Summary: EVERYONE stands before God to give an account-y But there are two types of judgment a. For those who’s names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life and b. for those who will suffer in the lake of fire for all of their sins
Revelation 20: 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.
The Nature of God’s Judgment:
1. EVERYONE stands before God to give an account-young, old, rich, poor, powerful, weak, men, women . . . all. No one will escape this day.
But there are two types of judgment
a. For those who’s names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life they will give an account for every idle word, but will not receive punishment because their punishment has already been borne by Jesus.
b. For those who have rejected Jesus, they will endure the full punishment for every sin they have ever committed. This judgment will be borne by the majority of people who have lived (Matthew 7:14)
When we look at the judgment of those who have rejected Jesus it is a frightful image:
It is a lake of fire (Revelation 21:15) that never goes out (Mark 9:48). It is a dark place of conscious pain and suffering (Matthew 8:12; Luke 16:23-24 etc.). There will be different levels of punishment for different levels of sins (Luke 12:47-48). The punishment will last forever (Matthew 25.46).
So those who are sent to the Lake of Fire will not be happy with their judgment. That group will include most people (Matthew 7.13-14)
Including Christians who don’t know Jesus (Matthew 7:22)
Judgment as an expression of God’s love
1. Whom he loves he chastens. The knowledge that we will have to give an account for every idle word helps us to live today as we should. God loves us enough to give us the threat that helps us stay on track when we might otherwise go off the path of righteousness.
2. God is creating the conditions of eternity.
a. Consider who you would like have as your neighbor for an infinity of days
b. Would the Garden of Eden have been better with or without Satan? God had His reasons for having him there in Eden (reasons we can’t fully understand), but also has good reason (reasons we can fully understand) for excluding him from heaven.
c. God knows that for our eternal wellbeing we must have an environment of purity-purity for eternity.
3. Which would be the worst place in any universe for an unrepentant sinner? I would suggest nothing would be more unpleasant or painful than to be in the presence of God in a fallen, sinful state. To look on the face of God would result in the death of our present bodies-surely to stand in the presence of God would be the most painful punishment imaginable. God is gracious enough to banish to an exile of darkness those to whom His presence and glorious incandescence would be an eternal infuriation. Hell may not be, as we might be inclined to surmise, a form of retribution as much as an act of God’s mercy. For those who could not stand His presence in life, His presence would be a greater torment than hell in death. They loved darkness in life; therefore God gives them what they have always wanted (John 3:19).
4. God is, always has been, and always shall be just. He is, more fundamentally, love. We can have complete confidence His love will always be expressed, even in His meting out of justice. Questions concerning how God will handle ignorant children, people who have never heard the Gospel, and those who’s lives are basically good, but they have never given their hearts to Jesus are probably beyond our ability to answer. We can answer, however, that God is love. Everything He does, therefore, is an expression of love, including the justice He demands of individuals and nations. Whatever decisions He makes, when we see His justice in the perspective of heaven, understanding all things, knowing even as we are known, we will only say “yes, and amen” to all of His actions toward both those He invites to enter into His rest and to those to whom He says “depart from me you workers of iniquity; I never knew you”.