Summary: If the human race could not remember their past lives, it would be fruitless to resurrect them. They would only fail to obey again. Their memories with sin will teach them “to love righteousness and hate wickedness.” Psalm 45:7
Discussion: 1 Corinthians 15:22-25 explains the order of the resurrection. Jesus was the first, then the Church, and later the world here on earth.
First, there must be a “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12:1) The purpose is to prepare man to be ready and willing to listen to God’s instructions. Today, people still aren’t humble enough to understand they can’t solve their own problems.
Once Christ has established His just, loving Kingdom on earth, He can begin the awakening of the unsaved (the great majority of mankind).
All who go into death will be raised in about the same condition as when they died. However, we believe healing will occur soon. It would be unreasonable to think that people will come back as ill, or as emotionally broken as when they went into the grave. Isaiah 35:5-6 (ESV) promises, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.”
Certainly, people will have the same memories, and ways of thinking as when they died. Ecclesiastes 11:3, “…as the tree falleth, so shall it lie.” When Jesus awakened Lazarus from death (although it wasn’t a full resurrection because he died again), Lazarus had all his memories.
The purpose of the general resurrection is to give each individual person their own trial for life and death. (Right now we are all dying through Adam.) This trial will be more favorable because of the experience gained by living the consequences of sin. Mankind will be educated and disciplined until they reach perfection. Jeremiah 31:33-34 (ESV), “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts… they shall all know me,… For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Then people will be able to compare living in sin versus living in righteousness. Most will be glad to choose God’s righteous arrangements!
Any who sin willfully against full education and restored health will perish in the second death.