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The Final Judgment.


TableTalk – The Final Judgment Day. Part 1 – The Great White Throne 

Text. Revelation 20:11-15

I want to suggest that there is just ONE JUDGMENT DAY!  When the Bible talks about this day, it always refers to it in the singular – the DAY of the Lord, the DAY of judgement – it never speaks of the future DAYS of judgment. See 1 Thessalonians 5:2.  To help us explore the Final Judgment Day, we are going to work through Revelation 20:11-15.

The Final Judgement

1. Our Investigation of the Judgment DayRev. 20:11.  

Let’s do the investigative reporter thing, and ask the important questions…

a. Who? Who will be involved in the courtroom?

  • THE LORD CHRIST.  We often speak of God’s Judgement Day, and there is no doubt that this is so.  But remember that God is the Triune God, and in every great historical divine intervention in history, all three persons of the Trinity were active.   God will be on his throne – in the person of His Son, the Blessed Second Person of the Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ!   The One who was our loving humble Saviour on the cross, will on that day be our stern judge.  See this in Scripture, Matthew 25:31-32   John 5:27   Philippians 2:9-10 
  • THE ANGELS. Revelation 14:17-20.  God’s holy angels will have an important role on that day, for they will gather the nations before the throne.  But there’s another role for the angels and it is a frightening prospect. On judgment day, these angels are the ones who will remove them from God’s presence and thrust them into the fires of hell.  Matthew 13:41-42  
  • THE CHRISTIANS. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:2   I’m not just sure how that will work, but William Hendriksen suggests that perhaps it simply means that we will praise God for his righteous judgments, as in Revelation 15:3-4  

b. What?  What will happen there?  The obvious answer is that there will be divine justice dispensed. Rev 20:12-13.Think about the proceedings of this court:-

  • The accused are summoned. The whole of humanity appears.  See the various classes and conditions listed.  There will be:- 
    • The fallen angels.  Not worth a mention here, but the fallen angels will be judged on that day.  There’s plenty of biblical evidence, Matthew 8:29, 2 Peter 2:4.  Jude 6  
    • The dead, small and the great.  This is all inclusive, it will include all of us, from every age, and every language, and every class of humanity.  They will stand before God, the great and the small together, and will give account. 2 Corinthians 5:10.
    • The dead from both the sea and the grave.  We spoke about this a while back in our ‘Great Recap’ session.  How will bodies buried at sea, eaten by the fish and the crabs be called forth at the General Resurrection to stand before God in judgement?  I certainly don’t know, but they will!
    • The Souls in Hell.  People who have died and their souls have been casting hell will appear before the judgements seat, for now their new putrid, ever-corrupting bodies will be be prepared for them and they will be judged according to their works, and the degree of punishments will fit the wickedness of their evil deeds on earth.
    • The evidence is presented.  
      • The books were opened.  judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  Which books?  Obviously the books in which are recorded our deeds, for when these books are opened, the dead are judged according to their works.  BUT:-
      • The Book of Life.  15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  There is ANOTHER BOOK.  The book of life is opened, and this book contains the names of those who belong to Christ, his disciples.  Here’s a serious, important question?  Is YOUR name written in the book of life?    

c. Where? The simplest answer to this question, is ‘before the judgement throne of God.’  But where is that particular throne?  It can’t be in heaven, for nothing defiled will ever enter there.  It is perfectly possible to think that this will be a single universal event; that the judgment seat will be above the earth.  1 Thessalonians 4:17  

d. Why?  Why do we need a judgement day at all?  Those who are lost, on that day will find being in the presence of God’s holiness impossible – they will, themselves, want to flee away from bis presence.  And the distinctions are already made.  There are only the saved and the lost, and the saved are already assured of heaven and the lost are already under condemnation by their disobedience under the law of God.  Yet there are two obvious reasons why there must be judgment…

  • So that God’s glory will be magnified.  We shall look at this in our next lesson.  
  • To assess our WORKS in the body.   There will be degrees of blessedness in heaven, according to our faithfulness and our work for the kingdom.  There will be degrees of woe in hell too, based on how much of the gospel the individual has heard, and the application of their wickedness.   Perhaps more of this later.

e. When? This is the great question.  and there was found no place for them.  What is there no place for?  The earth and the heavens!  One of the events of the day is that heaven and earth will be no more!  So we get an idea of the time-fame.  This will be that day, “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time will be no more.”  It will all be part of that great day of the Lord’s return and the resurrection of all the dead.  

So we’ve got some idea of the basics of the Throne of Judgement on the day of the Lord.  Let’s move on to  briefly examine…

2. The Terrible VerdictRev 20:14-15. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

John is concerned in this passage about the fate of the wicked dead.  He speaks elsewhere of the final state of the blessed saints, the redeemed of the Lord, brought into their eternal home with him.  But in the passage about judgment he tells us that the wicked will be cast into the Lake of Fire. It is a lake, – without water, a lake of fire.  Jesus described it in Mark 9:43-45  Remember that at this judgement time, at the general resurrection of the dead, we shall be reunited with our physical bodies, the saint with an incorruptible body, ready for the new heaven and the new earth, and the unsaved sinner with body of rotten flesh, full of corruption and decay, and destined for the literal, physical fires of hell.  I know that some Christians, usually for sentimental reasons don’t want to think about such a horrible prospect.   It is the Lake OF Fire.  Let’s not try to soften the blow.  We must face reality.  It is time to consider the serious question, “Where will I be in eternity?”

© Bob McEvoy, April 2021

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