The Second Resurrection & Judgment

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series Spiritual Realms

The Judgment of the Lost:  The Great White Throne

 

Revelation 20:11-15
11 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. 12 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. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

·       11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.

o  “him” seated on this throne is Christ

§  In Revelation 21:6 this “one” on the throne says “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End”

§  Christ, clearly, is the sole judge of the lost dead

The Second Resurrection

Noted earlier was “The First Resurrection,” which was the resurrection of believers only.  At this time is noted “The Second Resurrection,” which is for non-believers, only.

From the beginning of time, the bodies of all non-believers have remained.  Yet, the resurrection of the dead is a reality for all who ever lived, whether righteous or unrighteous.  The righteous are resurrected to a glorified body, the unrighteous are resurrected to their former body of death.

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done

·         The sea gave up its dead, along with death and Hades

o   Death and Hades

§  “death,” as noted, is the penalty of sin.

·         For “death” to give up its dead refers to all who still live under the penalty of sin- or all who are lost without Christ.

·         “death” refers to the material part of man – that which died and decomposed apart from man’s spirit

·         The sea giving up its dead indicates the resurrection of the bodies, then, of the dead without Christ.

§  “Hades,” of course, refers to those remaining in Hades, which are only unbelievers at this point.  Hades refers to the spirits of men, which will apparently join with their bodies in eternity.

§  Death, being the physical death of man, and Hades being the container for the spiritually dead, are both cast into the lake of fire, representing the fullness of the eternal punishment for the resurrected souls of those who die without making Christ their Lord and Savior.

The judgment

·         and each person was judged according to what he had done

o   “what he had done” is the certain indictment of man’s sinfulness.

§  The actions of all men is sinful.  Without Christ’s forgiveness to those whom will choose him as Savior, all mankind’s actions will be judged as unrighteous.  The books, are the books of man’s actions.

·         Romans 3:11-12 says 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

·         Thus, being judged “according to what he had done” was a sure sentence of condemnation for these without Christ. 

Being judged according “to what he had done” should not lead one to an understanding of a works-based salvation:

Verse 15 says: If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

·         “the book of life”

o   Revelation 13:8 says, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

§  The “book of life” is a book containing the names of all of those who belong to “the Lamb,” or to Christ.

§  It is those whose names are not found in the book of life whose sinfulness (“what he had done”) was not covered by Christ’s payment for their sin by his sacrificial blood.  It is this group alone who have not yet been resurrected by merit of their lack of a relationship to Christ. 

The Substance of This Judgment

While it is not indicated in this text, the substance of this judgment can be determined from other scriptures to be the position which one will occupy in Hell.

Matthew 11:20-24 (NIV)
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Hebrews 10:29-31 (NIV)
29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Luke 12:46-48 (NIV)
46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

 

Deductions from these texts clearly indicate:

·         Some parts of Hell are worse than others

·         The judgment of the lost will determine their punishment

·         One’s knowledge of right and wrong will determine their punishment

The judgment of the Great White Throne, being the judgment of all of the world’s historical lost, then, is the judgment which determines the degree of one’s punishment in Hell.

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