The Final Resurrection and Judgment of Unbelievers: The Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15 – continued.

As we saw in our previous study, there is a place of judgment–the GREAT WHITE THRONE OF GOD.  We also saw that there will be a time when all unbelievers will stand face to face before God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and give an account for their lives lived here on earth.

We also have seen that today and in the latter days many will deny a final judgment.  They scoff at the idea that there is to be a future punishment for sins committed in this life.  When they stand at the Great White Throne Judgment they will be confronted with and be astounded that the Bible is absolute truth.

  • They will find out that their attitude and response to the preaching and teaching about the final judgment is totally wrong.
  • They will also be confronted with the reality of hell which they have laughed at and made fun of.
  • They will be confronted with the fact that they could have been saved and that God’s offer of salvation was free, if they wanted it.  His gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Hebrews 11:6) was offered freely to them before their death.  However, it could not be worked for because it was a free gift and made available to those who wanted it.
  • Also, that God’s free gift of eternal life was offered to them through the teaching and preaching of God’s eternal Word.
  • They will also be confronted with the two gates explained in Matthew 7:13-14.  It will also be pointed out to them that they made the choice to follow the broad gate and path.  They wanted an easy road of pleasure and most people gladly were following that path, but that leads to hell.  They had a choice between the broad gate or the narrow gate and path that leads to heaven,  which is difficult.  
  • It is a fact that the Scriptures [God’s Word] declare emphatically that there is to be a final judgment at which all unbelievers will be held accountable.  Why? For the life they spent in pleasure and ungodly living here on earth, rather than glorifying God with their life which would save them (Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 4:11).
  • It must be pointed out also that they were warned in the Bible–which they made fun of–to examine their own lives, and to make sure they were saved and going to heaven (see 2 Corinthians 13:5).  But they did not.  However, they made the choice to ignore God’s warning, and so they stand at the Great White Throne Judgment in an unsaved condition.
  • It is a fact that everyone who stands before the great white throne of God has rejected the great salvation of God’s Son (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Hebrews 11:6).
  • Remember, the Bible is also clear that there is only one way to heaven God’s free Gift of salvation [eternal life] is acquired only through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).  There is truly only one way to heaven, which all unbelievers will find out, that they had laughed at as being the only way to heaven.  The Great White Throne Judgment is real in this life and now is the time to make sure of heaven (John 3:16).

FACT:  Heaven cannot be acquired by good works; SALVATION COMES ONLY through God’s Son and His work, not man’s.  Salvation is God’s free gift, so MAN’S good works will not do it.  There are not many ways to heaven…there is only one way! It is through the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s wonderful Son (Romans:10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-9).

FACT:  Good works are applied by God to a disciple’s life (a saved person) (Ephesians 2:8-10).  In other words, good works are commanded for a saved person; however, not for salvation (heaven), but only for reward one day in heaven for the saved person.

As we continue our study of Scripture, remember this statement always, Christians, You Are Special! God loves you!

“Who hath delivered us [Christians] from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have REDEMPTION through his blood, even the FORGIVENESS of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14; Hebrews 12:1-2; James 1:5-6; John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Hebrews 11:6).

For just a moment imagine that you are sitting in a prison somewhere.  You are not sure if you will be released or put to death.  No doubt many of us would probably feel despondent or anxious about the circumstances that we find ourselves in.

FACT:  The Apostle Paul found himself in such a situation when he penned Colossians.  And yet he did not seem to spend his time feeling sorry for himself or fretting over his circumstances and the future.  Instead, he made the best use of his time by remaining in contact with and encouraging other Christians throughout the Mediterranean world. His example can help us when the circumstances of our world seem to be falling apart.

Note:  The principle is: find someone else to pray for, love and befriend and your attitude toward your circumstances will turn positive, not negative.  In other words, follow the example of Paul and Christ that we find in the Bible about their lives. One of the fascinating things about Paul is that he had a spirit of gratitude which pervaded all of his prayers (see Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; I Timothy 2:1).

FACT:  This peace we find in Paul’s life was not a temporary feeling based on a “spiritual high,” but was a constant life experience.

