The Final Judgment – 7

(4) The Pronouncement of Final Judgment (Rev. 20:14-15)

1.    On Death and Hades.Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14, ESV).

“A powerful preacher was reported to have explained that not everyone who thinks they will, will get into heaven. [Luke 13:28, “”There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out” (NKJV)]  Some people will be locked out and destined for eternal torment in Hell where, he said, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”

One smart elderly lady shouted out and said, “Well my teeth won’t be gnashing because I haven’t got any.” The preacher in his powerful preaching voice replied, ‘Madam, teeth will be provided!’”[1]

Jesus said that there will be gnashing of teeth. In those days in the Roman empire, masters sometimes keep their slaves in dungeons underground. There, the slaves would weep with grief and gnash their teeth with anger.[2]

Jesus indicated that in Hades, people there will show  deep remorse, anguish, and concern for the people left on earth (Lk. 16:27-30). I believe many there will weep because of deep regrets for rejecting Christ here on earth. Maybe they’ll be gnashing their teeth because of deep regrets for their sins, missed opportunities, etc. But on the Final Judgment Day, there will be no more time for regrets. It will be too late.

Death and Hades will be the first to be cast into the lake of fire. Now “Death” (Gk. thanatos), is “the condition” of the dead; the separation of the soul and body. “Hades” (Gk. hades), is “the place of the dead.” Let me repeat, “hades” is not “hell” (KJV). Hades is where the dead are now. Hell is the lake of fire. In the NT, all the dead in Christ immediately go to paradise. All the dead in Adam and without Christ immediately go to Hades. This means that no dead person is yet in hell right now. Hell is yet uninhabited today.

But after the Great White Throne Judgment, the Bible says Death and Hades will be cast into hell, the lake of fire. This is the second Death. The adjective, “this” (Gk. outos), is singular in number. It refers to only one thing—not death or hades, but the lake of fire. The first Death is Hades. The second Death is Hell, the lake of fire. This is the second Death.

The first Death is physical and temporal. The second Death is spiritual and eternal. The first Death is the death of man. The second Death is the death of death itself. The first Death is a cutting off of temporal pain. The second Death is a continuing of eternal pain.

Paul said, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26, NKJV). After the Great White Throne, death is destroyed! There will be no more death after this Final Judgment. Death will be no more!

2.    On Those Unrecorded In the Book of Life.And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15, ESV).

I read about a man who had a dream. He dies and goes to hell! While in hell the man notices there are many tables full of food. However, starving people are sitting all around the great tables. There is hot food of all taste on the table. While all this food is right before them, each person is starving to death. Then the man noticed that each person has a six feet long fork in his left hand, and a six feet long spoon in the other hand.

The people in Hell cannot get to the delicious food, because the forks reach beyond their mouth!

By this time, Death and Hades are already empty. Death will have given up its dead bodies. Hades will have given up its dead spirits.

What will happen to all the dead now standing before the Great White Throne? Read Rev. 20:15 again. The verb, “written,” here is in the perfect tense. The perfect tense refers to completed action in the past, with results continuing in the present. John is saying, “Anyone not found already written, and anyone not found still written on the Final Judgment day, was cast into the lake of fire.” Is your name already written in the Book of Life today? Then you can be sure that it will be found still written on that Final Day. But if it’s unwritten in the Book of Life, you can be sure that it will be found still unwritten on that day.

Now let me repeat what I said last Sunday. The dead without Christ will not stand there to be condemned. They shall stand before the throne because they are condemned already. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18, ESV). They are not there to wait for the decision. Rather, they are there to wait for the sentence of that decision.

A rich man dies and arrives at the gates of heaven and St Peter says, “Sorry, you have no place here – you are due in the other place – through the door and down the stairs – mind how you go, it’s hot.”

The man says that there must be a mistake.  He says “Tell God it’s ME, I was the one that put hundreds of pounds in the building fund, I put notes in the collection every week – no coins – God has made a mistake – go and tell him.”

St Peter disappears and then comes back. He says, “Yes you are right, I pointed out just how much money you gave over the years and God has admitted that he made a mistake. He says here’s your money back. Through the door and down the stairs – mind how you go, it’s hot.”[3]

Friends, you cannot buy your way to heaven, either by your religiosity or by your goodness. God cannot be mistaken. What He has ordained in eternity past is true for eternity future. Receiving God’s forgiveness is still by His grace (undeserved favor) through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9, NKJV). You can only be saved by the grace of God in Christ, not by your good works. Your good works cannot buy your way to heaven.

