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The Great White Throne
Many Christians believe that the Scriptures tell of three different judgments to come.
The first is a judgment of believers’ works, often referred to as the “judgment (bema) seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10); at which time Christians will receive degrees of reward or loss of rewards for their works or service to God.
The second is the judgment of the “sheep and the goats” or a “judgment of the nations” and is seen in Mat.25:31-36. They believe it takes place after the tribulation period but before the millennium . . . and that it is to determine who will enter the millennium kingdom.
The third is the “Great White Throne” judgment at the end of the millennium (Rev.20:11-15); which is the judgment of unbelievers in which they are judged according to their works and sentenced to everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire.
Other Christians believe that all three of these judgments as seen in Mat.25:31-36; 2 Cor.5:10 and Rev.20:11-15 speak of the SAME final judgment, NOT of three separate judgments. In other words, those that hold this view believe that the “Great White Throne” Judgment in Rev.20:11-15 will be the time that BOTH believers and unbelievers alike are judged. Those whose names are found in the “book of life” will be judged for their deeds in order to determine the rewards or loss of rewards that they will receive; and those whose names are not in the “book of life” will be judged according to their deeds to determine the degree of punishment they will receive in the Lake of Fire. Those that hold this view believe that Mat.25:31-46 is another description of what takes place at the “Great White Throne” Judgment. They point to the fact that the result of this judgment is the same as the “Great White Throne” judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. The “sheep” (believers) enter into eternal life while the “goats” (unbelievers) are cast into “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46).
Whichever view you hold on the “Great White Throne” Judgment, it is important to never lose sight of three very important facts concerning the coming judgment or judgments.
- #1 Christ Jesus will be the Judge.
- #2 ALL unbelievers will be judged by Christ, and they will be punished according to what they did. The Bible is very clear that the unbeliever is storing up “wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (Rom.2:5), and that God will “render to each one according to his deeds” (Rom.2:6).
- #3 ALL believers will also be judged by Christ, but since Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to them (1 Cor.1:30) and their names are written in the “book of life,” they will be rewarded according to the deeds that they did.
Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (KJV)
This humble servant thinks that believers will be judged immediately after the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18), while the Great Tribulation is taking place, at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I think that all the unsaved and unbelievers and those saved during the Great Tribulation will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. This is just my personal feelings. There is SO much I do not know, SO many mysteries in God's Word. But this I do know . . . you do NOT want to stand before this Great White Throne to be judged if I am right, for that would mean you would go through the Great Tribulation (or part of it). You can avoid the Tribulation Period if you accept Jesus now.
The Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) does NOT determine salvation. Everyone at the Great White Throne is an unbeliever who has rejected Christ in life and is therefore already doomed to the Lake of Fire. Rev. 20:12 says that unbelievers will be “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Those who have rejected Christ as Saviour and Lord will be judged based on their works alone, and because the Bible tells us that “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified” (Gal.2:16), they will be condemned. NO amount of good works, NO amount of keeping God’s laws can be sufficient to atone for sin. All the thoughts, words and deeds of the wicked will be judged against God’s perfect standard and fall far short. There will be absolutely NO reward for them, only eternal condemnation and punishment in the Lake of fire.
The Great Judge.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. [KJV]
John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. [KJV]
Christ Jesus has been given the authority to judge all the Earth. There is absolutely a future, final judgment when Christ will return and EVERYONE who has ever lived will have their life reviewed and evaluated. Both Christians and unbelievers will face a judgment, although not at the same time. A Christian’s eternal destiny in Heaven is secure (Jn.3:15-18), but Jesus will judge how they handled their gifts, opportunities and responsibilities in order to determine their heavenly rewards or loss of rewards. Anything that we do for the cause of Christ will stand. ALL else will be burned up (1 Cor.3:11-15). At the time of the person’s judgment, God will deliver the righteous and condemn the wicked (John 3:18,36).
Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; [KJV]
Rev. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? [KJV]
At the breaking of the 6th seal in the Book of Revelation, there will be an earthquake such as this world has never seen. Every mountain and every island will be moved out of place (Rev.6:12-17). ALL unsaved human beings, great and small, rich or poor, will be terrified, begging the mountains to fall on them so that they will not have to face the judgment of the Lamb. This is not intended to frighten believers. For all who trust and accept Christ, the Lamb, shall be saved from this horrendous time. All those generals or kings who previously had shown no fear of God and arrogantly flaunted their unbelief will see quite clearly that they were wrong, and in that day they will have to face God’s wrath. No one who has rejected Christ shall survive the day of God’s wrath, but those who belong to Christ will receive a reward rather than punishment. If you belong to Christ, you need not fear these final days.
Rev. 20:11-15 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.  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.  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.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. [KJV]
At this judgment, the books will be opened. In them are recorded the deeds of EVERYONE, be those deeds good or evil. We are not saved by deeds, but what we do is seen as clear evidence of a person’s ACTUAL relationship with God. The Book of Life contains only the names of those who have put their trust in Christ to save them. Only those in the Book of Life will be allowed access into Heaven.
Death and Hades are thrown into the Lake of Fire. God’s judgment is finished. The Lake of Fire is the ultimate destination of everything wicked . . . Satan, the beast, the false prophet, the demons, death, all those in Hades, and all those whose names are not recorded in the Book of Life because they did not place their faith in Jesus Christ. John’s vision does not permit any gray areas in God’s judgment. It's either white OR black! A person is either for Jesus, OR against Him! NO one can sit up on the fence! You HAVE to decide! If by faith you have not identified with Christ, confessing Him as Saviour and Lord, there will be NO hope, NO second chance, NO other appeal. God has given us this life on Earth to decide where we will spend eternity! What is your decision? Heaven or Hell?
The final judgment. The sentence that will be passed on our actions at the last day (Mat.25; Rom.14:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Thes. 1:7-10).
The Judge is Jesus Christ. ALL judgment is committed to Him (Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; Rev. 1:7). He will publicly declare the salvation of His people and overthrow His enemies.
The persons to be judged are: (1) the whole race of Adam without a single exception (Mat.25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 20:11-15); and (2) the fallen angels (2 Pet.2:4; Jude 1:6).
The rule of judgment is the standard of God's law as revealed to men, the heathen by the law as written on their hearts (Luke 12:47-48; Rom. 2:12-16); the Jew who "sinned in the law shall be judged by the law" (Rom. 2:12); the Christian enjoying the light of revelation, by the will of God as made known to him (Mat. 11:20-24; John 3:19). Then the secrets of all hearts will be brought to light (1 Cor. 4:5; Luke 8:17; 12:2-3) to vindicate the justice of the sentence pronounced.
The time of the judgment will be after the resurrection (Hebrews 9:27; Acts 17:31).
Scriptures represent the final judgment:
- 1. as certain (Eccles.11:9)
- 2. as universal (2 Cor. 5:10),
- 3. as righteous (Rom. 2:5),
- 4. as decisive (1 Cor. 15:52), and
- 5. as eternal as to its consequences (Heb. 6:2).
We should be concerned for the welfare of our immortal interests, flee to the Refuge set before us, be ready for Him to return, depend on the merits of the Redeemer, and stay close to the divine Word, that we may be found in peace when He arrives.
Rev. 20:11 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. [KJV]
After these events, the end will rapidly come; and God's Word make no mention of any thing else, before the appearing of Christ to judge the world. This will be the great day: the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, will then put on majesty and terror. The persons to be judged are the dead, small and great; young and old, low and high, poor and rich. Not only those alive at the coming of Christ, but ALL the dead. There is a book of remembrance both for good and bad: and the book of the sinner’s conscience, though formerly secret, will then be opened. Every person will recall ALL his/her past actions, though he/she had long forgotten many of them.
