By Justin Edwards
‘ Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’ - Mark 9:48
We are clearly living in perilous times. With the threat of terrorism and war looming around the globe and economies on the verge of collapse, with the fallen state of the church and the vast push toward global religious unity, and with Israel facing elimination by the impending nuclear build-up of Iran, no doubt the world is on the brink of the end of the age. We are rapidly approaching the end of God's purpose for the human race. So what does that mean for you? Do you think about eternity?
At the 2008 Resolved Conference, Dr. Steven Lawson delivered a terrifying depiction of what Scripture calls the "judgment of great day" (Jude 1:6). This day is just on the horizon and is known as the Great White Throne Judgment (mp3 and video found at the end of this post). Revelation 20:11-15 tells us of that great and terrible day of the Lord:
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. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
This is the same lake of fire that will be the final abode of Satan and his angels, where
they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. - Revelation 20:10
All the world will be on trial at this final judgment. The perfect justice of Holy God will be realized for every hardened and impenitent heart who has stored up the wrath of God their whole life (Romans 2:5). Every unrepentant sinner who refused to kneel at the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ will be condemned to an eternal hell because they loved darkness rather than light (John 3:18-19). This is the highest court of the universe and there will be no court of appeals. If you find yourself before this pure and powerful throne of terrifying purpose, you will be faced with no sympathetic judge, you will never see one drop of mercy, there will be no grace, you will have no advocate, there will be no mistrial, no sentence overturned, verdicts are final, there will be no parole, and there will be no escape. You will be facing none other than the Lord Jesus Christ whose eyes of flaming fire will pierce the darkness of your soul. The day you thought would never come will be the realest day you will have ever lived. You will be facing absolute holiness and inflexible justice, and when it is over, you will face absolute judgment.
The very Righteousness you refused to yield to will be the very standard by which you are condemned. You ignored Christ, cursed Christ, blasphemed Christ, put off Christ, or played games with Christ, and you will face not a gentle, lowly, and merciful God who will overlook your sin, but you will find yourself in the hands of an angry God who will unleash the fury of His wrath upon you (Zephaniah 1:15). People from all backgrounds will face this judgment, whether they be Hitler, Stalin, or the most notorious sinners you can imagine, but likewise your regular Joe American - your neighbor, your coworker, whose life amounted to very little in the big scheme of things. Or Joe might be the successful business executive, doctor, or lawyer, or your friendly firemen, policemen, or medic. You might ask what could Joe possibly have in common with Adolf Hitler? Sin. The sin of unbelief. The sin of pride. The sin of rebellion. All of which will keep both Hitler and Joe from the grips of a merciful God.
Dr. Lawson details five groups of people who will stand before the Great White Throne. Are you one of these?
Out and Out Sinner. This person sinned violently against God and all but spat on the face of Christ. He hated God, church, and the Bible. This person hated any form of morality and lived a life of open, shameless sin. We see these types of people in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
Of course, ever born again believer used to be among the unrighteous, but according to verse 11, we have been washed, justified, and sanctified by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God. Yet, your hatred for God affords you the eternal wrath of God.
Self Righteous. This person believes they are so good and so moral, that the Gospel is only for the thief and the prostitute, but "not me". You are "good enough" in your own morality. You are a Pharisee and you think you are better than others. Luke 18:9-14 might be your life's story. And because of your moralistic self-righteousness, you cannot see that you too fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). You hope your self-righteousness will be good enough to enter heaven, but you will be found wanting as
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death._ Proverbs 14:12
Religious Cult Members. These are men who followed other men or women such as Mohammed, the Dali Llama, Joseph Smith, Sun Myung Moon, the Virgin Mary, or any other religious leader instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. They failed to recognize and affirm that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man goes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). There is only one road, one narrow gate, one God and one Mediator. Because you denied the name of Christ (Acts 4:12), you will find yourself as an enemy under His feet for
at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:10-11
Procrastinator. This person acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God and even knows they are living a lifestyle of sin, but they have yet to submit their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They have merely believed in a list of facts about the Savior, but the pride of life, their love for the world, and delight in the works of the flesh is too much for them to give up (Galatians 5:19-21). They might say, "one day I'll make things right" because they are having too much fun and taking too much pleasure in living a rebellious lifestyle against a holy God (1 John 3:4-9). They are not willing to forsake everything to be the disciple of Christ (Luke 14:33) because that would mean they would have to give up their sin, their money, their material possessions, and their worldly lifestyle (1 John 2:15-17). But they say "one day I'll live for Christ", "one day I'll accept Him as Lord," but sadly, that day never comes.
Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.- Proverbs 27:1
Do you not know that now is the acceptable time and today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)? Should you continue to put salvation off, you will find yourself before a God who
is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he does not turn back,
He will sharpen His sword;
He bends His bow and makes it ready.
13 He also prepares for Himself instruments of death;
He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.- Psalm 7:11-12
Lost Church Members. These may be the greatest tragedy of all. These folks are they whose names are in the member roles of the local church, they pay their tithes, and they give to the poor. They never miss a Sunday or the Sunday lunch that follows. They are attached to church but not Christ. They profess to know Him, but they do not possess Him. They have a form of godliness, but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). They also
profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
They will hear on that terrible day, "Depart from Me, I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23). They never took the time to examine themselves to see if their faith was genuine (2 Corinthians 13:5), they are lukewarm and have need of nothing (Revelation 3:17), they have created a god in their own image and are false converts trying to serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and because they merely went along with the crowd and never experienced a unique and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they will perish at the wave of His hand.
Might you be in any of these categories? Is there a chance you, as the reader, might see the righteous judgment of God? Does your lifestyle bear the fruit of faith, or does it bear the fruit of unrighteousness? Rest assured, God has been keeping an accurate and precise record of every action, thought, word, and deed of every unsaved person from the beginning of mankind. Nothing will be hidden on that day, for
God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil. - Ecclesiastes 12:14
There is no fooling God. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:35-37
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Do you now stand justified, or will you stand condemned? Are you trying to hide from God?
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. - Hebrews 4:13
You must know that God demands justice for every single sin ever committed by every single person who has walked the earth. God will overlook no sin, and your sin will either be punished and pardoned in Christ or you will be punished for your sin in hell for all the ages to come. Do you not know the reality of your sin? Your sin is killing you now, and it will be the cause of eternal death and separation from the grace and mercy of God forever (Romans 6:23).
If you die unrepentant, there are no second chances and there will be no hope for you. Jesus will tell you,
‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. - Matthew 25:41
If you do not humble yourself before the Lord and recognize and confess your sinful condition before Holy God, if your heart does not grieve of your offenses against God and lead you to repentance, and if you never find yourself thirsting for the righteousness of Jesus Christ, woe unto you for that Great Day will come upon you like a thief in the night ready to devour you by fire (Matthew 5:22). In truth, you should have "a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:27). You will be separated from the just and be cast into the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:50). You will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7). You will be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone (Revelation 19:20). You will find yourself in an unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12), the Lord's vengeance will be upon you for not obeying His Gospel, and you be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
On that day, every soul who rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and thought hell to be a place for parties and reunions, who thought God would not be there and believed hell to be owned by Satan, will realize Hollywood lied to them. Hell is not hell because God is not there, hell is hell because God is there. Matthew 10:28,
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Dear friend, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God (Hebrews 10:31). While you hope that God will just overlook your sin on that day, the very sin that nailed Jesus to that old rugged cross and the very sin that stirred the cup of wrath God Himself poured out on His own Son (Isaiah 53:4-10), do not be so foolish to believe God will simply dismiss your case. Should you not repent and submit your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, the only thing you should expect is to stand hopelessly naked before the righteous throne of a just Judge. Your sentence of death will never end and you will be the object of God's wrath forever and ever.
By the grace of God I pray that you are trembling at the holiness of the resurrected Lamb of God who sits at the right hand of His Father in heaven, glorified in majesty waiting to unleash His judgment upon the earth (Revelation 5:1-14). Know that
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. - Proverbs 9:10
Should you be asking how might you avoid this great and terrible day in the Court of Divine Justice, Jesus Christ is calling you to walk through the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14). You must humble yourself before God (James 4:10) and pray for mercy (Luke 18:13). Recognizing your wretched condition, cry out to God to save you from your sin (2 Corinthians 7:10) and to give you a new heart that desires to serve Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Be willing to forsake everything for the Lord Jesus Christ, even your own life (Luke 14:26), and call upon the name of the Lord and you shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 13). Now should you be given new life by faith and repentance, you will find yourself resting in the grace of God for all eternity. You will be a joint heir with Christ, for
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. - Ephesians 1:13-14
But should you delay and fail to go through that narrow gate, your conscious will not fade as you remember every time you refused to repent, including the day you read this letter. Do not delay any longer, lest God be glorified in your destruction.
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3
Please watch or listen and pass these critical messages to your loved ones:
The Great White Throne Judgment mp3