August 06 2022
Today, Saturday August 06
“And Books Were Opened…”
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who 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, standing before God, 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. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 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.”
As we said yesterday, God keeps perfect records! In this passage we learn about what happens when His “books are opened” at “The Great White Throne Judgment”. This is God’s final judgment for those who were born and died on planet earth from the time of Adam in the Old Testament, through the church age in the New Testament, on through the Tribulation and the one-thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ. Specifically, this judgment is for those who never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation.
God knows what sinners are doing, and His books will reveal the truth. Proverbs 5:21 tells us: “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths.” God’s eternal eyes see everything! One of the names of God in the Old Testament is El Roi, “The God Who sees you” (Genesis 16:13). People break the law because they think they can get by with it. That no one sees them. They are deceived into thinking that there will be no consequences for what they are doing!
While we are here on earth, we might fool and deceive our family and friends, the police and the judge, the pastor and other church members, our associates, our co-workers, and our neighbors. And it might appear that we are getting by with our sin and wrongdoing with no consequences. But my friend, God is not mocked and one day every wrong deed will be revealed and judged. (Galatians 5:7)
Psalm 94:1-11, reminds us that God knows and see everything, even our thoughts: “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs-- O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth; Render punishment to the proud. LORD, how long will the wicked, How long will the wicked triumph? They utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves. They break in pieces Your people, O LORD, And afflict Your heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, And murder the fatherless. Yet they say, "The LORD does not see, Nor does the God of Jacob understand." Understand, you senseless among the people; And you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge? The LORD knows the thoughts of man, That they are futile.”
When this Great White Throne Judgment is finished, all of the lost will be cast into the lake of fire, the second death. Many people reject the biblical doctrine of hell as being "unchristian," and yet Jesus clearly taught its reality (Matt. 18:8; 23:15, 33; 25:46; Mark 9:46). A sentimental kind of humanistic religion will not face the reality of judgment, but teaches a God who loves everyone into heaven and sends no one to hell. Hell is a witness to the righteous character of God. He must judge sin. Hell is also a witness to man's responsibility, the fact that he is not a robot or a helpless victim, but a creature able to make choices. God does not "send people to hell"; they send themselves by rejecting the Savior (Matt. 25:41; John 3:16-21). Hell is also a witness to the awfulness of sin. If we once saw sin as God sees it, we would understand why a place such as hell exists.
When I was a nineteen-year-old teenager, I thought that I wanted to live my own life, my way, and enjoy the pleasures of sin. I definitely was going down the wrong path. But I had memorized some verses as a child from Mark 8:36-38, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." These verses begin to haunt me and remind me that one day I would have to face a Holy God and His judgment of hell. I decided not to gamble with my soul and on February 21, 1971, I turned from my sin to the cross of Jesus Christ to find forgiveness. And I have never been the same since and never regretted it!
For sure, this final judgment ought to be a great motivation to make sure that you have your sins forgiven and have prepared to meet God!