Summary: What happens at the Great White Throne judgment? How will unbelivers be judged? John reveals how Christ judges those who reject Him.
1. Illus. of John Pierce (Choice Contemporary Stories, #50)
• According to associated press, was running in marathon to raise money for cancer research, the same cancer that had killed his young daughter shortly before.
• As he ran, had a heart attack and died.
• One thing Associated Press didn’t report. His widow reportedly said, “After what has happened to my daughter and husband, I would give anything to know what happens to us after we die.”
2. Americans want answers about life after death. “Is there life after death? If so, what is it like? Is it as television portrays it, with angles escorting everyone to heaven when they die, regardless of their lifestyle, because, “God loves us all.”
3. The answer to such weighty questions lies not in the supermarket tabloid, or even in the imaginations of Hollywood screenwriters. The only place to find true and authoritative answers is in the Bible.
4. In our text, John gives us at least one of the answers we are looking for. Eternity is vastly different for the Christian and the nonchristian. John writes the first century church to explain the final judgement that all unbelievers will one day experience.
5. Today: if you reject Jesus Christ, you will one day stand before Him in judgement for that rejection.
6. What does the Bible tell us about this last judgement of the unbeliever?
I. THE JUDGEMENT OF THE UNBELIEVER WILL BE A TERRIFYING JUDGEMENT
1. See vs 11. Who is this on the throne? Father? Son? Holy Spirit? John 5:22. The one who hung upon the cross will judge those who reject that cross!
2. Today He sits upon a throne of grace and says, “whosoever will may come.” In that day, He will move to a throne of judgement and say, “those who did not come are condemned forever.”
3. In that day, so horrible will be His unveiled face of wrath and fury that the very heavens and earth will seek to flee from before His face!
4. Illus. of atheist sign on Montgomery Capitol grounds
• Placed there in protest against nativity scene by Alabama Freethought Association. Christmas 1998.
• “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven, and no hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but a myth that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
5. How smug and arrogant we are in our ignorance. “We have decided that there is no God, so there is no God!” There is coming a day when those who have rejected Jesus will be neither smug nor arrogant. Instead, they will tremble and cower before the wrath of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
6. You are going to meet Jesus!
• Now as savior, or then as judge
• Now in mercy, or then in wrath
• Now as lamb, or then as lion
• Either way, you will meet Jesus Christ!
II. THE JUDGEMENT OF THE UNBELIEVER WILL BE AN IMPARTIAL JUDGEMENT
1. See vss 12a-. All the unbelieving dead will be judged. None are too big to avoid it, none are too small to escape it.
2. Cultured-countrified. Educated-illiterate. Wealthy-impoverished. Famous-obscure. Up and out- down and out.
3. Emperors, presidents, CEO’s, Nobel Prize winners will be there. So shall the homeless man from New York, the illiterate from Mobile, the leprous untouchable from India.
4. Illus. of NATO bombing of Kosovo
• Bombing Kosovo in order to stop genocide of ethnic Albanians.
• Those who are killing and those being killed look alike, eat same food, wear same clothes. But because of a minor variation in their ethnic background, the Albanians are being slaughtered.
• Mankind is very good at dividing people into categories. We divide people by skin color, or by wealth, or by education. But God divides all people into only two categories: those who have a relationship with Him through a personal faith in His Son, and those who do not.
• All those who do not, regardless of income, race, or education, will one day stand at the Great White Throne.
5. The out and out unbeliever will be there. The Hugh Hefners, the Madlyn Murry O’Hairs , the Madonnas. The sinner who lived as if there were no God, he will be there.
6. The religious unbeliever will be there. The person who came to church regularly, who read his Bible, who supported his church financially, but who was not a Christian, he will be there.
7. The procrastinating unbeliever will be there. This person knows he was not a Christian, and really intended to do something about it- someday! But the days became weeks etc., and he slipped out into eternity lost.
8. Every unbeliever will be at this judgement.
III. THE JUDGEMENT OF THE UNBELIEVER WILL BE A JUST JUDGEMENT