I've been wondering if the choice of who gets to participate in the 1st resurrection is somewhat similar to the testing Abraham experienced when told to sacrifice Isaac. In other words, the testing revealed A's heart by his actions.As per request I would like to take a look at a subject that I've seldom heard talked about but which, for me, is endlessly fascinating. The first time I read Rev 20 I was taken aback. Though I grew up agnostic, still, Christianity was so much a part of our American culture, particularly in the South, that you couldn't help but absorb some of the Cliff Notes of that faith. Even at that I had never heard what was put forth in Rev 20 anywhere.
The first 6 verses of Rev 20 set forth the fact that there are 2 resurrections and identifies who is a part of the first one. I would like to offer this passage now for those that may not have read it and as a refresher for those that have.
1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
While reading this please bear one thing in mind. The term here translated as "beheaded" is defined in the Greek as follows:
πελεκίζω pelekízō, pel-ek-id'-zo; from a derivative of G4141 (meaning an axe); to chop off (the head), i.e. truncate:—behead.
πλήσσω plḗssō, place'-so; apparently another form of G4111 (through the idea of flattening out); to pound, i.e. (figuratively) to inflict with (calamity):—smite. Compare G5180.
It is helpful when reading this to remember that the Hebrew term "to cut off" was often used as another way of saying "to kill" and in this instance if think the meaning offered here might be better understood to include all who had been killed for the Word of God and not just those that suffered decapitation. This would put this passage more in harmony with the rest of the passages concerning this subject.
In like manner, God might know our hearts if we submit ourselves to trials and death for His name's sake, and maybe not otherwise.
But Paul doesn't seem to make any distinction between faithful believers and faithless ones in 1 Th 4, at least while discussing the resurrection, vs 13 and following (unless the word "brethren" defines that distinction).
In general, though, I tend to think there is some demarcation of those "believers" who will be resurrected at the beginning of the millennium compared to those "believers" who wait til after.