The Great White Throne Judgment
11 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,[c] 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.[d] 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Let me begin by saying up front, if you don't believe in a literal hell; this message will probably not mean much to you. Nor will it motivate you to go out and tell people of the Judgment to come, that Day when all of mankind will stand before Almighty God and give an account of ourselves before a Holy and Righteous God. If you do believe that there is a real, literal hell - and that one day those who reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be doomed forever to eternal damnation - eternal separation from God for all eternity; then this message should motivate you to want to tell others how they can avoid this awful fate! I do believe what the Bible says about heaven and hell. And, while I believe it's good to talk about the glories of Heaven - and how wonderful and glorious it will be for those who give their lives to Jesus Christ. It is equally imperative that we warn people of the horrors that await all who reject God's generous offer of forgiveness that is available to everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ, and what He has done for all mankind through His death on the cross - and resurrection from the dead!
THE BOOK OF LIFE
How your name gets into the Book of Life is a subject of great debate and endless controversy among Christians and theologians, and to be honest the scriptures aren't crystal clear on that point. What we do know is this: IF YOU'RE NAME ISN'T IN IT - YOU ARE GOING TO HELL.
Many people believe a person's name is entered into the Book of Life when one becomes a Christian, that is to say when they repent and place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us in taking our sins to the cross and being raised from the dead. That seems to be the strongest argument. Then, there is the teaching that every human being is borne with their name already in the Book of Life, and that they are removed later when they fail to place their faith in the gospel, when they reject God and His holy commandments. That agrees with the spiritual truth: God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
A good friend of mine, who is a Bible scholar in his own right, believes that to be so... I'm inclined to believe, a person's name is entered before they are born(God knowing that they would be brought forth in time), but regardless of when a name is entered; we know that to not be found in the Book of Life is surely the most dreadful of all things that one can imagine prior to being judged by God Himself. To put it another way, once a person is told that he or she cannot be found in the Book of Life, the rest of the proceedings in Heaven are a mere formality... I for one do not want to be found wanting.
WHO WILL BE DAMNED TO HELL?
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Usually, when the question of who will end up in Hell is asked, the response is to mention the various categories of sinners that the scriptures make clear will not be heaven, namely those who engage in the "works of the flesh" as outlined in Galatians 5: 19-21., and in Revelation 21:8.
Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God
Revelation 21:8 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
THE GREATEST SIN...
If we examine the above verses in totality, we find that anyone who rejects Jesus offer of forgiveness and salvation by refusing to trust and put their faith in Him is under the "wrath of God". They by that simple act of defiance and rebellion; have set the compass for their soul towards Hell. The greatest sin that any of us can ever commit, is to reject Jesus as one's Savior and Lord. To reject Christ is to doom oneself to the tyranny of being ruled by "sin" and the powers of darkness that govern all who live upon the earth that are "dead in their sins".
A Christian can still manifest the works of the flesh, that Paul lists in Gal.5:19-21, but doesn't have to because Jesus has freed them from the power of sin, and from it's deadly consequences... the unbeliever however, who has not yet been set free from their sins, or delivered out of the kingdom of darkness - will exhibit quite naturally I might add - some, though not necessarily all of the "works of the flesh" that God clearly hates. He hates the works of the flesh so much in fact, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus; to save us from their deadly effects! While the Christian, through faith in Jesus Christ, and the gospel of the Cross and Resurrection is saved, and released from the power of sin, and the spiritual death it brings - the unbelievers and persons who reject Jesus Christ are not. This is why the "greatest sin" for all mankind will not be the "individual sins" a person dies with, or in; but rather his or her rejection of Jesus Christ.
HAVING YOUR NAME "BLOTTED OUT"
Perhaps you've heard the expression: "IN LIKE FLYNN" - which many use to describe the idea of being safely locked into a place of complete security, free from any possibility of being removed or from any threat of losing one's position or standing ... There are many Christians who mistakenly assume, that because their names "are in the Lamb's Book of Life" - that there is no possibility of having their names removed or "blotted out" as it is called in the scriptures. They are wrong! The Bible, - Jesus Himself; makes it crystal clear that not only is it possible to have your name removed from the Book of Life, but that fact is used by the Lord and God to place a sense of holy reverence and Godly fear in everyone of us who will one day stand before God and give and account for our lives here on earth. Secure in Christ - YES! Secure in His unfailing love and mercy - YES! Ah, but not so secure that I can trample upon the blood of Christ, and go back to practicing the works of the flesh, and open rebellion against God... The man or woman who thinks their name cannot be removed by a holy and righteous God, who put it their in the first place is beguiled by "doctrines of demons".