If you insist on your religiosity or good works to earn your way to heaven, then you will be judged by your works. But if you come to Christ with nothing but your destitute sinful soul repenting of your sin, and receive God’s grace in Christ, then you will not be judged.

And so God offers you a choice. You can either choose the mercy of God in Christ today. Or you can choose the judgment of God on that day. If you choose the Judgment of God, then all you have to do is to reject Christ today. But if you want to choose the mercy and grace of God in Christ, come to Christ today!

Receive Him today as your personal Lord and Savior. Admit before God that you have sinned against Him. And He will forgive you your sin. He will abundantly pardon you in Christ. He shall give you eternal life!


[1] Cited May 9, 2009. Online: http://www.sermoncentral.com.
[2] Barnes, The Gospel According to Luke. ABN on CD-ROM. Version 5.0c. 1988-2007.
[3] Cited May 9, 2009. Online: http://www.sermoncentral.com.
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The Final Judgment – 6

There is also (2) the Book of Those who Fear the LORD.Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.” (Mal. 3:16, ESV).

There is (3) the Book of Conscience. Rom. 2:15-16, “Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel” (NKJV).

There is (4) the Book of God’s Word, the Bible.The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:48, ESV).

Then there is (5) the Book of Life. “Then another book was opened, which is the book of life” (Rev. 20:12, ESV).

God will say, “Ok, Billy, your name is found here in the Book of Life.” Now remember that only those who are Christ-less will rise again from the dead on the second Resurrection. Only those who don’t receive Christ today will be standing before the Great White Throne of God.

But if Billy’s name is written in the Book of Life, he will not be judged. He will not even appear before the Great White Throne. Why?  Because his name is in the Book of Life. His name is covered by the blood of Jesus. His name is identified as saved and secured in Christ, and sealed with the Spirit. His name is now written in the Book of Life.

God will judge people based on what is written in the Books. The books will be opened. John doesn’t mention who will open it—maybe the angels. But the books will be opened. Then God will judge the dead based on their works while on this earth.

Now, if God will judge people based on what they have done—their works—then God will not judge you, if you are in Christ. Why? Because if Christ is in you, then you are saved by God’s grace, not by your works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9, NKJV). (There is a judgment of the believer’s works. But the Great White Throne Judgment is a judgment of the unbeliever’s works.) If you are not saved by your works, then God will not judge you by your works. You will no longer appear before the Great White Throne. Because the Final Judgment is only for those who will be judged, according to their works!

My question to you now is, “Are you saved from your sin?” Salvation is only by God’s grace to you, and not by your works.

The Final Judgment – 5

What will happen to those who are in Adam but not in Christ, or those who have rejected Christ? Will they rise from the dead also? They shall rise from the dead on the second Resurrection. The second resurrection shall occur at the end of the 1,000 years rule of Christ (Millennium). The dead in Adam will rise again to face the Great White Throne on the Final Judgment Day. Thus, the Resurrection of Christ is not just for the dead in Christ, but for the dead without Christ.

Because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31, ESV). Easter or Holy Week is not just a remembrance of the resurrection, but an assurance of judgment. Previously, we noted (1) the Place of Final Judgment, which is the Great White Throne. We also noted (2) the People of Final Judgment. They include all the Christ-less dead—the dead without Christ in their hearts.

(3) The Procedure of Final Judgment.

And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done” (Rev. 20:12, ESV). In our court system, there is the Municipal Trial Court and then the Regional Trial Court. If you don’t agree with the judgment of the court, you can go to the next higher court—the Court of Appeals.

However, the court of God is the court of no appeals. “At the White Throne, there will be a Judge but no jury, a prosecution but no defense, a sentence but no appeal. No one will be able to defend himself or accuse God of unrighteousness.”[1] It will be a final judgment. But it will be a fair judgment. God is the only righteous Judge in eternity. He cannot make a mistake.

