I must begin by saying that of all the Scripture searches I have done to provide the truth to those willing to read and accept what the Lord states, this has been the saddest for me to put together. Studying the Great White Throne Judgment brought home the seriousness of the event.
What an unnecessary waste of those made in the image of God who would not bow their knee willingly to the King of kings, Jesus Christ. To think that we may have family and friends that will face this judgment is heartbreaking. If you are one of those that think you can live your life on your terms, please think again. Please… accept the gift of eternal life with Christ today, right now.
Maranatha! Until next time, I am Passionately Loving Jesus, the Anchor of my Soul.
This vision of the Great White Throne describes the last and final judgment of history. It is an awesome and solemn scene and one which should cause everyone to stop and think about the eternal implications of this future event.
For the non-Christian, the one who has never trusted in the person and work of Jesus Christ, it should cause him to want to search out the truth regarding Jesus Christ, to embrace Him in faith as the Savior from his sin and eternal doom.
For the Christian, the future reality of this event should cause deep concern because of the many (including some of our friends and relatives) who will face this throne of judgment because they never received the Savior by faith.
All who have scoffed at God denied His being, rebelled at His rule, or rejected His sovereignty—and in the process, also rejected His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—must at this time stand before this throne to be condemned to eternal judgment. May the reality of this judgment cause us to carefully reflect on the serious consequences of this passage on a Christ-rejecting world.
Maranatha! Until next time, I am Passionately Loving Jesus, the Anchor of my Soul.
And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. – Revelation 20:11-15
Only Jesus Christ Has the Authority to Judge on The Last Day
We read in John 5:22-28 that Jesus Christ will be the judge at the Great White Throne Judgment. Jesus Himself states:
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. – John 5:22-28
Finally, the prophecy spoken in Philippians 2:9-11 will be fulfilled.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name, which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11
The Final Judgment of Satan and the Fallen Angels
Throughout the centuries as anticipated in the enmity mentioned in Genesis 3:15, there has been constant warfare between the holy angels who minister to God’s people and Satan and his unholy angels, the demonic spirits.
“And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15
God has manifested His power by defeating Satan and his hordes. While, for God’s own purposes, Satan has been allowed to continue his nefarious schemes, Scripture speaks of three sure events regarding the activity of Satan and his demonic forces. We see his:
- binding during the millennium,
- his short release, and his
- final incarceration in the Lake of Fire.
Then all opposing powers against the Lord will be dealt with in judgment.
Revelation 20:1-3 – Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3 The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward, he must be released for a little while.
Revelation 20:7-10 – When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. 8 He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. 9 And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them. 10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
2 Peter 2:4 – For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.
Jude 6 – And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 – After that, the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
The Terrible Day of The Lord
The Terrible Day of the Lord is the period spoken of in Zephaniah 1:14-18. All those who rejected Jesus Christ since the beginning of creation will kneel before Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords. I don’t think the word terrible even begins to describe this event.
That terrible day of the Lord is near.
Swiftly it comes, a day of bitter tears,
a day when even strong men will cry out.
15 It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out,
a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation,
a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,
16 a day of trumpet calls and battle cries.
Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements!
17 “Because you have sinned against the Lord,
I will make you grope around like the blind.
Your blood will be poured into the dust,
and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.”
18 Your silver and gold will not save you on that day of the Lord’s anger.Zephaniah 1:14-18
For the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy.
He will make a terrifying end of all the people on earth.
Read: Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God
The Certainty of Judgment
Hebrews 9:27 states the truth many refuse to believe. “Each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment”.
You can bet your eternal soul that this is a fact that no one should ignore. Moreover, the Word of God states that:
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19
The Timing of The Great White Throne Judgment
This judgment takes place after the conclusion of the millennium following the doom of Satan and the destruction of heaven and earth but before the eternal state of the new heavens and earth of Revelation 21:1.
Revelation 20:5 states: “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished”.
The Place of This Judgment
According to Bible.org: Heaven and earth are seen fleeing from the face of Him who sits on this throne. In other words, they are destroyed, dissolved.
2 Peter 3:7 – And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment when ungodly people will be destroyed.
2 Peter 3:10-12 – But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.
The point is the Great White Throne Judgment does not occur on earth or in heaven as we know it, but somewhere beyond, perhaps in extreme outer space.
Again we read according to Bible.org, God has removed Satan and his demons, the False Prophet and the Beast, and is about to judge the rest of the unbelieving dead. So, it is only fitting that He also judges the old earth and heavens that have been the arena of Satan’s activity and man’s sin and rebellion.
This evidently takes place after the resurrection of the unbelieving dead from the grave and Hades. They are resurrected, gathered before the throne, and actually behold the dissolution of heaven and earth as a foreboding preparation for their judgment.
All their hopes and dreams had been placed in an earth and system that was passing away and now they see it dissolve before their very eyes.
The Character of This Judgment
It Is Called “Great” Because…
… of the awesome intensity and the degree of its importance. Here each unbeliever’s eternal destiny is declared and determined with ample proof and reason. It is great because it is the final judgment and puts an end to all judgment for all time. It is great because all the unbelievers of all time, from Cain to the final revolt at the end of the Millennium, will be here assembled to face the bar of God’s holy justice.
It Is Called “White” Because…
… it will be the supreme and undimmed display of the perfect righteousness and justice of God to all mankind. Throughout history God has revealed Himself in creation, a revelation man has ignored.
