This is the scene that separates the wicked dead forever. It comes after the millennium reign and rule of Jesus Christ here on earth. It is the final judgment of the dead who have been held in Hell since the time of Adam till the commencement of the millennial governance of the earth by Christ. And when the millennial is over they would be recalled from Hell to stand before Christ as Judge sitting on the Great White Throne.
“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose Face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” – Revelation 20: 11-15.
That is the coming Great White Throne Judgment. Nothing can be more startling, grisly and gruesome. It is unimaginable scene. All the horror films of the world put together are nothing to compare. Men’s effort to act the scene of the Great White Throne Judgment pales into nothing in comparison with the actually. Before we continue this our topic for today we wish to presently visit other types of judgments in Scripture before coming back to stay on this subject matter of the Great White Throne Judgment.
OTHER JUDGMENTS IN SCRIPTURES
There is the judgment of the believer’s sin. This is what the Cross of Christ is about. The judgment of our sins on the Cross of Christ is the guarantee for eternity with God and the guarantee for escaping the coming Great White Throne Judgment. The basis of this judgment is not really our sins (because we have been condemned already) but the perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ for me as my Substitute.
When I acknowledge this and go to the Cross to confess my sins and repent I am forgiven by God because Jesus has been judged in my place and His victory becomes mine (see John 12: 31-32; Romans 6: 10; Hebrews 9: 25-25; John 3: 10-21) This type of judgment results in death to Christ or life to believers (Romans chapters 4, 5 and 8). This is life to the man who goes to the Cross. This is what guarantees us eternity with God.
There is also the believer’s self-judgment. This one the believer engages in throughout his life here on earth. This is what secures us eternity with God. The basis of this judgment is obedience to God and His Word. Here, we allow God and His Word to lead and correct us. We judge our lives and actions with the Word continually (see 1 Corinthians 11: 31-32; 1 John 1: 7; James 1: 22-25). This type of Judgment results in chastisement or approval from God (Hebrews 12: 5-11). Both are beneficial in the pilgrim walk.
Many have been guaranteed eternity with God who have made shipwreck of their faith because they fail to allow God lead and correct them with His Word. They forgot they were pilgrims. So, they failed to secure eternity with God, they failed to be part of the final salvation, and very pitiably shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment.
May God help all believers who still have their breath intact to know the way of self-judgment! May you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling if indeed you have been saved (Philippians 2: 12) or will go to Jesus for the salvation of your soul today! Believers who know how to faithfully judge themselves now (and who are not engaged judging and condemning others) will have nothing to fear about the Great White Throne Judgment for they shall not be there.
Then there shall be the judgment of the believers’ works: This is the judgment to either reward the works of those who are able to secure eternity with God or to lose such rewards. The life we live after salvation is paramount and determines whether we shall make heaven in the first place or not. It is really of no use doing ‘great works’ here on earth and fails to make Heaven, because there will be no one to receive such rewards if there are any reward at all.
The expectation of rewards should therefore represent a call to obedience, consecration, holiness, Christian living; it should stand for a call unto becoming living epistle, example of the believers, light of the world, salt of the earth; for what a highway these represent in our pilgrim walk to Heaven. There is grace, abundant grace for the serious minds. To work ‘great works’ at the expense of holy living and so at the expense of Heaven by extension, is one chief way of ‘beating the air’, to remind us of the admonition of Paul. Good news: There is no way you line up your life with that of Christ or you become Christ-like (which is the meaning of Christian, anyway) and do not works or ‘great works’. And such works guarantee rewards. Grace not frustrated now, ushers in untold rewards in eternity with God.
It is therefore of utmost importance to make our lives count for eternity. Our lives: our thoughts and words; our relationships and associations; our investments and spending; our time and service all should count for eternity. There is no other reason why we are here. It is expected of pilgrims to so live. That we shall one day be rewarded must be a call to conform to the image of God and to finish or fulfill our ministry. And there is abundant grace for us so to live and so work. We must tap into that grace. And there is abundant grace to so tap. And when we make it to eternity with God, the rewards will be untold.
Yes, it must be a call to so live. Bernard Barton (1784-1849) in his “Walk in the Light” has this godly counsel for believers everywhere:
Walk in the light! So shalt thou know
That fellowship of love
His Spirit only can bestow
Who reigns in light above.