I read an interesting story in the Inquirer in Nov. 8, 2005.  “PNP policemen arrest Antonio Gara, 43, at gunpoint, mistaking him for Abu Sayyaf bandit leader Radulan Sahiron. Pres. Gloria Arroyo quickly announced the supposed capture of Sahiron—a one-armed bandit also known as Commander Putol—only to take it back later after veteran journalist Arlyn de la Cruz, who knew Sahiron from way back, told police they had the wrong man. Sahiron’s right arm had been amputated. In Gara’s case, it was his left arm that was missing. Gara is considering filing charges of wrongful arrest.[2]

A judge can make mistakes of judgment today. But I tell you, God will never make a mistake. His Procedure is evidence-based. God will not judge the dead on the basis of arbitrary decision. He will base it on evidence. God is like the CSI (Crime Scene Investigator), so to speak, the big difference being that He doesn’t miss an iota of evidence.

The evidence will be found in the Books of Heaven. “And books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Rev. 20:12, NKJV). Where are the works of the dead recorded? They are recorded in the Books of Heaven. What they had done on earth is recorded in the Books of Heaven, “the books of God’s remembrance.”[3]

What are your best-kept secrets? Do you know that everything you think and do every day is remembered by God? Every thought you think and every word you say is recorded in the books. Eccl. 12:14 says, “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (NKJV). No secret will be left hidden. Everything will be revealed on the last day.

Therefore, don’t think that bad thought, for it will be written in God’s book. Don’t say that bad word, for it will be recorded in heaven. Don’t do that bad deed, for it will be printed in God’s book.

But notice that there are several books of God’s remembrance. There is what I call, (1) the Book of God’s Omniscience.Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether . . . in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Ps. 139:4, 16, ESV)

One day, 7 yr old Mackin asked me one of the most difficult questions I’ve ever heard.  Mackin asked me today, “Pastor, Where is the hell?!” I didn’t know how to answer him; because I didn’t know the answer. Seven days later, as I was meditating on God’s Word, the answer came to me. “Hell is at the end of a Christ-less life.”

I’ve read and taught the Bible for years now. Still, there are many questions that I cannot give an answer. But one thing I know—God knows the answers to our questions.

I don’t know about why bad things happen to us the way they do. But I know God works all things for our good. I don’t know about tomorrow. But I can tell you that today, God holds your hand. And he will continue to hold your hand tomorrow.


[1] Warren Wiersbe, Revelation (BEC; Wheaton: SP Publications, 1989), ___.
[2] Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov. 8, 2005.
[3] Jamieson, Fasset, and Brown, The Revelation of St. John the Divine. JFB on CD-ROM. Version 4.3. 1999-2005.

The Final Judgment – 4

I read about the death of the famous unbeliever, Thomas Paine. He lived his life blaspheming God. On his bed in a hospital, he said to a nurse, “Nurse, would you please light some candles and lighten up this room?”

The nurse said, “But Mr. Paine, the sun is up, the room is as bright as can be.” Thomas Paine said, “Nurse, it can’t be. It’s dark in here and it’s getting darker. It’s getting darker!”

Then with his last words he said, “Oh my God, how dark!”

Death is darkness. But even the darkness of death cannot hide its dead. John saw that Death and Hades gave up their dead. “Death” (Gk. thanatos), refers to “spiritual death, to which everyone is subject; eternal death” (BAGD). “Hades” (Gk. hades), refers to “the underworld as the place of the dead; personified” (BAGD). Death is “the condition” of the dead, while “Hades” (Gk. hades), is “the place of the dead.” Both “describe the state of death.”[1]

Now hades is not “hell.” Hades is where the dead are now. Hell is “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14). Rev. 20:14-15, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (NKJV). Notice that John distinguishes between Hades and the lake of fire. The noun, “lake,” in “lake of fire,” is from the Greek, limen, which literally means, “harbor” (BAGD), like the harbor where sailors dock their ship. The genitive, “of fire” (Gk. tou puros), in the phrase, “the lake of fire,” indicates a genitive of description—“lake which is characterized by fire;” a genitive of apposition—“lake, fire;” or most likely, attributive genitive—“fiery lake.” Hades and hell are not synonymous in the NT. Hades is the place of the dead; while hell is the harbor of fire.

Now what I will say might surprise you the same way it surprised me when I learned about it. In the NT, all the dead in Christ immediately go to paradise; while all the dead in Adam and without Christ immediately go to Hades. Because Hades is not hell and hell is not hades, I agree with G. Isidro in saying that no dead person is yet in hell right now. Hell is yet uninhabited today. But after the Great White Throne Judgment, all the dead in Death and Hades will be cast into hell, the lake of fire.

