Summary: We will be held to account, and all our deeds and misdeeds, every text and conversation, will be displayed and judged according to God’s perfect law.
11 and I saw a big white throne and the One sitting on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled, and a place was not found for them.
12 and I saw the dead, the big and the small, standing before the throne and books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged based on the things written in the books, according to their works.
13 and the sea gave its dead that were in it, and death and hades gave the dead that were in them, and each one was judged based on his works
14 and Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire, this is the second death, this Lake of Fire,
15 and anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is Your Life
One of the longest running television shows in history was This is Your Life. From 1948 to 1982 in the US and 1954 through 2012 in the UK, celebrities were surprised and honored by remembrances of big, often little known, events and people in their lives. Imagine if your life were displayed, with every event, conversation, thought and action displayed for everyone on the planet to see. And This is Your Life sometimes had audiences in the millions. Imagine if every word and event and action in your life were on display to a captive audience of all the 100 billion+ people who have ever lived. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Apparently there is a huge heavenly database. If this seems miraculous, it is. But even today, some are experimenting with recording life-every conversation, every word read, with pictures of what is happening every 10 seconds or so. The data required to record an entire human life in this way is roughly 60 terabytes. I’m sure God has a system in place much more sophisticated than any computer, and at this judgment seat our works will be judged.
We may feel like much of the good and evil we do is hidden, that no on knows and no one cares, but that isn’t true. The image here is like Esther 6 in which Mortechai’s good deed of revealing a plot to kill the king was recorded, and he was eventually rewarded for a good deed that seemed unnoticed. The other side of things is also true. Jesus said we would be held to account for every idle word (Matthew 16). David taught that God knows our thoughts before we are even conscious of them (Psalm 139). We will be held to account, and all our deeds and misdeeds, every text and conversation, will be displayed and judged according to God’s perfect law. That should make every one of us pause and contemplate how our thoughts words and actions, even our feelings, might need to change.
Prayer for Today
Father, teach me to number my days that I might be wise (Psalm 90).
Teach me to weigh my thoughts and actions and feelings in the balance of Your grace and love and mercy.
Help me to live and speak today in such a way that I will be grateful and proud when my life is on display in Your presence.
In the name of our Lord Jesus, whose words still transform me and the world for the better.
v 11 the White Throne, and earth and heaven fleeing from the face of God are both images found only here in the Bible.
v. 12 see Esther 6 for books kept of deeds.
v. 13 no matter where or how you’re buried, you can’t escape judgment.
v. 14-15 Death and Hades no longer have any force of fear for those who are in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 15). But for those who are judged badly death and hades will be constant companions, along with the devil (v. 10).