Now let’s consider further the Great White Throne of God.  White stands for purity, holiness and righteousness.  We must never forget Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

  • No person is perfect.
  • No person is perfectly pure and righteous.
  • We all have some impurity and some unrighteousness.
  • Except for God, God is perfect.  He is perfect in purity and righteousness.
  • Therefore, no imperfect person can ever live with God If any of us are ever to live with God, our imperfection has to be removed and changed to perfect.  Why?  So that we can stand perfect before God.
  • How can this be done?  Only by Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus Christ alone is perfect and sinless.
  • Therefore, the person must believe that Jesus died for his sins.
  • He or she must believe that Jesus Christ actually took his sins off him and died for them.
  • KEY: If a person believes this, God counts it to be so.
  • God actually counts the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, FOR THE BELIEVER (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Therefore, the believer stands before God perfect and sinless–not because he really is sinless, but because Jesus Christ bore his sins for him and paid the judgment for them.
  • The only person who can ever live with God is a person who has let Jesus Christ bear his sins.  If a person wishes to live with God, he must trust the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, trust that Jesus Christ died for him.

THE POINT IS THIS:  No unbeliever has done this.  Everyone who stands before the GREAT WHITE THRONE will be bearing his/her own sins.  Not a single UNBELIEVER will have trusted the purity and righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the purity of God’s throne will blaze forth in righteousness and condemn the unbeliever, condemn him/her because he/she is neither pure nor righteous.

NOTE:  The purity and righteousness of Jesus Christ would have covered the sins of the unbeliever and were available in this life, but he or she rejected Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the unbeliever stands in his unrighteousness before God’s holy righteousness.  Consequently, his unrighteousness must be condemned by God’s righteousness, and it will be.  This is what the Great White Throne Judgment is: the judgment of all unbelievers.

“Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: FOR HE COMETH, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth” (Psalm 96:12-13).

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). 

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.  Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). 

  • As we have seen previously, when an unsaved person truly accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior (John 3:16), he or she becomes a new creation.  How do we know this?  Because this is what God’s word [the Bible] tells us emphatically (see John 1:3,10,12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10).

Good Question:  “How can this be done?  It is only by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ alone is perfect and sinless.  Therefore, the unsaved person must believe that Jesus Christ died for his sins, that Jesus Christ actually took his sins off him and died for them.  If a person believes this, God counts it so.  God actually counts the death of Jesus Christ FOR THE BELIEVER.  Therefore, the believer stands before God perfect and sinless–not because he really is sinless, but because Jesus Christ bore his sins for him and paid the judgment for them.  The only person who can ever live with God is a person who has let Jesus Christ bear His sin.  If a person wishes to live with God, he must trust the death of Jesus Christ,    h e   m u s t   t r u s t   t h a t   J e s u s   C h r i s t   d i e d   f o r   h i m.

Now let’s begin a consideration of Revelation 20:11, key word “judgment.”  There is the time of the judgment when the Great White Throne Judgment will take place–when the earth and the heaven flee away.  This is a poetic way to describe the destruction of the present heavens and earth.  Remember:  God has promised to make a new heavens and earth.  To do so, He must first destroy the present heavens and earth.

  1. Good question: When is this universal destruction going to take place?
  2. Answer:  When the Great White Throne Judgment is going on.

Picture the scene!  There stand all the unbelievers who have ever lived.  Billions and billions of unbelievers stand upon the great sea of glass before the throne of God. Then, all of a sudden, there is a massive explosion of atoms never dreamed possible.  A chain reaction sets off all the atoms throughout the whole universe.  A universal atomic explosion destroys the whole universe.  Both the heavens and the earth are destroyed by God, destroyed by fire.

Imagine the shock to the unbelievers standing before God in the spiritual world.  The idea is that they will witness the fiery destruction of their world, the world upon which they had lived their lives.

Note the words “there was no place found for them [the unbelievers].”

They had lived for the world and their world will be gone.  They do not belong in heaven; therefore, there is no place for them.  All they had lived for will be gone: money, houses, lands, positions, power, fame, popularity, drugs, sex, alcohol, pleasure, possessions and comfort–it will all be gone.

NOTE:  There will no longer be a world for the unbeliever, and they cannot go to heaven because they do not belong there, heaven is for the true believer.


In our next study we will examine supporting Scripture; so keep in mind about the mental state of the unbelievers as they see the world that they loved completely destroyed.  No doubt the question that pervades their mind is “What will happen to me?”

Remember, they did not believe that hell was real, they had scoffed at the idea.  They are about to find out that hell is truly real. They had accepted the lie and deceit of Satan.  No doubt there will be much wailing and tears, but they have to accept the reality of the lake of fire and torment forever and ever… God’s judgment is pronounced.

If you want to go to heaven you can, it is your choice.  If you want to consider heaven, think about John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; and Hebrews 11:6. Follow the road to heaven and accept God’s free gift of eternal life.

FACT:  You cannot work your way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).

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