The Great White Throne Judgment
The Book of Revelation • Sermon • Submitted
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11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Tonight, we are back in the book of Revelation chapter 20, finishing up this chapter where we left off a couple weeks ago.
Last message, we looked at what it will be like in the Millennial Kingdom…
We studied “The Binding of the Serpent” in verses 1-3, “The Blessings for the Saints” in verses 4-6, and “The Battle with the Satanic” in verses 7-10.
Tonight, we will see the “Judgment of the Sinful” as we look at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Revelation starts with a throne and ends with a throne, a great, white throne. The Great White Throne Judgment occurs at the end of the Millennium.
When Christ stood before Pilate, the Creator was judged by the Creature, but at the end of it all, the Creature will be judged by the Creator!
This passage is difficult…The reason it is difficult is because no matter who is preaching a message on this subject, we will always fail to adequately portray the sadness and horror that is unfolding before us in these verses.
Concerning this, Ron Comfort said, “If I had a tongue dipped in the ink of Heaven and command over all of the descriptive adjectives in the English language, my speech would fall short of adequately describing this passage.”
Let’s begin by looking at:
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
At the appearing of God Almighty, heaven is going to roll back as a scroll, and the earth will melt with fervent heat.
In the next chapter, God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth. Heaven is gone and earth is gone. The Bible says in verse 11 that at the face of God, there was no place for heaven and earth.
Unsaved man is standing in outer space staring into the eyes of pure holiness whose eyes are as a flame of fire.
9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Think about these three words tonight…Great. White. Throne.
This throne is great for many reasons...Great speaks of power…The Judge Who sits upon this throne is God Almighty! Another reason it is great is because of the size and vastness of the judgment that will take place there. Another reason it’s great is because of the finality of the sentence that is passed at this throne.
The throne will be great—it will be overwhelming to those who stand before it.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
White speaks of purity…It emphasizes the holiness, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Who is the Judge and the infallibility of the judgment! There will be nothing crooked, misleading, shady, or sinful at all about this judgment!
Throne speaks of punishment…John sees the great white throne, and he sees the Lord God sitting upon the throne! God Himself will be calling the shots on this throne. Today, people drag His name through the mud and make fun of His followers, but one of these days, they will all face Him!
You’ll either put God on the throne of your heart today, or you’ll stand before His Great White Throne on that day!
We see this courtroom, but notice with me, we also see:
Revelation 20:12 (KJV 1900)
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; ...
John testifies that he saw “dead people!” John saw:
• the infamous and the famous;
• the athletes and the actors;
• the rulers and the rich;
• the princes and the poor;
• the small and the great!
Revelation 20:13 (KJV 1900)
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:...
Just as the Lord calls the saved to that great reunion in the air, we see here that God will reunite the bodies and souls of those who have died without Jesus as their Savior...
No one is left out! The king, the pauper, the general, the foot soldier, the master, the slave, the borrower and the lender will all stand before God.
None will escape and none will hide, but all will face the Righteous Judge in judgment that day!
Preachers, pastors, deacons, church members, politicians, popes, priests, nuns, choir members, drunks, whores, drug addicts, pimps, pushers, grandmothers, grandfathers, teenagers, moms and dads, will all stand together with Cain, Judas, Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon and every other person who chose wickedness over righteousness, before the throne to face their judgment! There will be no escape and there will be no exceptions.
Every person who has ever died without Jesus Christ will face Him in this Judgment on that day!
We see in this passage, the courtroom, the accused, but notice now:
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
There is more than one source for the Judgment at the Great White Throne.
John saw the throne and Him who set upon it! John saw the wicked dead, both small and great, stand before God. Then John noted that books were opened!
We know one of the books is the book of life…What about others? We don’t know for sure, but we have some references that might indicate what the other books may be...
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
The Bible is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
People can deny the Word of God all day long, but those who deny that this Word is the Word of God, will be judged by the same Word they deny today!
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: And the Lord hearkened, and heard it, And a book of remembrance was written before him For them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
I want to say right here no matter what the books are, they aren’t written for God’s benefit—He is Omniscient—He is not forgetful and need help remembering what it is that the Judgment is about.
I want you to understand, these books do not serve as reminders to God—but they will be there as reminders to mankind!
God has written down every idle word, gossiping word, blasphemous word, slandering word, lying word, frivolous word that was ever spoken by the lost. God has written down every work of the flesh, every lust of the heart, every immorality, every idolatry, every covetous desire, every act of evil, every work that is deceitful. God has written down everything done out in the open and everything done behind closed doors!
On that day all the skeletons will come out of the closets!
After seeing the books opened, John sees the Book! The Book of all Books! The Book of Life...
If you’ve been saved, your name is written there, and if you’ve not been saved, then it’s not!
You see, ultimately, there’s only one sin that will send to hell – the sin of unbelief, the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, rejecting the promptings of the Spirit to put your faith in Christ for Salvation!
If you fail to get saved, your name isn’t written there, and on that day it will be way too late.
We have the courtroom, the accused, the evidence, now let’s see:
Revelation 20:13 (KJV 1900)
13 ...and they were judged every man according to their works.
When these books are opened, judgment is rendered based on the evidence found in the books. You can be sure that the evidence is accurate, and that the record is complete.
What’s the verdict? Guilty!
The court of the Great White Throne will not be set up to discuss the pros and cons of any sinner’s case, but to carry out a sentence already declared. Without Christ, people are already condemned to Hell.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
The day of Grace is over—no mercy rule will be in effect!
Jimmy Draper said, “The lost person will stand before the great white throne not to determine whether he goes to heaven or hell—that will already be determined by his or her own rejection of Christ—but to be judged according to his or her own works. All sinners have a choice: either a free pardon or a fair trial from God.”
In verse 13 the Bible says that “every man” will be judged according to their works.
You will not be judged for another person’s sins, but for your sins! It’s between you and God, you won’t be able to pass the buck onto someone else that day...
We have the courtroom, the accused, the evidence, the verdict, and now we come to the end...
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The sentence rendered from this bench is “Death”. Not just physical death, but the second death which is eternal separation from God in the fires of the Lake of Fire...
This death involves no dying! There will be no end to the torment, to the hell, to the awful nature of what the sinner will face. It will be an eternal state of dying apart from the presence of God or anything good! It will be Hell! It is the “death” Paul refers to in Rom. 6:23 as the “wages of sin”.
The unbelieving are forever sentenced to eternal separation from God in a literal place called the Lake of Fire. All the lost join Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet there.
My name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because I have called upon the name of the Lord Jesus, I believe that He died for my sins and that God raised Him from the dead, I have repented of my sins and placed my faith in Him alone! Jesus saved me and has written my name down in His Book!
The only hope of heaven that anyone has is in the Lord Jesus Christ!
He alone saves!
God never made hell for people; hell was created for the devil and his angels, and the people who end up in hell will be those who reject God’s way of escape, and never get saved.
God doesn’t send people to hell – their sin does.
It is our job as born-again Christians, to tell them about Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross.
If hearing about the most somber scene of judgment in the entire Bible doesn’t make you want to go share the gospel with a lost person, I am sorry, but nothing will.