The people of this final judgment will not stand there to be condemned. They shall stand before the throne because they are condemned already. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18, ESV). The decision is already made. They are already condemned. They are not there to wait for the decision. Rather, they are there to wait for the sentence of that decision. The Great White Throne is not to determine whether they are going to hell or not. When they rejected Christ here on earth, it was already determined that they are going to hell. The Great White Throne will deliver that decision.[2] And so both the bad people and the good people will be there.

You might say, “Wait a minute, Pastor.  Why would good people be there?” Yes, because salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, not through our goodness. It is “not of yourselves,” Paul wrote, “it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8, KJV). People who trust their good works to bring them to heaven, will still be there standing before the throne. Yes, “good” people will be there, but not “graced” people. In hell, there will be many good people who trusted on their goodness, good works, and religion, but not Christ. Salvation is only by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone, and not by one’s good works. You receive salvation by turning from your sin and trusting Christ as your personal Savior.

There is an old Jewish proverb that said, “If I could buy you for what you are worth, and sell you for what you think you are worth, I would be a rich man.” So many of us think that we are worth something to God, because we do good things to other people. We think God must have mercy on us because we are religious or we are better than somebody else. But the truth is, what you are really worth in the sight of God, is not what you think you are worth.

The Bible says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6, NKJV). All our good works are like dirty clothes in the sight of God. They are all worthless! If you trust in your goodness and your good works, then you will still end up in the 2nd Resurrection. You will still be standing before the Great White Throne; because you trusted in worthless things.

Let me close with this story about a pastor who was talking to a young man about trusting Christ. The young man said, “It won’t do you any good to talk to me.  I have tried religion for 5 years and it did me no good whatsoever.”

The Pastor said, “I know what you mean. I tried religion for 15 years and it did me no good either, and I finally gave up.”

The young man said, “You did? They why are you a minister?”

Then the pastor said, “Because I found the Lord Jesus Christ.”[3]

All the religion in the world and all the good works in the world will not bring you any closer to heaven. It will not move God to forgive you your sins. It will do you no good at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Your only hope today is Christ. Come to Christ and trust Him and Him alone! Put your faith in Him alone, and you will be saved!

“Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner. I now turn from my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe that you died on the cross and rose again from the dead, to pay the penalty of my sin. Please come into my life right now. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. Amen!”


[1] John MacArthur, gen. ed. The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996), 2022.
[2] Merritt, “Here,” http://sermonsearch.com.
[3] Merritt, “Here,” http://sermonsearch.com.

Final Judgment – 3

The People of Final Judgment (Rev. 20:12-13)

All kinds of people who lived without Christ and who died without Christ, will be standing before the throne of God, on this final judgment day. This is not the judgment of the saint, but the judgment of the sinner. It is not the judgment of those in Christ, but those in Adam. It is not the judgment of the believer, but the unbeliever.[1]

1. People Who are Great and Small. John wrote, “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened” (Rev. 20:12, NKJV). “Great” is from megas, which in this context means, great “of measure; of age; to include all concerned (BAGD); “pertaining to being great in terms of status – ‘great, important.’” (Louw-Nida) “Small” is from micros, “in age; For the designation of all the members of the group” (BAGD); “pertaining to being of low or unimportant status” (Louw-Nida).

John saw all the important people and all the unimportant people, standing before the presence of God. Both the petty thief and the big-time corrupt government official will be there. Both the mass murderer and the mouth murderer will be there. Both the rich and the poor, and the young and the old will be there. Both the high and mighty and the low and powerless, will be there. Both the religious and the irreligious will be there. Both the church-goer and the out of church will be there. (Even if you are religious, but you don’t have Christ in your life, then you will still stand before the throne on that day.) Nobody without Christ is exempted. Everybody in Adam will be included.

2. People from the Sea, Death, and Hades.And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done” (Rev. 20:13, ESV). Why the sea? Can you count the dead in the sea? They are innumerable.

When the Princess of the Ocean capsized off Romblon in 2008, they counted 700 lost. Out of 700, only about more than 100 bodies were recovered. Where are the rest? They are all buried under the sea and unaccounted for. Until recently, many families haven’t yet recovered the bodies of their loved ones.

