The Four Judgments

Table of Contents

1. The Four Judgments
2. The Judgment of Sin
3. The Judgment Seat of Christ: 2 Corinthians 5
4. Title for Heaven Already Secured
5. Three Different Workmen
6. The Judgment of the Living Nations
7. The Great Tribulation
8. The Great White Throne
9. The Wicked Dead Not Yet Raised

The Four Judgments

WHAT could be of greater moment than the subject of coming judgment; and yet strange to say there is no one so little understood and about which there is greater confusion of thought.
The first of the four is past and the remaining three are future.
1. There is the judgment of sin.
2. The judgment seat, (or throne) at which all believers shall appear.
3. The throne of His glory, at which all the living nations shall appear.
4. The great white throne, before which all the wicked dead shall appear.
The first took place at the cross.
The second will be in heaven.
The third will be on earth.
The fourth will be in space.
It is of the utmost importance to be clear about these judgments in their order, for if we are not clear about the first, it is impossible to be clear about the others.

The Judgment of Sin

That God's severe and righteous judgment for sin fell on Christ at the cross, the following scriptures show-"He hath made Him sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21.)
"Once in the end of the world (or age) hath He (Christ) appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Heb. 9:26.)
"As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." (Heb. 9:27,28.)
"Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye are healed." (1 Peter 2:24.)
These scriptures in the New Testament may suffice to show that the blessed Lord bore our sins, and the judgment for them on the cross. Then in the Old Testament we will only refer to Psa. 22 and 69; Isa. 53.
The result of our blessed Lord bearing the judgment for our sins, sets us free from it all, and in seeing this we can then understand the following scriptures.-
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, (or judgment) but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24.)
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1.)
"For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." (Heb. 10:14.)
"Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Heb. 10:17.)
It is important therefore to remember that for the child of God judgment is past.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, (or judgment) but is passed from death unto life." ( John 5:21.)
If the reader will open his Bible at John 5., he will find the word "condemnation" (John. 5:24), "judgment" (John. 5:27), and "damnation" (John. 5:29), and it will greatly help him to understand the teaching of this most weighty passage if he remembers that In each case the word should be "judgment"; for though translated in our English Bibles by these three different words, there is but one word in the original Greek which properly means "judgment," and indeed is so rendered in the new Revised Version.
Before we proceed further in our inquiry, we are anxious that the Christian reader should lay firm hold of this deeply important truth, that not only does the believer in Christ possess now eternal life ("hath eternal life"), but that also, on the authority of Christ's own word, "he shall not come into judgment"; for the same unerring Word that assures him of the first great truth, likewise assures him of the second.
But, it may be said, are we not told that "it is appointed unto all men once to die, and after this the judgment"?
Certainly not. Let the reader open his Bible at Heb. 9:26-28, and he will see that the word "all" is not in the passage. In Heb. 9:27 we are told what is the common lot of mankind; namely, death and judgment; but in Heb. 9:28 we find the believer's portion: instead of looking for death, he is looking for Christ's appearing; and instead of waiting for Christ as his judge, he is looking for Him as his Savior, who shall change his body of humiliation and fashion it like unto His own body of glory. (Phil. 3:20,21.)
The blessed Savior appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. He came 1900 years ago about the question of sin, to put away sin, to bear the sins of many; and having done the work on the cross which has settled that question on the believer's behalf forever, He will appear the second time without sin; that is, apart from the question of sin altogether. For if that question was settled at His first coming, it could not possibly be raised again at His second coming.
For the unbeliever, of course, His coming must be for judgment; but for the believer it will be "unto salvation"-in other words, the full results of the work which He accomplished at His first coming will be reaped by the believer at His second coming. He will then not only possess the salvation of his soul that, through grace, he enjoys now, but then salvation will be completed in the glorifying of his body.
What peace it gives to the soul when once we see that God can never in justice raise the question of our sins with us! Has not Christ once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God? (1 Peter 3:18.) Did He not His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree? (1 Peter 2:24.) And has He not, after having offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God? (Heb. 10:12.) Surely the believer will never have to suffer for sins for which Christ has already once suffered! Surely he will never have to bear sins which Christ bore on the cross! Surely he will never have to be judged for sins for which Christ has already offered Himself as a sacrifice!
Is it not clear, then, beloved Christian reader, that God will never enter into judgment with you as regards your sins, seeing that the Lord Jesus has already borne the judgment that was due to them?
"Payment God will not twice demand,
Once at thy bleeding Savior's hand,
And then again at thine."
What, then, does it mean when it says, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ"?
Let us now briefly consider the other three judgments:

The Judgment Seat of Christ: 2 Corinthians 5

2CO 5While it is perfectly true that the believer will never have to be judged for his sins, yet it is equally true that he will have to appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. The word "appear" in 2 Cor. 5:10 is the same as made "manifest" in the next, and so we may read it thus, "We must all be made manifest," &c.
It is important to observe that the Spirit of God carefully avoids saying, "We must all be judged." Had it been said in 2 Cor. 5:10, "We must all be judged," it would have been a direct contradiction of John 5:24, which says, we "shall not come into judgment," and we may rest assured that one verse of the Word of God could never contradict another. But it says, "We must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ"; that is, everything that we have done here will be brought to light there, and we shall receive reward or suffer loss, according to what we have done, whether it be good or bad.

Title for Heaven Already Secured

It will not then have to be decided where we are to spend eternity, and whether we have a title for heaven or not. By no means, for the believer knows now, without the shadow of a doubt, that he will spend his eternity with Christ in glory. Look at 2 Cor. 5:1, "We KNOW that... we HAVE... an house... eternal in the heavens." In other words, we (Christians) have the present and perfect certainty of an eternity in heavenly glory, "therefore we are always confident." (2 Cor. 5:6.)
And instead of having to wait until the judgment-seat, in order to know whether we have a title for heaven, we ought always to give "thanks to the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inhertance of the saints in light." (Col. 1:12.) But it may be said, Will not this confidence tend to make us careless in our walk here?
Far from it. If Christ has suffered so much for our sakes in order to procure eternal glory for us, it will make us "labor" (mark the word), "that... we may be well-pleasing" (or acceptable) "to Him." (2 Cor. 5:9.) And should this motive in itself not be enough, we have this added, that "we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ." Everything will be brought to light there; if we have been living for ourselves, we shall suffer loss; but if, through God's grace, we have been seeking to live for Christ, we shall receive reward.
But the reader may say, "I always thought that we had to appear before Christ's judgment-seat in order to have it settled, whether we were to be in heaven or not." By no means. The moment a Christian dies, though his body is laid in the grave, his spirit goes to be with Christ. As our chapter puts it, he is "absent from the body," and "present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8); and, again, the apostle Paul said that he had a "desire to depart and be with Christ." (Phil. 1:23.) So too the Lord said to the thief on the cross, "To-day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43.) Now, if Paul, and the dying thief, and all the saints of God who have died since the cross of Calvary, have been with Christ for 1800 years, more or less, is it likely that they should have to leave that place of perfect blessedness in order to be judged to see whether they have a right to be there or not? Surely not.
"But then," it may be said, "it is their spirits that are with Christ, whereas their bodies are in the grave: might not resurrection make a difference?"
Let us see what the Word of God says. 1 Cor. 15 is occupied from beginning to end with the subject of resurrection; first, that of Christ Himself, and then that of the saints. There evidently were some false teachers at Corinth who were trying to persuade the believers there that there was no such thing as resurrection. Consequently the Spirit of God, through Paul, gives seven distinct proofs of the resurrection of Christ-"the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:4), "Cephas" saw Him, "then the twelve" (1 Cor. 15:5), "after that five hundred brethren at once" (1 Cor. 15:6), "after that He was seen of James," "then of all the apostles" (1 Cor. 15:7), "last of all of me also." (1 Cor. 15:8.) This point was of immense importance; for "if Christ be not raised... ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17); their very salvation depended on the fact that Christ had not only died, but risen again. But if Christ has risen from the dead, then the dead do rise; and in what order? Christ the first-fruits (that is, over 1800 years ago); "afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." (1 Cor. 15:23.) And how do they rise? Let the reader open his Bible, and read 1 Cor. 15:43-let him read it over and over again. "It is sown in dishonor: it is raised in glory." Now, this clearly refers only to the believer in Christ. When he is raised, has he then to be judged, to see whether he is to be in glory or not? Certainly not. He is raised in glory. The very act that raises him from the dead puts him into glory. Say, beloved friend, has your soul grasped the power and simplicity of those three words-RAISED IN GLORY?
Then, further, as to those believers who will be alive when Christ comes (and you and I, dear Christian friend, might be among the number), "we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (or, "His body of glory.") (Phil. 3:20,21.) So that when Christ comes into the air (1 Thess. 4:13-18), the living saints will be changed in a moment, and become perfectly like Him; for they shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), and "the dead in Christ" shall be "raised in glory."
But why are we so anxious to prove all this?
Why simply to show that before ever we stand before the judgment-seat of Christ we shall not only be with Christ, but already glorified, and so perfectly like Christ.
Now, could it for one moment be supposed that any of those who are glorified and like Christ could possibly be cast into outer darkness? Surely not. Who could imagine such a thing? The thought even is absurd.
Besides this, Who will be sitting on the judgment-seat? Why, Christ, of course; and, Is not He the very One that bore all our sins in His own body on the tree? Is it likely that He will then lay to our charge sins which He Himself died for on the cross years ago? Impossible!
But what, then, is the judgment-seat of Christ for? As we have shown, it cannot be to judge whether we are to be in heaven or not, for we shall be there already; but being there with Christ, and in glorified bodies like Christ, we shall review in company with Himself our whole history in this world. We shall retrace every step, we shall recall every circumstance; and, in the unsullied light of His blessed presence, we shall weigh every act and deed of our lives in the balance of the sanctuary, we shall see them as He saw them, and judge of them as He judged of them.
He will then show us where and how we failed; but instead of this making us afraid of Him it will only deepen in our souls the sense of His unchanging grace and love, that He should so long have borne with such failing, erring creatures.
He will also delight to bring to our remembrance every little act of service for Himself-the smallest thing we may have done for Him, a word spoken for Him, or even a cup of cold water given in His name will not be forgotten. Then "every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor." (1 Cor. 3:8.) O, beloved Christian reader, let us not lose the precious opportunities which are now given to us of serving Christ! Let us awake from the disgraceful slumber of apathy and indifference into which, alas! we are so prone to fall! Let us not live to ourselves, but to Him who died for us!
"I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou mightst ransomed be,
And rescued from the dead;
I gave My life for thee,
What hast thou given for Me?"
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide... he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved.... If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." (1 Cor. 3:13-18.)

Three Different Workmen

Now here we have three distinct thoughts-
A real Christian, whose work is good, will receive a reward. (1 Cor. 3:14.)
A real Christian, whose work is bad, will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved. (1 Cor. 3:15.)
A wicked man who, being evil himself, and with evil intent, can only do evil work, both he and his work are destroyed. (1 Cor. 3:17.)
While these verses no doubt apply especially to the subject of service, the same principle applies to every detail of the Christian's life. How much that we do and say now will have to be burned up then!
But we believe that every Christian will receive a reward, little though any of us may deserve it; for we can scarcely conceive it possible that there could be a real child of God who had never done anything, however small, for Christ.
What a solemn thought it is that everything will be brought to light there I How careful it should make us in all our walk and ways and service! How important that everything that we do and say now should be done and said in view of that coming day, when we must be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ!
But some may say, "Does not the apostle speak in the very next verse of the terror of the Lord? Does not this look as if he had some fear as to the results of that day?"
He does; but with no sort of an idea that he or any Christian will then be condemned. He is not troubled about himself, and how it will turn out with him; all his concern is for others. If it be such a solemn thing, even for him who is sheltered by the blood of the One who sits as Judge, what will it be for the man who has no such shelter!
"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord," does he say, "We tremble for ourselves"? Not at all; but, "We persuade men." (1 Cor. 3:11.)
We said that every saved soul would receive a reward. Now what, it may be asked, could the thief on the cross do for Christ? Was he not blaspheming His name almost up to the last moment of his life?
Ah, beloved reader, we believe his reward will indeed be a bright one. What did he do? He did what you and I have never been called upon to do. The whole world was against Christ; the multitude had risen against Him; the Jewish nation had shouted, "Away with Him"; the chief priests and rulers had cried, "Crucify Him"; Judas, one of His disciples, had betrayed Him; Peter had denied Him; all had forsaken Him; the passers-by were wagging their heads at Him, and mocking the holy Sufferer in His dying agonies; and what of the thief? He only, so far as we read, raises his voice in His favor. What a privilege was his! How grateful to the heart of Christ it must have been to hear the simple but heart-felt testimony, "This man hath done nothing amiss." (Luke 23:41.) Surely it will not be forgotten in that day! He will not lose his reward.
But not only shall we then see our failures as we never saw them before, and learn too, as we had never known it before, the matchless grace of the Savior in bearing with us, notwithstanding all those failures; not only will He then remind us of every little act of service for Him, and reward us as His grace alone could, but we shall learn then how He preserved us in the midst of dangers we never saw nor felt while here.
We must never forget that Satan is always against us; but, blessed be His name, God is always for us. Surrounded by unknown dangers He protects us; amidst unseen perils He preserves us. How loud will be the praise that will resound to His name, when, before the judgment-seat of Christ, we look back, and remember all the way that the Lord our God has led us! (Deut. 8:2.)
As an illustration of this we may mention a case drawn from the history of God's earthly people, Israel. Look at Num. 22 to 25. Israel, delivered out of Egypt, have just completed their wilderness wanderings, they are just about to enter the land of promise, when Satan, their great and constant enemy, once more bestirs himself against them. He incites Balak, king of Moab, to send for Balaam, son of Beor, saying, "Come... curse me this people." (Num. 22:6.) But when Satan opposes them, God protects them; and so He says, "Thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed." (Num. 22:12.) Satan does his very best, tries every means, employs every artifice; but all in vain. How much did the children of Israel know of all that was going on against them on the hilltop? They were stretched out in their tents in the plains of Moab, perfectly unconscious of it all. Satan's vast and mighty conspiracy, and God's still greater deliverance, were both alike unknown to them. In like manner, we believe, many an attack of Satan's against us is unseen by us now; but "in that day" everything will be manifested; "we shall know as we are known."
If it were not for the light of that day, we should never know half the extent of God's forgiveness, nor the unchanging character of His faithfulness.
"When I stand before the throne,
Clad in beauty not my own,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe!"
And as all our failures, short-comings, and sins pass before us, instead of its awakening the slightest fear, or the smallest question as to our acceptance, it will only produce deeper thanksgiving and praise, and make us swell with more energy and sweetness the song of redemption, "Unto Him that loved us,, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever." (Rev. 1:5,6.)

The Judgment of the Living Nations

We would now consider for a few moments the well-known passage in Matt. 25:31 to end; namely, the judgment of the sheep and the goats. Hundreds of God's people read this chapter under the impression that it teaches, as they say, the doctrine of the general judgment. Let us examine it in dependence upon the Spirit of God.
It is very commonly supposed that this is the description of a scene which will take place at the end of the world's history, when all shall stand before God to be judged for their sins, the sheep being, it is said, the Christians, and the goats the unconverted.
Now, in order the better to understand this passage, we would call the reader's serious attention to the most important subject of the second coming of Christ. Deeply interesting as this subject is, we cannot do more than refer to it now, in order to remind the Christian reader that in the New Testament this great and solemn event is spoken of in two ways: in the first place Jesus will come into the air for His saints, in order to take them home to Himself to His Father's house (John 14:2,3; 1 Thess. 4:13 to end); and, secondly, He will come with His saints to the earth to judge the world. We may here mention that in the Old Testament while the coming of the Lord is frequently spoken of, it is always His corning with His saints in judgment to the earth. His coming for His saints into the air is never once referred to in the Old Testament. (Jude 14,15 Zech. 14:1-6.) These are not exactly two events, but two stages of the same event, separated by an interval of time.
The first of these may take place at any moment. (1 Cor. 15:51-55; Rev. 22:20) When He comes for His saints, He comes not as their judge, but as their Savior. (Phil. 3:20,21.) He comes not to execute vengeance on them, but to receive them to Himself in the Father's house. (John 14:2,3.) Those that have slept through Jesus shall be raised in glory (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:43,52), and the living saints (you and I, perhaps, dear fellow-believer) shall be changed in a moment, and "be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2.) Moreover, when He comes for His saints, He comes not to the earth, but into the air. (1 Thess. 4:17.)
On the other hand, when He comes with His saints, He comes to execute judgment on the ungodly. (2 Thess. 1:7-11; Jude 14,15.) He then comes to the earth; "His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives... and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee." (Zech. 14:1-6.) While there is nothing to hinder His coming for His saints this very day, there are many prophecies yet to be fulfilled, and many events yet to take place, before He comes with them in judgment. And we may also add that much will take place on the earth between His coming for His saints and His coming with them.
Now, returning once more to Matt. 25:31, we shall easily see that it is to the second of these stages that the Lord Jesus refers. It is very helpful in understanding the passage to notice that from Matt. 24:32 to Matt. 25:31 may be treated as a parenthesis. The early part of Matt. 24, is a remarkable prophecy of events that are yet to take place in connection with the Jews. As we have before observed, the Lord may come at any moment for His saints, and then, when we are at home in the Father's house in glory, God will once more begin to deal with the Jewish nation on the earth.

The Great Tribulation

Many prophecies of the Old Testament will then be fulfilled, which we cannot now enter into, deeply interesting as they are; the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30.), that is, "the great tribulation," will then take place (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21), and during this time the fiery persecution will be so severe that the elect remnant of the Jews shall with difficulty escape; many we know shall be slain, but "he that shall endure to the end" (that is, to the end of this time of great tribulation), "the same shall be saved." (Matt. 24:13)
During this time, too, the godly remnant of the Jews will preach the gospel of the kingdom in all the world, for a witness to all nations (i.e., the heathen). The gospel of the kingdom which will then be preached is very different from the gospel of the grace of God which is now being proclaimed. Now through the gospel God is telling poor sinners that Christ has come, and is offering them eternal glory with that Christ in heaven on the ground of the work He accomplished at Calvary's cross; but then. the Jewish remnant will announce that Christ is coming to set up His kingdom on the earth, and to reign as King. (Matt. 10:17, 22, 23; 24:14.)
When this gospel of the kingdom shall have been preached to all nations, and when the time of tribulation shall have reached its height, "then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matt. 24:30.) What a moment! The One whom this world crowned with thorns, rejected and crucified, shall then be seen returning girt with almighty power, arrayed in dazzling glory, and accompanied with all His glorified saints.
Let us now pass from Matt. 24:30 to Matt. 25:31. "When the Son of man shall come in His glory... then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations." It is very clear that Christ here comes in glory to the earth; but when He so comes we shall come WITH HIM; for "when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." (Col. 3:4.) It is equally clear that He is here seen coming to judge the nations; but when He so comes we shall come WITH HIM. (Jude 14,15.) Now, if at this period we come with Him, He must previously have come for us; and, further, He does not here come to judge us, but we (i. e., believers) come with Him to judge the nations-"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2.)
Who then are these nations? perhaps the reader may ask. They are the Gentile nations, or heathen alive on the earth when Christ comes in judgment; they are the very nations to whom the Jewish remnant have preached the gospel of the kingdom, after that the Church has been taken away. We would beseech the reader to study these verses carefully; he will then see that the nations are judged according to the way in which they have treated these godly Jews, here called "these My brethren." (Matt. 25:40, 45.) They are divided into two companies-"the sheep" are those who have received these messengers of the coming King, and to them are addressed the gracious words, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34); that is, they enter the millennium to enjoy all the blessings of Christ's earthly kingdom; "the goats," on the other hand, are those who have rejected these messengers and refused the mercy offered through them, and to them are uttered the awful words, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. 25:41.) This judgment of the living nations being over, the millennium will commence, and for 1000 years we (the glorified saints) shall live and reign with Christ. (Rev. 20:4.)
Carefully observe that in this passage none but the living nations are judged: all here are alive, none of them have passed through death; this in itself is sufficient to show that a general judgment is out of the question.
Further, there are three companies spoken of, and not merely two. Now, if "the sheep" are all the redeemed, and "the goats" are all the lost, who then are "these my brethren"? Let none suppose that they are some of the sheep; had it been so the verse would have run thus: "Inasmuch as ye did it to one another," &c. The meaning of the passage will be involved in hopeless obscurity until the simple truth is seen that the nations here spoken of are the Gentile nations alive on the earth when Christ comes to set up His kingdom. Christians, i. e., the Church, are not mentioned in this portion of the chapter; they are spoken of in the parables of the Servants, the Ten Virgins and the Talents. (24: 45-25: 30.)

The Great White Throne

The subject now before us is a deeply solemn one, and we would earnestly entreat, you, beloved reader, to sit down as in the very presence of God, Bible in hand, and study carefully Rev. 20.
As we have before seen from Scripture, the Lord Jesus may return at any moment for His saints. Yes, His shout may be heard this very night. His own blessed testimony at the close of the Word of God is this: "SURELY I come quickly, Amen." May the ready response of our hearts be, "Even so, COME, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20.) In one moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we may be caught up to meet our returning Savior in the air; He will then take us to the Father's house, where we shall be at home with Himself in the glory. A short interval will then elapse, during which time in heaven the saints will be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ, and during which time also on earth will be taking place all the judgments described in the Book of Revelation, from chapters 6 to 19. Heaven will then open again (Rev. 19:11), and the Lord, followed and accompanied by all His saints, will once more come forth; He will come with, His saints to the earth, and will execute judgment upon all those then alive on the earth who oppose themselves to Him. At this time also, as we have seen, the living nations will be judged according to Matt. 25:31, &c. All evil will then be put down, every enemy destroyed, and all things shall be subdued unto Him. The length of time during which He will reign is said to be 1000 years, hence called the "millennium" (which simply means 1000 years), and during this time the glorified saints live and reign with Him. (Rev. 20:4.)

The Wicked Dead Not Yet Raised

Up to this moment not one of the wicked dead have yet been judged, not one of those who have died in their sins have yet been raised. Does this sound strange? Let the reader, ponder this deeply solemn and important chapter, let him ponder it unbiased by all his preconceived thoughts, and in simple dependence upon the teaching of the Spirit of God. In Rev. 20:4 are described those that have part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: How bright and blessed is their portion!"They live and reign with Christ for 1000 years." All this time "the REST of the dead" (i. e., the wicked dead) will remain in their graves; they "lived not again till the thousand years were FINISHED." (Rev. 20:5.) How dark and awful is their portion! We feel we cannot do better than quote the veritable words of Scripture:
"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 hades delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hades 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." (Rev. 20:11 to end.) We would just draw the reader's attention to a few most important points in this final judgment.
In the first place, Christ does not here come to the earth at all; instead of this we read that "from His face the earth and heaven fled away." How different this is one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down at the right hand of God." (Heb. 10:12.) All judgment has been committed to His hand. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son... and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." (John 5:22-27.) Every knee must bow before Him; every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Reader, have you? Do so NOW, and you are SAVED; wait till the day of judgment, and you will be LOST forever.
We would earnestly commend this subject to the reader's prayerful consideration, and we trust that, like the Bereans of old, he may receive the Word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES daily, whether these things are so. (Acts 17:11.)
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