The Great White Throne Judgment

"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. … This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15).

Suppose you knew tomorrow you would stand before God to give an account of your life; that the judge knew everything about you and it would all come out at the trial. How would you fare? It may or may not be tomorrow, but someday each of us will stand before Jesus Christ …and He knows all about us.

This last judgment is called "great," because of the awesome authority of the judge. It is called "white" for the righteous standards He upholds.

Where is this tribunal to be? Apparently, it is suspended in space because when it appears, "… the earth and the heaven fled away, …"

But the "dead, small and great stand before God." They will want to escape, but it is too late. Like the words of the spiritual, "I went to the rock to hide my face and the rock cried out, ‘No Hiding Place’." This is the consummation Peter described,
"…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 in it shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).

Who is the judge? God the Father delegates this to His Son, Jesus Christ.
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22). Jesus is qualified. He came first as the Lamb, dying for our sins, rising from the dead and saving all that receive Him. But when Jesus comes again, He will come as a lion to pour out His just wrath on all who have rejected Him and lived selfish lives. The great white throne is a judgment of condemnation. The only destination mentioned is the "lake of fire."

We are told that books will be opened.
"And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Rev. 20:12). Jesus knows about your secret sins. He said, " ...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).

How many sins will it take to keep you out of heaven? The next chapter in the Revelation describes the new perfect heaven and concludes, "...and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither he that worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they who are written in the Lamb’s book of life" (Rev. 21:27).

The bad news: One lie will keep you out of heaven. The good news: You can have your sins erased out of the books of condemnation and escape the great white throne judgment! There’s another book, the "Lamb’s book of life." It contains the names of all who have received Jesus, the Lamb of God. All whose names are written in this book go to heaven! John the Baptist introduced Jesus,
"...behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). If you receive Jesus and His full payment on the cross for your sins, your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life. You will pass from death unto life (John 5:24).

The great white throne judgment is for the lost dead. Christians are neither lost nor dead. They are alive evermore
(John 11:25-26) and will appear instead before the Christian judgment seat of Christ to receive rewards and assignments for eternal service.

Receive Jesus as your attorney now
(1 John 2:2), or He will be your Judge, there. Amen.

© 2002 D. B. Martin