The Great White Throne Judgment—Who Gets Judged and Who Doesn’t?

What is the Great White Throne Judgment?

As I share my faith and listen to people, I find almost everyone believes in some kind of judgment at the end of life. A sense of “final reckoning” seems to be written into the conscience of every man of every culture whether or not he is religious. In fact, the Bible is filled with stories of judgment from Genesis to Revelation.

Please see some of the judgments that relate specifically to the Great White Throne Judgment listed here.

Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city (Mathew 10:15).

. . . the LORD, for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in His faithfulness (Psalm 96:13)

And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42).

Act 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.

Rev 14:14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.

The events of the Great White Throne Judgment are written in Revelation 20:11-15:

Then I saw a great white throne and one seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them.

I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.

Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works.

Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15

This is the Final Judgment, an eternal judgment, and part of the doctrine of eternal judgment taught in Hebrews Chapter 6.

Who is the judge?

At first I understood Him to be God the Father, the Sovereign Ruler of the universe to be the judge. But not so fast. According to John 5:22 and 27, the Father has given all judgment to the Son in order that all may honor the Son.

Notice that all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior will escape this judgment (verse 24)!

Who are the subjects?

Who must appear? All those who have rejected Christ Jesus and the salvation He offers must stand before this throne to be judged. All the unsaved must appear. Not one who has refused Jesus’ offer of salvation can escape judgment at the Great White Throne. All the dead, both great and small, shall look up into the Face of God. The term “dead” is used seven times in these five verses and refers to the spiritually dead.

No believers of the church age will be judged. Believers in Christ will, however, be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (not the same as the Great White Throne Judgment) to be repaid for their deeds, whether good or bad.

When will the Great White Throne Judgment take place?

At the end, after the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth, and before the advent of the new heaven and the new earth.

What is the basis for the judgment? Why is anyone there? 

Unbelievers are at this judgment because of their rejection of Christ as Substitute for the guilt of their sin. Their disbelief is demonstrated by their works.

What is the outcome? 

There is only one result—eternity in the lake of fire with the devil. All who are there will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).

Remember God did not intend for anyone to be sentenced to hell. Hell was not prepared for humans, but for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

That’s enough bad news. Want some good news?

Comments

  1. Nice essay! Well studied and well presented.

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