The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
The Great White Throne Judgment
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
+ This is the Final Judgment +
The Great White Throne Judgment can correctly be called the “Final Judgment.” It constitutes the end of judgment and resurrection for all the unsaved from all ages. This judgment proves there is no such thing as Universal Reconciliation or Annihilation.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” Revelation 20:1
I. The Time of Judgment:
The time of the Great White Throne Judgment can be established based on its relation to other events mentioned in the scriptures. According to Matthew 24:21, 29-31, there is a period of time called the great tribulation. The Lord will pour out His wrath on the world after the church (the Body of Christ), is taken up to Heaven. The scriptures are clear in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, that God will take out the believers before the day of the Lord, (I Thessalonians 5:1-11). After the tribulation the Lord Jesus Christ will come back to this earth with the Saint (the Body of Christ), to establish His kingdom and to destroy the devil, (Revelation 19:11-21, Matthew 25:31-40). Once the Lord comes to the earth according to Revelation 20:1-10, there will be a thousand year reign with a rod of iron. After the thousand years are over the Great White Throne Judgment will take place.
II. The Subjects:
The subjects at the Great White Throne Judgment are the unsaved. In Revelation 20:12, the unsaved are called “the dead”. The rest of the dead (in verse 5) that lived not again until the thousand years were finished are the unsaved who are left in the grave. All of the saints of God take part in what is called the First Resurrection (Revelation 20:5-6). This is not to say that all Saints from all ages are raised at the very same moment in time. But, it means they are raised according to God’s glorious plan and program.
The First Resurrection simply means a resurrection unto life, and not to condemnation. Please notice the words, “Blessed” and “Holy” are used in connection with the first resurrection of Revelation 20:6, but not so with the second death. There is not one mention of the righteous at the Great White Throne Judgment. All the righteous dead are obviously raised at the second coming of Jesus Christ which is one thousand years before the Great White Throne Judgment.
Now, if there is a “First Resurrection”, then logically speaking, there must be a “Second Resurrection” as well. The First Resurrection is an Out Resurrection from among the dead unto life. The Second Resurrection is a resurrection is a resurrection of the dead unto damnation. These two resurrections are a thousand years apart. Many will agree to a resurrection of the Saints unto life, but they object to a resurrection of the unsaved unto damnation. The following scriptures will clear up the matter, that is, if we believe what the Bible has to say.
“And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:15
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2
III. The Judgment:
According to John 5:22, at the Great White Throne Judgment God will judge the unsaved through His Son Jesus Christ. According to Acts 10:42, Jesus Christ is ordained by God the Father to be the judge of the quick (living), and dead, Also, the apostle Paul said in Acts 17:31, that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man (Christ) whom he had ordained.” In Philippians 2:10, we read, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things earth, and things under the earth.”
IV. The Basis of Judgment:
According to Revelation 20:12-13, the subjects at the Great White Throne Judgment are judged according to their works. Remember, this judgment is not to determine whether a person is saved or lost, for those that come to this judgment have already missed “the First Resurrection unto life.” The very fact that men will be judged according to their works is proof of degrees of punishment.
There will be degrees of punishment mentioned out to the unsaved and this principle is clearly demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 12:47-48, “And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” According to Matthew 23:14, there were some who would receive the greater damnation. As works for the believer demonstrates faith, also works for the unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment. Just as there are degrees of Glory for the Saved in Heaven, there will be degrees of punishment for the Lost in the Lake of Fire.
V. The Judgment:
“For the wages of sin is death; . . .” (Romans 6:23)
The purpose of the Great White Throne Judgment is to pronounce the sentence of the “Second Death” upon the unbeliever. The second death is the final and complete separation from God’s Holy Presence and Glory in the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 14; 21:8). It signifies eternal perdition and is identified with eternal punishment (Matthew 24:41). The result of this judgment is clearly seen in Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” The second death is only for the ungodly because it has no power over the believer (Revelation 2:11; 20:6), for he has passed from death unto life (John 5:24; 8:51; I John 3:14; 5:12). Please understand that this judgment is not to determine whether the subjects are saved or lost. For all the saved by this time are already in the Kingdom of God. The Great White Throne Judgment is the official sentence brought against the unbeliever.
VI. The Book:
In Revelation 20:12, at the Great White Throne Judgment the books are opened and the lost are judged out of those things which were written in the books. Please notice the small and great stand before God. This includes every unbeliever, the rich the poor, the famous, and the ones that are not famous.
The books are the sixty-six book of the Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” The Word of God is the Book of Judgment which contains God’s Holy Law. In James 2:10, it is clearly stated, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” All has sinned and broken God’s Law and is worth of death. According to Romans 3:23, we understand that all who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be judged according to God’s Law. The Apostle Paul states in Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
The Lord will not judge anyone based upon something they never had. He is not a God of trickery or surprises, but of fairness and justice. He will judge the sinner based on a book they had in their home and have carried to Sunday School and Church. All will be without excuse at the Great White Throne Judgment. Even the laws of the land could not be enforced if they were not written down in a book. God Almighty gave mankind his written word so that he would be without excuse in judgment.
According to Romans 2:16, the apostle Paul describes the judgment based on the gospel of Christ. Those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior will be judged.
VII. The Book of Life:
The “Book of Life” is a book in which the names of all the saved throughout the ages are recorded (Luke 10:20, Daniel 12:1, Psalms 69:28, Philippians 4:3, Revelation 13:8, 20:12, 15). Those who are not found written in the Book of Life according to Revelation 20:15, are cast into the Lake of Fire, (this is the second death).
The question may come up at this point, “How can my name be written in this Book?” Well, the answer is simple, ye must be saved. Those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, believing He died and paid for their sins will automatically have their name recorded in Heaven.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523