“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” (Revelation 20:11-15).
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
The setting is a coming to the end of the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ in a moment. Now, the Rapture of the Saints has taken place. At any moment there will be a trumpet sound, a shout, a resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the Saints being caught away in the Rapture.
“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5). There are three parts to the resurrection: the firstfruits (I Corinthians 15:20), the main harvest, and the gleanings. The Scripture says that the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years is finished. So, the unsaved will stay in Hell, a place of burning and torment, and a temporary holding cell if you please, all the way through the Millennium Age (Revelation 20:5).
At the end of the thousand years is what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. There is no such judgment in the Scriptures where the judgment will determine whether a person goes to Heaven or Hell. Heaven or Hell is a result of accepting Jesus Christ or rejecting Him as payment for sin.
A man’s sin is judged at Calvary, if he is saved, or those sins will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment if man is not saved! Those whose sins are judged at Calvary will live in Heaven forever. Those whose sins are judged at the Great White Throne Judgment will hurled into the Lake of Fire forever and never get out because they cannot pay for those sins. Only God can appease God!
There are two main judgments in the future for man concerning sin. The Judgment Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne Judgment! At the Judgment Seat of Christ believers will be judged and rewarded based upon “work,” (gold, silver or precious stones) that is done for Heaven verses “work,” (wood, hay, stubble) done for earth!
Please do not forget the saved ones’ sins were judged at Calvary in Christ! The Great White Throne Judgment is for those who rejected Jesus Christ as payment for their sins. Wait a minute! Don’t miss this! Neither Judgment determines Heaven or Hell they just determine degrees of reward or degrees of punishment!
First on God’s prophetic calendar is the catching away of the Saints from earth in the Rapture. Second, seven years in the air with our precious Saviour! Third, at the same time the great seven-year Tribulation Period will be occurring on planet earth. While the saved are in the air with Jesus the Judgment Seat of Christ will take place not to determine whether the saved go to Heaven or not but to determine how much the saved will enjoy Heaven! Works will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
At the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period begins the thousand-year reign with Christ and the saved. One thousand years later there is going to be a second resurrection. All of the unsaved people in the graves will be raised from the dead and they will stand before what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. This judgment is only for those who rejected Christ as payment for their sins.
The Judgment Seat of Christ is only for those who accepted Christ as payment for their sins. The Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the thousand year millennial reign of Christ is for the unsaved only! This judgment will determine the degrees of punishment in the Lake of Fire. According to Revelation 20:12-14 some will suffer in the Lake of Fire more than others.
THE BOOK OF LIFE
(1) The names of the saved are written in the Book of Life in Heaven (Philippians 4:3; Luke 10:20).
(2) The names of the saved in the Book of Life cannot be removed (Revelation 3:5 does not say God “will blot” out names it says “will not blot out” names) (Revelation 12:11).
(3) The righteousness of Jesus Christ is in the book of Life beside the name of every saved person (Romans 4:6, 8, 11, 22-24; Revelation 21:27).