Romans 1:18-21 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It Is Called A “Throne” Because…
… here the Lord Jesus Christ will sit in absolute majesty and sovereign authority to consign a Christ-rejecting world to the eternal Lake of Fire. In Revelation 4:2 John beheld a throne set in heaven from which the Tribulation judgments proceeded. The word throne is used more than 30 times in Revelation, but this throne, the great white one, is to be distinguished from all others as the most significant one of all.
The Ungodly Will Be Punished
Revelation 20:12 – I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. “The dead, great and small” emphasizes that no one is exempt. All who have died without faith in Jesus Christ—regardless of their status in human history, religiously, politically, economically, or morally—must stand before this throne of judgment.
According to Dr. David R. Reagan, the wicked will be judged of their works. However, their judgment will be radically different from the judgment of the Redeemed at the Bema seat of Christ, where they were judged of their works to determine their degrees of reward.
Unfortunately, those who rejected their Savior will be judged of their works to determine their eternal destiny. Moreover, since no one can be justified before God by their works all will be condemned to Hell.
Isaiah 64:6 – But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
Ephesians 2:8-10 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
The Ungodly Were Warned
- Romans 2:5 – But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
- Hebrews 10:26-27 – Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.
- Jude 1:15 – to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
- Ezekiel 7:10 – “The day of judgment is here; your destruction awaits! The people’s wickedness and pride have blossomed to full flower.
- Ezekiel 7:13 – Even if the merchants survive, they will never return to their business. For what God has said applies to everyone— it will not be changed! Not one person whose life is twisted by sin will ever recover.
- Ezekiel 24:14 – “I, the Lord, have spoken! The time has come, and I won’t hold back. I will not change my mind, and I will have no pity on you. You will be judged on the basis of all your wicked actions, says the Sovereign Lord.”
- Psalm 34:21 – Calamity will surely destroy the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
Degrees Of Punishment
Dr. Reagan also states the unjust are also judged for another reason. There are going to be degrees of punishment.
Luke 12: 45-48 – But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him, they will ask the more.
Luke 20:45-47 – Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
All Sin Is NOT Equal in The Eyes of God
Dr. David R. Reagan continues: There is a popular myth that says, “All sin is equal in the eyes of God.” That is not true. The only way in which all sin is equal is that any sin, whether a white lie or murder, condemns us before God and necessitates a Savior.
But all sin is not equal in the eyes of God. For example, Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven sins that the Lord particularly hates.
16 These six things the Lord hates,Proverbs 6:16-19
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look, A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Moreover, the Bible makes it very clear that idolatry is a sin that is especially heinous in the eyes of God.
- Exodus 20:3-5 – “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
- Ezekiel 8:17 – Have you seen this, son of man?” he asked. “Is it nothing to the people of Judah that they commit these detestable sins, leading the whole nation into violence, thumbing their noses at me, and provoking my anger?
- Ezekiel 16:36 – This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have poured out your lust and exposed yourself in prostitution to all your lovers, and because you have worshiped detestable idols, and because you have slaughtered your children as sacrifices to your gods.
- Titus 1:16 – Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
Because God considers some sins worse than others, there will be degrees of punishment and these degrees will be specified at the Great White Throne judgment.
Revelation 22:12 – Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
The Books Are Opened
Two sets of books are opened at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Revelation 20:12-13 – I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds.
The identity of the books is not specifically revealed and we can only speculate from a comparison of other passages of Scripture and from the nature of these verses.
Bible.org states that the first book opened will probably be the Scripture, the Word of God, which contains the revelation of God’s holy character, the moral law, the declaration of man’s sinfulness, and God’s plan of salvation through faith in Christ.
The second book will be the book of works or deeds. Verses 13 and 14 states that the unbelieving dead will be judged according to their deeds (works). Undoubtedly then, one book is the book of works that contains a record of every person’s deeds as a witness of the true nature of their spiritual condition.
The Book of Life
This book contains the names of all believers, of all who have put their faith in Christ and God’s plan of salvation or righteousness through the substitutionary death of Christ. Or, to put it another way, it is a record of those who have not rejected God’s plan of salvation and have responded to Christ in faith; for these their faith is reckoned for righteousness and their sins have not been imputed to them.
Romans 4:4-6 – When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. 5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. 6 David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:
At the Great White Throne Judgment, the Book of Life is produced to show that the participant’s name was not found written in the Book of Life because of their rejection of Jesus Christ. They, therefore, have no righteousness and cannot be accepted before God, but must be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.
The Eternal Lake of Fire
Revelation 20:14 – Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
What an unnecessary waste of those made in the image of God who would not bow their knee willingly to the King of kings, Jesus Christ.
The awesome fact is that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. The loss of salvation, and ultimately the one sin that separates a person from God and confines him to the eternal Lake of Fire, is because of failure to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and a perfect righteous standing before God.
Where do you stand with respect to the inevitable judgment which you will face before the Lord?
If you have never confessed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, do you really want to participate in Great White Throne Judgment to come?
The Bible states in Romans 14:11: “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord”?
That means Hitler and every vile person like him who has ever lived will one day make the confession of Jesus’ lordship. You will too.
I urge you to make that confession now so that you can participate in the resurrection and judgment of the righteous.
You may also like to read:
- All Creation is Accountable to God
- The Anger of God
- The Discipline of God
- The Lord is the Judge
- The Judgment of God