Many have died in the sea and are unaccounted. But the Bible says that on the Great White Throne Judgment, the sea will give up its dead. This means that even the unaccounted will be accounted. Nobody will be absent on this final day. The omniscience (all-knowingness) of God will ensure that everyone will be there. No one will escape this final judgment. All those buried in the sea will rise from the dead in this 2nd Resurrection.

All those who died without Christ in the great flood in the days of Noah will stand before the throne of God. All the thousands who have died during the great naval battles of WW1 and WW2 will be there. [2] All the 1,500+ who died in the Titanic, the 4,000+ in Dona Paz, and the 700+ in the Princess of the Ocean, and millions more in all the sea disasters in the Philippines and around the world will be there.


[1] Merritt, “Here,” http://sermonsearch.com.
[2] Merritt, “Here,” http://sermonsearch.com.

The Final Judgment – 2

The Place of Final Judgment (Rev. 20:11)

1. The Throne.Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it” (Rev. 20:11, NKJV). We note 3 things about this throne. It is “great,” from the Greek, megas, from where we get our word, “mega star.” It can mean literally “large,” describing a large and spacious, white throne of God; or figuratively, “of things: great, sublime, important” (BAGD). It reflects the greatness and power and magnitude of the throne of God.

It is “white,” from leukos, “shining, brilliant” (Newman); “‘bright, shining, radiant.’” (Louw-Nida) Dan. 7:9, “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire” (NKJV). The shining, radiant brilliance of the throne of God speaks of His absolute purity[1] and justice.[2]Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (Ps. 97:2, ESV).

When my father was judge at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 62, he told me that every judge is required to avoid socializing with politicians, businessmen, and government officials. He is to avoid places like gambling casinos, cockpits, bars and nightclubs. Such vices might influence a judge’s decision. They might bribe him. They might compromise his position. I told him that sounds like a Bible-believing Christian. Every believer should avoid people and places that may cause him to sin and displease God.[3]

This “throne,” (Gk. thronos) is “‘the seat of judging’ or ‘the seat of decision-making for a ruler; the place from which authority or rule is exercised – ‘place of authority, place of ruling, throne.’” (Louw-Nida). This throne is the seat of perfect judgment. This Judge and His throne cannot be bribed. He cannot be bought.  He cannot be bent to make the other party win the case.[4] It is the place of faultless decisions. It is the throne of divine authority, righteousness and justice (Ps. 9:7-8).

2. The Judge (20:11). “Him who sat on it” (v. 11, NKJV) refers to God the Father. Rev. 7:10, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (NKJV). The Father sits on the throne, while the Son sits there with Him, “at the right hand of the majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3, NKJV).[5]

James Merritt tells the story of a woman who got into trouble.  She knew of a very good attorney.  She was confident she’d win the case with him as lawyer.  But she kept on postponing going to see him.

The day came when it was time for her trial in court.  So she rushed to his office.  But when she arrived there, she discovered that the attorney was no longer a lawyer.  He had become a judge.  He said, “I am so sorry lady.  Had you come to me sooner, I would have been your defense, but now I must be your judge.”[6]

If you don’t meet Jesus as your Savior today, you will meet Him as your Judge someday. If you don’t meet Him as the Lamb today, you will meet Him as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. If you don’t meet Him as your Mentor today, you will meet Him as your Tormentor someday soon.

“Face” here is from prosopon, properly means, “face, countenance” (BAGD). Yet due to the presence of the preposition, apo (from), it most likely means here, the presence of God.[7] Rev. 1:16, “His face was like the sun shining at its brightest” (WEB).

Because of the face of God, John wrote, “the earth and sky fled away” (ESV). “Fled away” is from pheugo, literally, “to run away” (Strong); figuratively speaking, “to cease rapidly to exist – ‘to cease quickly, to disappear rapidly’” (Louw-Nida), which most fits the context.

Do you know somebody whose face can launch a thousand ships to run away? Somebody whose face will make everyone else run away? During our church outing at the beach, there were many “siokoys” (beach boys; also a pun for a “mermen” vs. mermaids, but a merman is usually the uglier type) who were looking at our two beauties—Tara and Karen. I was about to ask them to leave the siokoys and come up.  But good thing they went up before I could say anything. Then I suggested that we might as well send our elder ladies, Ng Sima and Ate Charry  to go down and sit where you sat. Maybe, the siokoys will go away.

