach out, visit us, and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that you too can fix your eyes upon the imperishable hope of everlasting life with God in the new creation to come.

©Bryce Souve. All Rights Reserved.


Heidelberg Reformation Association
1637 E. Valley Parkway #391
Escondido CA 92027
The HRA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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    Rev. Bryce Souve was born and raised in Southern California. He married his high school sweetheart and they have five children. He received his Master of Divinity from Westminster Seminary California and has served as pastor to Bethel Reformed OPC in Fredericksburg, VA since 2024

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