The Lord’s knowledge of His people, and His declaring their repentance, faith, and good works will be made known. We are NOT saved by good works, but AFTER we are saved, we are expected to do good works, and by those works we shall be judged whether we receive a reward or loss of one. If we are justified and acquitted by the Gospel, we shall be justified and acquitted by the Judge, and shall enter into eternal life, having nothing more to fear from death, or Hell, or wicked men; for these are all destroyed together. Many who THINK that they are Christians, will find they do not qualify.
Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. [KJV] . . . Jesus' Words. On the day of judgment, Jesus will separate the true believers from the hypocrites! Unless a person has a close, personal relationship with Jesus, they will be condemned. No one can fool Him! He knows what is in a person's heart.
The second death is the final separation of sinners from God. It should be a great concern to us because the Bible will justify or condemn us! Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to the Gospel. Who shall dwell with devouring flames?
John 12:48 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. [KJV] . . . Jesus' Words.
Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. [KJV] . . . The Bible is available worldwide!
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. [KJV] . . . This DAY shall happen!
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. [KJV] . . . Some at the judgment Seat of Christ, some at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: [KJV] . . . NO purgatory! NO second chances! When a person dies, only judgment awaits!
1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. [KJV] . . . You SHALL give account to Jesus, whether you believe it or not!
2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; [KJV] . . . NO one shall escape judgment!
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: [KJV] . . . God's children are safe from Hell. The devil's children shall experience eternal agony.
2 Peter 3:10-12 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? [KJV] . . . This world as we know it shall be destroyed.
Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. [KJV] . . . If God judged the angels, WHY wouldn't He judge you?
Jude 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,  To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. [KJV] . . . ALL unbelievers shall be condemned to an everlasting Hell.
There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ Himself is the first-fruits. At His coming at the Rapture, His redeemed people will then be resurrected. There will be two resurrections: see Dan.12:2 and Rev.20:4-7. The righteous (those who trust and accept Christ) will be raised first. The wicked will be the last ones to rise; then to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. That will be the end as we know it.
The Great White Throne Judgment is found in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire (the place of eternal punishment commonly known as hell). We know from Revelation 20:7-15 that this judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:7-10). The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone’s deeds whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought; and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:4; 62:12; Rom.2:6; Rev.2:23; 18:6; 22:12).
Also at this time another book is also opened and that is the “book of life” (Rev.20:12). It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire. Although Christians will be held accountable for their actions after they are saved, they are forgiven in Christ and their names were written in the “book of life from the foundation of the world” (Rev.17:8). We also know from Scripture that it is at this judgment that Jesus will judge “the dead according to their deeds” (Rev.20:12) and that “anyone’s name” that is not “found written in the book of life” will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15).
Judgment is Sure
The fact that there is going to be a final judgment for all men, both believers and unbelievers, is clear in many Passages of Scripture. Every single person will one day stand before Christ and be judged for their deeds. While it is very clear that the Great White Throne Judgment is the final judgment of Christ, Christians do disagree on how it relates to the other judgments mentioned in the Bible, and as to exactly who will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Without a doubt the Bible is very clear that everybody, believer and unbeliever alike, will someday stand before Christ to be judged. But the good news for the believer is that our judgment will NOT be to determine if we are cast into the Lake of Fire, because that was settled once we believed the Gospel and became “children of God” (John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:10).
I cannot comprehend the love of God, in that He exchanged my vile and wicked sins for the righteousness of Christ. I sure got the best of that deal! Jesus took my sins and gave me His righteousness. Our salvation is sure. We have a joyous hope before us (Rom.12:12; Tit.1:2).
Judgment Day IS Coming
After This, Judgment
Judgment Coming, God Does NOT Lie
Judgment Day, Are You Ready?
Judgment Day, Books Are Opened
Judgment Day, Every Idle Word
Judgment Day Shall Come
Judgment Day, Many Scriptures
Judgment Day, Standing Before Him
Judgments, Different Kinds
Judgment in Noah's Day
Judgment of the Lost
Judgment Promised By God
Judgment, Scriptures to Study
Judgment Seat of Christ
Judgment, What Will Christ Judge?
The Great White Throne Judgment
The Righteous Rewarded
The Wicked Punished