Before the face of God, heaven and earth ran away and disappeared quickly. They stopped existing. On the final day of judgment, before the face of God, the present contaminated heaven and earth as we know it, will stop existing. There shall be no place for their existence anymore in this present order.

Last Wednesday, I told the Wednesday group about “Recession and the Resurrection.” If your hope is in this present world, then it’s a dead hope, with all this recession and economic crisis. But if your hope is in your future inheritance in Christ, it is a living hope. Our future inheritance in Christ is indestructible, undefiled, and reserved in heaven for us. This living hope is a reality through of the resurrection of Christ (1 Pet. 1:3). Let us live therefore with the end in mind, the end of a future inheritance in Christ.

You see, the Great White Throne marks the end of the present order and the beginning of a new order—the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21). The universe will be obliterated and removed from its present existence. Hence, all matter is but temporary. This material universe is but momentary and passing.


[1] Archibald T. Robertson, The Revelation of John. WPNT on CD-ROM. Version 5.0c. 1988-2007.
[2] Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, and David Brown, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. JFB on CD-ROM. Version 4.3. 1999-2005.
[3] It may be suggested however, that for missional purposes, people who share the Gospel may find themselves going with people and in places where they wouldn’t prefer to go. The point is that we don’t make those people and places dictate our lifestyles. We are called to be holy—set apart from the sinful mindset and lifestyles of this world, but set apart for God.
[4] James Merritt, “Here Comes the Judge.” Cited May 1, 2009. Online: http://sermonsearch.com.
[5] Robertson, Revelation, WPNT on CD-ROM. Version 5.0c. 1988-2007.
[6] Merritt, “Here,” http://sermonsearch.com.
[7] Albert Barnes, The Revelation of St. John, the Divine. ABN on CD-ROM. Version 5.0c. 1988-2007.

The Final Judgment – 1

(What follows is the 1st part of our Resurrection Sermon Series, which I preached since Resurrection Day of Holy Week, beginning April 12, 2009. May the Lord bless you as you read it.)

The Bible says that because Christ rose from the dead, those who are in Christ will also rise from the dead. Christ is the Sample of the Resurrection. He is the firstfruits of a future resurrection harvest of believers (1 Cor. 15:20-23).

But what about those who are not in Christ—those who are in Adam? How about those who have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior? They will participate in the 2nd Resurrection.

We noted that there is the Sequence of the Resurrection. The Bible talks about two Resurrections—the 1st and the 2nd Resurrection. The 1st Resurrection is called the Resurrection to Life. Jesus calls the 2nd Resurrection, the Resurrection to Condemnation (John 5:28-29).

Rev. 20:4-5 talks about two kinds of resurrection—the 1st Resurrection and the 2nd Resurrection. The 1st Resurrection covers all those who believed in Christ from Adam up to the end of the Tribulation Period. Rev. 20:4 says, “They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years (NASB). The literal reading is very clear. They include the Tribulation saints—those “who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus . . . who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands” (Rev. 20:4, ESV). The 1st Resurrection believers are not those who went to heaven after they died. Rather, they are believers who will rise bodily at the end of the 7-year Tribulation Period, right at the beginning of the Millennium reign of Christ. John calls them “blessed and holy . . . over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6, ESV). This literal reading of Tribulation saints who did not worship the beast and the Millennium as a thousand years, is the Premilleniallist view. (The Amillennialist view however, does not see a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ in this world, preferring to interpret Revelation figuratively and symbolically.)

The 2nd Resurrection covers all those who did not believe in Christ, who rejected Him, from Adam up to the Millennial Period. Rev. 20:5 says, “The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished.” (NKJV). These will rise at the end of the Millennium, but not with resurrection bodies. They will rise to face God in the Final Judgment.

How about those who will believe in Christ during the Millennial Period? There are 2 views about their resurrection. The 1st view is that at the moment of faith in Christ, they will immediately receive resurrection bodies. The 2nd view is that at the moment of death during the Millennial Period, they will instantly receive resurrection bodies.

We begin the 1st of a 2-part sermon series on the Final Judgment in Rev. 20:11-15. We will focus on what will happen to those who are in Adam, those who are not in Christ, or those who have rejected Christ. You see, the Resurrection of Christ is not just for the dead in Christ, but for the dead without Christ. “Because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31, ESV). Easter or Holy Week therefore is not just a remembrance of the resurrection, but an assurance of judgment.