Summary: Revelation 20:11-15. A look at the eternal punishment of Hell that awaits those without Christ as Savior.
ONE MINUTE AFTER YOU DIE
HEAVEN, HELL, & WHO WILL GO WHERE
THE SECOND DEATH
- As we begin our second look into the subject of the afterlife, let’s review briefly what we covered last time. We introduced our topic by assuming that someday we will all die because we are under the curse of sin; and that when we die our souls continue to exist and await the resurrection of our bodies when Christ returns.
- We started specifically, then, by looking at the intermediate state of unbelievers. We answered the question “What happens to the souls of those who do not have Christ as Savior one minute after they die?” Our answer was that they are immediately sent to a place of torment where they await final judgment.
- We looked in detail at that place of torment; noting that the New Testament, particularly in Luke 16, calls this location Hades. In the 16th chapter of Luke Jesus tells the Pharisees, and by secondary means, tells us that in Hades the wicked will be tormented with fire, by memories, by irrevocability, and by lost relationships.
- We concluded by looking briefly at the centrality of the Word of God as the means by which a person avoids going to this place of torment. We saw how Abraham, in Jesus’ parable, highlighted the importance of Moses and the Prophets – the Scripture that they had at the time.
- And I emphasized the fact that the only way the soul is not sent to Hades is if a person, while they are alive, accepts and obeys the truth of God’s word summed up in the Gospel. A person must repent of their sins and trust fully in Christ as Savior and Lord. Anyone who does not, rich or poor, famous or obscure, religious or irreligious, will be sent to Hades upon death.
- Now at various points during our look at the intermediate state of unbelievers, we reminded ourselves that Hades is not the end. Immediately after death the souls of the unregenerate go there, but there will be a time in the future when they will be resurrected.
- It is to this time of resurrection that we turn our attention this morning. We will now look at the Scripture we alluded to last time: Revelation 20:11-15. As you turn there in your Bible let me set the stage for you.
- A revelation is the disclosure of something; the revealing of something. The book of Revelation consists of the visions of the Apostle John – the things that Christ revealed to him concerning what would happen in the future. In Revelation 1:1-2 we read: The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
- So Revelation is the account of what Jesus showed John concerning the future.
- The first three chapters consist of letters written to seven historical churches in Asia Minor. Asia Minor was an area to the north and west of Israel. Then beginning in chapter 4 John begins to describe what Jesus in 1:19 calls the things “that are to take place after this.”
- There are a variety of visions of judgment and spiritual warfare that follow; and when we come to chapter 20 John is describing what is going to happen at the very end of history. Let’s pick up the story in v.11 of chapter 20.
Read Revelation 20:11-15
- Let’s address briefly what the word “then” refers to at the beginning of v.11.
- Revelation 20 is an important chapter to the discipline of eschatology; the study of last things. One’s understanding of Revelation 20 influences how you see the events of the end times playing out. And I think it’s best to read it as straight forward as possible within the context of type of literature Revelation is.
- We read of a thousand year period, which is usually called the Millennium, when Christ binds Satan in the pit and reigns on the earth with believers. Some other time we will look at the different views of what this time period represents. What’s important for us to understand today is that Christ has already returned to the earth.
- We are viewing a future point in history. Christ returns, reigns for a thousand years, and after the Millennium will be the final judgment. That’s where we are in the grand scheme of things – the final point in history.
- V.12 says that the dead, great and small, will stand before the throne of God and Christ, and books will be opened. So all unbelievers of all time are here standing before the King.