Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, March 02, 2009

Great White Throne Judgment

"And I saw a great white throne, and Him who is sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven did flee away, and place was not found for them; and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and scrolls were opened, and another scroll was opened, which is that of the life, and the dead were judged out of the things written in the scrolls -- according to their works; and the sea did give up those dead in it, and the death and the hades did give up the dead in them, and they were judged, each one according to their works; and the death and the hades were cast to the lake of the fire -- this [is] the second death; and if any one was not found written in the scroll of the life, he was cast to the lake of the fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 - Young's Literal Translation)

This is called the Great White Throne Judgment. It is when those who had no part in the first resurrection will be judged. Jesus will sit on the throne to judge. He will be so somber that the physical creation will not be able to bear His appearance.

The exact meaning of the last part of verse eleven is difficult to determine. From the context, it would seem that this is the time when this universe will be dissolved in preparation for the creation of the new heaven and earth. There are several other passages that suggest that this world will be destroyed. Jesus Himself said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away. . ." (Matthew 24:35)

Those who stand before Jesus at this judgment will be judged out of books. It is generally believed that these books include both the Bible which is God's law, and records of all that people have done in their lifetimes.

Hal Lindsey, in his book There's a New World Coming, graphically describes the scene:

As each man steps before the throne, God will first open the "Book of the Law." He'll show the man what was required of him if he was to come to God by merit of his own good deeds. He'll patiently go over each point of the Law, showing afresh that the standards are so high that no man could keep them. Then God will remind the offender that this is why He sent His Son - to perfectly fulfill the demands of the Law for us and in us.

After this God will open the "Book of Works," with this man's name on it. God will painstakingly compare it point-by-point with the "Book of the Law," showing the man how he failed to measure up to what the Law of God demanded in the way of righteousness. He'll show the many times that he failed to heed the prompting of God's still, small voice in his conscience which told him to get right with God while there was still time.

Then God will quietly lay down these two books and pick up the "Book of Life." It's quite evident by now that the first two books have confirmed the condemnation that has brought the man to this bar of judgment, but just to prove beyond doubt there has been no mistake, God checks His final record.

He solemnly opens the "Book of Life" and begins to scan the pages for the man's name. Those nail-scarred hands turn first one page, and then another, all the time wishing the man's name could be found there. Tragically, it can't be found on any page, and God slowly closes this final book of judgment and says with great reluctance: "Depart from Me, accursed one, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41)

The man begins to tremble, and frantic words rush to his defense - "Lord, Lord, didn't I prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?" (Matthew 7:22,23)

The Father slowly shakes His head and says, "I never knew you."

Those words will ring in the condemned man's ears for all eternity - "I never knew you, I never knew you, I never knew you. . . ."

(There's a New World Coming, Hal Lindsey, Bantam Book, 1975, pg. 273, 274)

Whether this is how it will be or not we do not know. Certainly the spirit of this judgment is shown in this description. Those who never accepted what Jesus did for them will be judged according to their own works and the law of God and will be found guilty.

All the dead, where ever and how ever they died will stand before God in judgment. Those who did not trust in Christ and have their names entered into the Book of Life will be cast into eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.

For a Christian, there can be only one proper response to this passage. We must warn all who will listen of the judgment that they will face while they have time to repent and be forgiven.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always good to read such a good explanation of the Bible. Many of our love ones are gone. I wish there was a link to send this to other Christians and friends. Good Work!

12:14 PM  

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