To those who are deluded by such misguided thinking, please examine the scriptures below and know that God will not be mocked... Better to work out our salvation with "fear and trembling" than tobe presum-ptuous and openly disobedient, thinking a "past commitment or experience" with God, no matter how sincere and real; somehow guarantees one's entrance into heaven... that is the worst kind of delusion, and not in line with God's holy commandments that are not to practice sin, or continue in it any longer as sons and daughters of the Risen King!! (Phil.2:20)
Exod. 32:33: "And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." If one dies without forgiveness of their sins their name vanishes out of the record book of life.
Rev.3:5: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." We overcome by our faith which is exhibited by faithfulness.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away,[b] to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Final Thoughts... The Bible tells us that it is possible to "depart from the faith", to become "shipwrecked"... the New Testament is replete with examples of those who have turned back and returned to lives of sin and rebellion. While there are many reasonable persons who are of the opinion that these individuals were "never saved in the first place"; the scriptural evidence to suggest otherwise is there for anyone who will take the time to search it out for themselves. The bottom line for all of us who name Jesus as our Lord and Savior, is not that we have a "get into Heaven Pass" - no matter how we may live or conduct our affairs down here. But, rather let us live lives of holy fear and reverence knowing that at the end of our journey we will give an account of our lives before Almighty God. The greatest sin, is not our individual "sins" that each of us may be guilty of at any given moment, on any given day, that all of us have to bring before God as they may happen in our lives. No, the greatest sin is the rejection of God's great gift of His son Jesus for us all on the cross of Calvary, and His resurrection from the dead. Once that gift has been received by anyone through faith - we are to "continue in faith to the end".
A great and noble beginning, and a courageous and glorious in-between is what God desires of all of us; but keeping the faith to the end, and walking in obedience to the very end of our journey is necessary to truly be considered faithful and loyal to our King. We must "continue in the faith", and that dear friends is where we "live out our faith" here on earth moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, and right up to the end of our journey...
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven,
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST
TO ALL WHO LOVE JESUS,
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (emphasis mine)
WHY WE WERE CREATED...
The above scriptures has 3 parts to it. First, is the spiritual truth that: "Without Faith" is is impossible to please God. Wow! That is simply astounding in it's absoluteness! I mean, "impossible" means there are literally no exceptions to the rule, None, not one, as in a BIG ZERO. Since pleasing God is at the heart of why God created us in the first place, we need to lock into that truth, and let it become part of our spiritual DNA. Read what the apostle John wrote in the book of Revelations about pleasing God.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Knowing that you and I were created to give God pleasure should give us all pause to consider the big picture. Let me ask you this question: Do you think your life is pleasing to God? After all, we just read "why" we were created, so it's only appropriate that we examine ourselves in light of that truth; and ask whether or not our lives are pleasing to God. I'll let you answer that one for yourself, but knowing why God created us should help us walk humbly before our maker. I know most preachers emphasis "faith" when quoting this scripture, and most others as well; but God has assured me that this generation of believers has had more than ample messages on "faith" - but, very few on "why" we are here in the first place...
Heb.11:6 ...for he who comes to God must believe that He is... (part 2)
I love this verse, it is another way of saying: I AM THAT I AM ! The expression: HE IS, is one that staggers the imagination, though it is only "two words". HE IS what? The writer of Hebrews is reminding all who would dare to follow God, to follow Jesus Christ: THEY MUST BELIEVE THAT
He is God/El. He is The All Sufficient One/El Shaddai. He is The One God/El Echad. He is The Faithful God/El Hanne-eman. The God of Truth/El Emet. The Righteous God/El Tsaddik. The Most High God/El Elyon. The Everlasting God/El Olam. The God Who sees me/El Roi. The Mighty God/El Gibbor.
The God of knowledge/El De'ot. The Great God/El Haggadol. The God of Glory/El Hakkavod. The Holy God/El Hakkadosh. The God of Heavens/El Hashamayim. The God of my life/El Chayai. The Gracious God/El-Channun. The God of my strength/El Sali. The God of compassion/El Rachum. (for a complete listing of Hebrew names for God go to: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/Printer_Version/printer_version.html )
What's the point of this you say... Hmm, glad you asked. The writer of the above verse was telling the Hebrew Christians(who knew these names very well), that coming to God was not a matter of stumbling into the unknown, or wandering into some nebulous spirit realm where one simply gropes and ambles through the shadows wondering if God is there, or if He's really cares ... put another way: COMING TO GOD MEANS YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY ABOUT WHO GOD IS. I know that may sound like double talk, or playing with words - it is not. We are told that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".
Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If you want to please God, get to know Him. Read what the scriptures say about Him. Talk to God, listen to God, and fill your mind with the words of God; both the written/logos - and the spoken/rhema. For us today, who have both the Old and New Testaments; we are without excuse when it comes to knowing "who" GOD IS. We are blessed with more spiritual wealth in terms of biblical data, and scriptural knowledge - that "not knowing" God would take a considerable amount of effort to achieve...
DILIGENTLY SEEKING GOD...
Heb. 6:11 ... He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (part 3)
Show me a Christian who has the blessing of God on their lives, and I'll show you a man or woman, or a boy or girl who is "diligent" in seeking after God. I know this flies in the face of many who teach erroneously that you can't earn God's favor or blessing. They are wrong. Of course you can't earn God's favor when it comes to our salvation or deliverance from sin and evil; that is the pure mercy and grace of God because of what Jesus Christ did for us. Amen. We can't earn that - that is ours simply by accepting what Christ did for us on the cross, and through faith in His shed blood, and in His resurrection from the dead. That "favor" cannot be earned or bought at any price by us as human beings. The ransom was paid by Jesus, and it is a free gift to all who will receive it...
The blessing and reward that the writer of Hebrews is speaking of here is for those who want more than just a place in heaven, more than just the assurance of knowing they will be with God and the saints forever in heaven. The reward he is speaking of, is a divine favor that God bestows upon persons who are not content to settle for lives of spiritual mediocrity, or just going through the motions... "just going to church, and waiting for my time to go to be with Jesus") There are rewards and blessings that await anyone who is willing to pursue God with a vengeance With a holy fervor, and passion that is the delight to the Lord and Creator of everything. God loves it when He is sought after with a holy zeal, with a hunger and thirst that can only be quenched and satisfied by Him and Him alone! Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (God's rewards aren't handed to you on a silver platter)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Lazy Christians will not find the rewards that God only gives to those who diligently seek for Him. There are many believers today who spend more time searching for apps, for their "dumb phones", than they do searching for truth in their bibles! Sad, harsh - not really. Just look around, and ask yourself this question: Do I spend more time with my phone than I do in God's word? Do I spend more time watching T.V., or listening to my Ipod than I do reading and studying God's word? Going to church, singing a few choruses at church, and saying a few prayers every now and then is well and fine; but we have to admit, is that what God created us for? God is looking for intimacy, and for us to invite Him into every area of our lives; not just the few hours we may fit into our busy schedules every week. The bible is replete with examples of "religious dead works" done in the name of God. From Genesis to the Book of Revelation, we find God disgusted and angered by the mere show of religious piety...
From Cain, whose offering was unacceptable - to the hypocritical Pharisees of Jesus day; we find that "being religious" was never enough in and of itself. God is wanting our hearts, our minds, and our souls, and our bodies to be totally given over to Him in total surrender. Anything less, and we fall short. Is it possible to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength - as God desires for us to do? Not in our own power or strength, that's for sure. I do believe that under the New Covenant, with the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible to keep this most holy of all God's commandments. When we realize that "God Himself, is our reward - our blessing - our everything" , then we will find that we have riches beyond compare, and treasures that cannot be fathomed by this world... I encourage you to seek God as your ultimate and most precious reward!
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
Blessings to everyone/michael/fool4CHRIST
TO ALL WHO LOVE THE TRUTH...
Hebrews 5:14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
DISCERNING GOOD FROM EVIL...
If there is a shortage on anything today in the Christian churches it is the ability to "discern good from evil"... Never before in the history of the Christian Church has there been such a vacuum or void when it comes to the lack of individuals calling themselves Christians; who have their "senses exercised" to clearly distinguish good from evil, right from wrong, and the holy from the profane! The sad reality is that this present culture of death, perversion, and ungodliness; has to a large extent "dumbed down" many Christians to the point they call "good evil - and evil good." It is ridiculous to think such a person can overcome evil or the schemes of the devil; if he or she is unable to tell good from evil, or the truth from a lie... Sadly, that is the state of affairs in many churches and homes today!
Isaiah 5:20Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Today, with so many Christians spending more time staring at their cellphones(I refuse to call them smartphones), than they do their bibles; it is no small wonder that distinguishing the good from that which is evil - is not something that many Christians are able to do... at least not consistently. Why? All sarcasm aside; the simple truth is that knowing the difference between good and evil is not handed to anyone on a silver platter, nor is it a given just because a person is saved and becomes a Christian. The sad reality is their are probably more "dumb/ignorant" Christians walking around today than at any other time in Church history! (I'm not talking about I.Q., or natural intelligence/but spiritual wisdom and knowledge that only comes from God)
Wow! That's an unkind and haughty thing to say Michael...
Why, we have more bible bookstores, and more bible helps than ever; and we have more Christian television and radio programs and stations than you can shake a stick at(sorry, that's the best cliche I could come up with at this time in the morning). Hey, Michael we've got more biblical data and information at our disposal than all the proceeding generations of Christians put together - right now, here and you say we: CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG, BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL? We have more accumulative knowledge now than... well; you get the idea - right? Hmm, let me just say in answer to that gibberish: Read what the prophet Daniel had to say about the subject of "accumulative knowledge in the last days"
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
A LACK OF DISCERNMENT...
Christians assenting to the idea of "same sex marriage", was unthinkable only decades ago... but, now many so called Christians are spouting the "new theology" of love and compromise... I mean who are we to judge, right? WRONG! The bible has already pronounced homosexuality as a sin that will keep you out of heaven. Yes, all manner of sins will keep you out, "drunkenness", "murder", "lying" , "stealing", and many more works of the flesh; but please keep in mind why Satan is so adamant on changing our mindset on the idea of men and women marrying someone of their own sex: BECAUSE IT STRIKES AT THE FIRST INSTITUTION GOD ORDAINED - God created Adam and Eve/not Adam and Steve... I won't even go into the killing of "unborn defenseless babies"; as that is a matter for another day; but there we find many Christians siding with the idea of "sacrificing our children" on the altar of ... (more on that later)
I'll let you ponder that for a few minutes, but suffice to say... Yes, Lucifer hates the church, and he hates Christians. Hey, he hates everyone, and everything God has created(perhaps even himself in a twisted and perverted kind of way - can he love anything?). Ah, but the "family" the very thing that God created to fill the earth, to be His' own family, with He Himself as it's head. Think about it, changing that original design from man and woman, to man and man, or woman and woman - is an abomination to God, and strikes at the very core of human civilization. Yet still, many modern free thinking Christians(who aren't studying their bibles); have concluded that somehow the bible must be wrong, that God's word must be erroneous . Yes, I'll decide what is good, and what is evil: and the truth is what I think it is! That's almost funny, is it not? NOT. Sadly, accepting homosexuality as a good thing, as an acceptable lifestyle is now okay with many Christians today. That is apostasy, just as sure as it would be to denounce Christ as Lord. You see when we begin to throw out "unwanted parts" of the bible, regardless of our reasons; we begin to tear down the "foundations" that God has laid for all of us to live and die by... and for anyone who may accuse me of "hating homosexuals" ; you would be wrong. I love them, I love murderers, drunkards, and liars, and all other sinners of every stripe and persuasion, really. But, I hate the sin that Jesus died for, that Jesus came to set us free from, and I know that we are to hate what God hates. I hate the sin. I do not hate the sinner. And, can distinguish clearly between the two.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Knowing the difference between what is good, and what is evil is so basic to what being a Christian is supposed to be, that it should be the very essence of who and what we are as children of God, children of light... Today, seeing or hearing something evil - should cause any Christian to immediately look the other way, or cover their eyes or ears in disgust or anger! When you see something nasty or vulgar, or perverted; do you turn away from it, or do you continue to gaze upon it without shame? When you hear something that you know is ungodly or that Jesus would not approve of, a dirty joke, or something obscene that should not be shown in public; do you walk away from it? Do you turn it off, or let those enticing you with these things know, that you're a Christian and you can't look at or listen to that garbage? Pornography is now the biggest industry on the internet, and to be sure; it isn't just rank sinners watching and paying for that vile poison from hell. God will give you discernment, but we still have to "turn our eyes, ears, and minds" away from evil when we are faced with it! Step one is recognizing what is evil. Step two, is not succumbing to it. Step three is destroying it if at all possible - not just tolerating it. Jesus did not turn a blind eye to evil, He destroyed it when and where He found it. Let us do likewise, amen.
I leave you with a few scriptures to consider, and I pray that you ask God as Solomon did for discernment to know good from evil, and in addition; ask God for the strength to resist evil when it is presented to you. Evil may appear beautiful, and even as an "angel of light" - to deceive you and snare you.
To truly discern good from evil, you will have to know God's word, and know it well. In these last days, lazy Christians, who love the world and the things of this world are fair game for all the wiles of the enemy! Watch and Pray should be our mantra and end time's song. God wants you and I to be able to easily spot truth from error, and good from evil. To do that, we have to feast and meditate upon God's word day and night... what are you feasting on? Make no mistake, the devil's main game is keeping you from reading your bible. I'll say it again, to keep you from discerning good from evil, the devil will use everything at his disposal to keep you from reading the scriptures. You can take that to the bank. Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:37Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.
“And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (the responsibility of the priests)
1 Kings 3:9
Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST
p.s. If you ask God to give you the "discernment" to know right from wrong, truth from error, and the holy from the profane: He will prompt you to study the bible intently... it won't fall from the sky.
Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...