The Great White Throne Judgment
(Revelation 20:11-15 NASB) 04 Jan '14 Thread 157295
"If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15*
"This is the saddest and most sobering passage in all of Scripture. Remember our Lord wept over death (John 11:35; Luke 19:41) - both physical death and especially the spiritual death (the second death) of all the unsaved, of all those who reject Him and His saving love offered at the cross. "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!" (Ezek. 33:11) Thus no man should be able to read or teach this passage without sorrow in his heart, if not tears in his eyes. The reason Jesus spoke about hell more than anyone else did is because He wanted no one to go there. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9; also see John 3:16) Yet, we see here and throughout the Bible, both the reality of hell, eternal torment, and the justice of hell.
"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them." The next scene John saw was the great white throne with the Lord Jesus Christ sitting upon it. This is based on John 5:22: "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father." (Also see John 5:22-29 that speaks of the resurrection of the saved and the unrepentant and 2 Tim. 4:1.) At this point in this unfolding revelation, all those saved, Old and New Testament saints, Tribulation saints, and by implication, Millennial saints, have all received their resurrected, glorified bodies and thus belong to the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) as God is about to destroy the old creation, the heavens and the earth (v.11).
"By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." (See 2 Peter 3:7-13) "Since the coming of the Lord is in fact the end of the natural universe (2 Pet. 3:10-13), we read that there was found no place for them (v. 11), making way for a new heaven and a new earth to occupy the place left vacant by their dismissal" (21:1).Gregg, Steve: Revelation, Four Views : A Parallel Commentary. Nashville , Tenn. : T. Nelson Publishers, 1997. Satan and his demons have defiled the heavens (Eph. 6:12) and the earth is polluted and sin-soaked with the evil of fallen man. God's new creation will not just be a renovation and renewal as seen in the Millennium but an entirely new heaven and new earth. Science says that matter cannot be created or destroyed but God does both as seen here and in Genesis 1.
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life." What a scary and awe-filled scene like the one Daniel describes in his vision (Dan. 7: 9-10). It seems that all unsaved people from Cain to the last rebel we see in the Millennium are all together standing before the Lord Jesus ready to be judged based on their works (and books were opened) and sentenced by the Judge of all. Scripture says no one is righteous, no one keeps the law and no one is saved by works of righteousness (e.g., See Rom. 3-4) because even our best deeds are as filthy rags [menstrual rags] compared to the pure white perfect righteousness of God (Isa. 64:6). The righteousness that God requires for a person to be saved is the perfect righteousness a righteous God is required to require. (Matt. 5:48) Thus the only way to be saved is by grace (God's undeserved forgiveness and favor) through faith (in what God in Christ did for us on the cross when He took the punishment for all of our sins and credited us with His perfect righteousness), and not by works (Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Cor. 5:21)."
* "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." It grieves me to realize there's the possibility that some of my acquaintances and friends who contribute to this forum may be among them. -Bob"