Many have been faithful before Christ and after Christ. They are described as those who have “done good.” Their reward is a resurrection of life. Their judgment is past and they are judged worthy of life. (Whether they receive life on an earthly or spiritual plane is another discussion.) John 5:28, 29 (ESV) “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
Faithful Christians will be resurrected as the Bride of Christ. They will be honored as associates with Jesus by showing unbelievers the way of salvation to the water of life. “The Spirit and the bride say Come and let him that hears say come and let him that is athrist come and whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17) Notice the different classes referred to – Christ and the faithful Bride calls others to drink of the water of life. Who are the others? What is this water of life?
Revelation 22 is a symbolic picture of Christ’s 1,000 year kingdom when “there shall be no more curse.” This would be a future time because now every death is a witness that we are still under the curse. During that blessed time a clear understanding of God’s word will be known. “He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal” (verse 1). Salvation through Jesus and his teachings are this water of life. “whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)
All will have an opportunity during that 1,000 year reign to hear of Jesus. “Who (God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:4,5. “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14.
Back in Revelation 22:2 on the banks of this river are trees of life for the healing of the nations. This is another indication that it’s a future time as no nation is healed of their sin-sickness. The nations are further from God now than ever before.
Eventually there will be two groups of faithful. Those who have done good in this life are the Bride of Christ and the Old Testament prophets. Those who learn to be obedient and faithful to Christ in His 1,000 year kingdom will receive everlasting life in paradise on Earth.