There seems to be much eschatological investigation in our time which excludes routinely any notion that many of the 1st-century Christians experienced these things:
"persecution", "punishment", "imprisonment" and "death"
from the hands of those who are influenced by the beast/false prophet/dragon conglomerate of the Book of Revelation.
Let us observe the following scriptures from the Apostle
One of the fundamentals of the Christian faith is the doctrine of "the" resurrection from the dead.
Here is what Jesus said about it:
34 Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage,
35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;
36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are
For the record, I would like to assure the saints that I believe that Christ's second coming is future from now.
However, Christ Jesus our Lord commanded John the Revelator to write what he saw (and heard, etc.) and send it to seven Asian Churches of the first century.
So, if the text of what John wrote to the 7 Asian Churches did not have meaning for their first-century time frame, then there is no real point to the book of Revelation in general.
There is indeed a reason for the "first resurrection"--and that reason has to do with the reality that the saints in this verse (in bold below):
8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
9I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God
I'm sure that we all remember the reasons for Judah's captivity in Babylon to begin with:
II Chron. 36
15 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;
16 but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy.