February 20, 2017
Revelation 20:11, 12, 14, 15
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
There is a prelude to hell, and I am not referring to what was mentioned in What The Hell…? – I, that is, hades. We will examine the Great White Throne Judgment, in Revelation 20:11, 12, 14, and 15 (condensed and rearranged a bit due to space requirements):
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face
the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for
them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the
books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of
Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things
which were written in the books….And anyone not found written in the
Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire….This is the second death.
I remember several years ago when I traveled to Greece following the footsteps of Saint Paul. We toured Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, impossibly built in 1541 through 1542 high on one of the vertical rock formations that are unique to this part of the world. Of the many murals that adorn the monastery walls is one depicting the final judgment – the Great White Throne Judgment! But that judgment is wrongly depicted in this mural! For it is represented as a judgment of works determining whether a soul goes to heaven or hell !
Anyone who stands in judgment before God’s Great White Throne is already condemned to hell ! Why, then, are they further judged at all if their condemnation is so sure?
• It stands to logical reason that some people are more wicked than others, and therefore should receive a more strict judgment. Jesus hinted at this in Luke 12:47 and 48:
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself
or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who
did not know, and committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with
few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be requir-
ed; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Also, according to what is known as the Bema Seat Judgment in I Corinthians 3:10 through 15, Christ reviews a believer’s works, and that one receives either rewards in heaven or loss of rewards depending on how he or she lived out his or her Christian life! This is the way works come into determining the judgment. Works do not determine whether one goes to heaven or hell, but they do determine the degree of rewards in heaven and the amount of suffering in hell !
Keep this in the forefront of your mind – salvation is only by God’s grace grasped by our faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross – dying for our sins!
• What about the books opened at the Great White Throne Judgment – one which is the Book of life, and the other (others) record the works of the damned? I said, ‘others’ because I believe there are many books used to record all the works of humanity.
✞ Do angels sit on the clouds of heaven feverishly writing down everything we do? Or, since the advent of the computer age, do they type away on a the keyboard of a heavenly computer? Obviously, no!
✞ God is an economist! By that I mean, He does not waste resources or energy on tasks at hand. I believe He has built into creation a way to record every action, word, and though of His highest creation – mankind. Here are some pertinent references:
▸ Joshua 24:26, 27 – “Then Joshua…took a large stone, and set it up…by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said….‘…this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us.”
▸ Habakkuk 2:9, 11, 12 (God’s Word to the Nations) – “How horrible it will be for the one who uses violence to get things for his own household in order to…save himself from disaster….A stone in the wall will cry out. A beam in the roof will answer it. ‘How horrible it will be for the one who builds a city by slaughter and founds a town by crime.’ ”
▸ Luke 19:37, 39, 40 – At the Triumphal Entry: “…the whole multitude …began to…praise God….the Pharisees…called to [Jesus]… ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ But He answered…‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’ ”
All living creatures put out energy! And all things surrounding them, even inanimate objects absorb that energy! All God has to do at the Judgment is turn up the volume of creation and play back what is recorded! Hence, the books!
• The Book of Life has written in it everyone who has truly put their faith and trust in Jesus as Savior! At the Great White Throne Judgment, it is an official document – guaranteed proof – of who is and who is not saved! And, of those who stand before the Lord at that judgment, not one of them will have his or her name in the Book of Life!
All the dead (those who are spiritually dead – see Ephesians 2:1) because they have not been born of the Spirit, born again – see John 3:3-8), will then be “…cast into the lake of fire….This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:15).
This finishes our study of What The Hell…? And may you be ‘finished’ with the threat of hell because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior!