It is time for the dead to be judged according to their deeds. This is the second resurrection. This is the end of death.
I am going to state again that I am NOT an expert in this area and only God knows the exact meaning here. I’m looking to others who are more “learned” than I am and PRAYING that God has spoken to them in their studies of what we are reading today.
While looking at the Great White Throne Judgement it was pointed out that there are three judgements spoken of in the bible. I’m pulling my information from one of my favorite sources GotQuestions.org. I found several pages I want to share with you on the subject of judgment day. It is easiest to list their titles and place them a links. You are free to make your interpretation of what is contained in them, as I am too. Feel free to disagree with what I take from this study, as NONE of us are God and therefore only have His words to garner our meaning.
After looking through all of these pages I was directed to a cross reference that I think is VITALLY important to the whole study. This concerns WHO is sitting on the Judgement Throne(s). Jesus Himself tells us that ALL judgements have been given to Him. He is the one to judge between the lost and saved, and the works of both. So I’m inclined to believe Him about this day of judgement.
When looking at Satan’s last hurrah the last time we were together, I proposed the idea of when the last of the saints came to join Jesus in His holy city. If Jesus had already judged the world between the saints and the lost, why would Satan have had a last hurrah? The answer would have already been established.
I believe there is one last calling out to the people after the thousand year reign of Christ. I believe during that thousand year reign men will have a chance to see firsthand the impact following Jesus can have on their current lives and their eternal future. They won’t have Satan trying to discredit His words. But then Satan will be set free again “for a time” to try and persuade people to accept his ideas as truth. I believe SOME will reject his lies and hold fast to the truth. These will be the final addition to the saints. The final “battle” will seal ALL decisions. No more chances remain.
Here we go into judgement day! Here I come with questions AGAIN.
The setting is pretty clear. There is nothing left to distract man from this moment. EVERYTHING is removed except Jesus on the throne. No sky. No earth. Nothing but Him and us. As we stand there, books are brought out. I can imagine this as a HUGE library appearing behind Him and ONE thick book appearing right beside Him.
NO ONE will be absent from this roll call. Here comes my first question. Is there a separation between those who are physically dead already and those who have stepped across the expanse “living” from the thousand year reign of Christ and Satan’s final hurrah? Is anyone physically alive at this point?
When we become believers our spirits are “born again” and made alive but we still have physical bodies that are bound with death. God told Adam that the day he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge that he would surely die. He didn’t physically die at that moment but he did die spiritually. Also his physical body began to die. From that point on, our physical bodies have been destined to die. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
I can see the possibility of this meaning that even the saints who were with Jesus in His holy city at the moment of Satan’s final defeat, laid their physical bodies down. I see no pain happening with this moment, only everyone “falling asleep” and “waking up” in front of Jesus on the throne in time to render final judgement. But being I can’t prove this biblically, feel free to disagree with me.
What I can say for sure is that there will be a separation made at that moment before the Great White Throne. I see each of us approaching the Throne in turn. Jesus doesn’t need to look in the Book of Life to know whose names are there, but I can imagine Him doing so anyway, to ensure those standing before Him of the veracity of His judgement. “I’m sorry to say your name is not found within these pages.” Then He motions an angel to hand Him the book containing the story of this person’s life. He begins to read out loud the content of the book. Tears stream down the face of the one being judged as he/she falls on his/her knees in recognition of his/her own fate. No. There is no “one more chance” here. This judgement is final. This soul will go and wait with the others who have been absent from the rolls of the Book of Life.
To those whose names do appear in the Book of Life, Jesus calls for their individual book to be pulled and placed aside. The soul standing before Him will have joy in his/her heart as he/she joins the others who have also been found in the rolls of Heaven.
This process will continue until EVERY soul from Adam to the last man/woman born has been judged. None will escape this dividing line. To those who were already dead, the verdict will come as no surprise as they will be returning from their places in either “Death and Hades” or from “Paradise” to stand before Jesus.
Finally “Death and Hades” will stand before Jesus. There will be NO MORE death in Jesus’ Kingdom. These two robbers of man will be no more. They will join all those who are spiritually dead. ALL in that group will go to a “second death” in the Lake of Fire. That death will be without end and without mercy. I believe there will be different degrees of torment in the Lake of Fire but ALL within it WILL suffer. No matter how “good of a person” you were on earth, if you CHOSE to reject Jesus’ saving work, YOU chose to accept Hell as your final destination. Your “good works” only help you not get as severe a punishment FOR ETERNITY. But you will suffer the consequences of that one all defining choice and it is torment in itself.
To those on the other side of that decisive dividing line lies another “judgement.” This judgement will determine reward, not punishment. The rewards Jesus bestows will last FOR ETERNITY too. No more can be gained or lost after His decision is rendered. ALL on this side will receive the reward of the choice of accepting Him as your Savior, but that is only the beginning of what He holds in store for those who love Him. What will your reward look like? As one of my pastors used to say, “Will you make it through with smoking buns or will there be something more in store. You get to decide.” It is your choice again. Will you live a life pleasing unto Him and working towards increasing His Kingdom? Or will you sit back on your “saved status” and simply wait for the final roll call?
Lord Jesus, I have no idea what my final reckoning will be. I know ALL my sins are covered by Your blood. But how much Kingdom difference have I made? Compared to so many, I fall WAY down the list! But where will I fall on Your list? The BEST reward will be being with You for eternity, but what else lies in store for me? I’m sorry if I sound selfish asking this question. I’m not trying to be. I think the GREATEST reward, after being with You, would be seeing others with You too that I have somehow had a hand in bringing along. What kind of “receiving line” will I see?
Thank You for the opportunity to touch lives for You! From the little things of giving an offering to sharing my thoughts with others. YOU have made it all possible in my life. I pray You use ALL that I do to bring others into Your Kingdom too. I pray for whoever it is who reaches out to my children and grandchildren too. They may be immune to MY reach but they are not beyond Yours. YOU can send just the right person across their paths that will open their eyes. THOSE are the hands I want to shake and necks I want to hug for all I’m worth! I want to be in their receiving lines! THANK YOU for giving to the Lord!!!