Walk in the light! And thou shalt find
Thy heart made truly his,
Who dwells in cloudless light enshrined,
In whom no darkness is.
Walk in the light! And thou shalt own
Thy darkness passed away,
Because that light hath on thee shone
In which is perfect day.
Walk in the light! Thy path shall be
A path, though thorny, bright;
For God, by grace, shall dwell in thee,
And God himself is light.
And there is the great tribulation, a form of Judgment that God allow to come upon Israel and the world for years of disobedience to God and for not believing the Truth: Jesus Christ. Because of this He will send them strong delusion and they shall believe a lie. And that lie is Satan and his Anti-Christ and False Prophet: The trinity of evil unleashing themselves and all they represent on the world. And it will be real terrible (see 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-12 and many other scriptures). Again, the Cross of Jesus is the only rescue presently.
Another judgment we may speak of is the judgment of the living nations. This will take place at the second advent of Christ just before the millennium. This is the great concern of Matthew 25: 31-46. It will determine who continues to live on earth for the millennium. Some will go to hell from here; some others will enter the kingdom. It will separate the bad from the good; and angels will help in this judgment where again Christ will be the Judge. Since the Rapture of the believers or saints would have taken place before now and Christ has actually now returned back with them to rule with them in the millennium, the way men relate with Israel will be the major basis of this judgment of the living nations.
Then again, there is the judgment of fallen angels. We may not concern ourselves with that here except to say that like the wicked dead, of which we shall now visit, they shall be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment
(Jude 6) and the result of that is, they will also end up at the Lake of Fire and Brimstone (2 Peter 2: 4; Revelation 20: 11-15).
JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED DEAD
The judgment of the wicked dead is another way to capture the Great White Throne Judgment. Too critical we must repeat this: “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose Face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” – Revelation 20: 11-15.
It is a Great White Throne Judgment: So great, it will accommodate all the wicked dead who had trod this side of eternity. So white (literarily) it will contrast all darkness and make it so glaring and conspicuous wherever it is represented in that record horde of humanity. So white (indicating or signifying total and absolute righteousness and justice of the judgment) that sin wherever it is, will not only be spotlighted by that glorious righteousness but seen by all the wicked dead to the extent that it would be clear to them the appropriate reward or justice to expect. It will be an indisputable and sweeping self-conviction that will fill and envelop (overwhelm that is) those present at the Great White Throne Judgment. We speak of a self-conclusion of a ‘completely guilty verdict’ that overwhelm the man’s whole being and an equally overwhelming certainty that he irretrievably belonged to eternal damnation, all by the sheer size of the overwhelming multitude gathered that day and by the righteous environment around the Throne that is his host momentarily. That is, even before the judgment; even before the books are opened.
It is the judgment throne of divinity, of God Who is now wrath and ready for eternal divine retribution. No attorney can approach that throne. All worlds’ great shall surface on that day to meet their everlasting doom. All worlds’ antichrists shall appear to answer for themselves (as it were) on that day but cannot be able for complete dumbness. And founders of religions of all sorts will be there with unblinking gaze wholly dumbfounded. The occult grandmasters and gurus of all ages too and many a popes, emperors, czars, pharaohs, philosophers of all ages shall appear but with their tongues glued to the ceiling of their mouths. Untold Nobel laureates, other laureates, illuminati, so-called role models of the world (actually spoilers of humanity) will be there consumed all over with fright unspeakable.
The Neros, Jesuits, Hitlers, and all persecutors of the Church and Israel in history shall be irredeemably there to reap according to what they have sown. Charles Darwin cannot save Himself, let alone, his men on that day; and same truth goes for all founders of world –isms and their adherents who do not know Jesus experientially. What of false church founders, heads and leaders! It will be the same sorry story! The list runs ad infinity. All of them will be face to face with Him “Whose Face the earth and heaven fled away”. “And there was found no place for them”.
Yes, the ‘great’ shall be there, without an attorney in Satan, even the devil who have deceived them and who they have served! They will even now discover that their master the devil has been finally sent to the Lake of Fire and Brimstone being the third creature to go there after the Antichrist and the False Prophet both of whom have actually been sent there a thousand years before. And now the same fate of their master the devil is now staring at them: an inevitable grossly disastrous destiny in all of eternity. And like the devil they will flee at the Face of Him Who is The Way, The Truth and The Life on that day. It is called THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT DAY (Jude 6).