Will people that are not saved be judged according to their works?
” And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.”
“His eyes were as…“ what? “…a flame of fire,…” Now, it doesn’t say they were a flame of fire, but they are just like flames of fire. In other words, they will be so penetrating, there will be nothing that can escape them. Nothing can be hidden from them; it will all be revealed. Now, let’s come back to 1 Corinthians. This is the language that Paul is using. We will come before the Bema Seat (now here is where I have to make a qualification, the lost people from Cain until the very end of time as we know it, they of course will appear before the Great White Throne. And it’s only for the lost, there will be no believers at the Great White Throne. Here Christ will be the judge and will judge the lost of all ages).
In John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, Jesus taught so plainly, that there will be two resurrections. The resurrection of the just, and the resurrection of the unjust. In other words, the unbeliever is also going to be resurrected out of Hell before the Great White Throne, and he will appear there bodily in a newly resurrected body, but it will be a body fit not for glory and not for Heaven; but a body fit for the eternal lake of fire. It will be a body that will have many of the same appetites of this one, but without any hope of ever satisfying it. And so, that’s why the Scriptures said to let the drunkard be drunken still, and let the whoremonger continue on with those appetites, for they will never be satisfied. They will also have an eternity of regret. Remember, nobody goes before the Great White Throne except those who choose to go there. Salvation has been offered to all people (everyone; red, yellow, black, and white; rich, poor; it doesn’t make any difference). But, if they reject it, they are going to end up at the Great White Throne.
But now coming back to the Great White Throne in Revelation 20:12
“And I saw the dead (of all ages), small and great, stand before God (in their resurrected bodies);…”
Their bodies won’t be glorious like ours. But theirs will be fit for the lake of fire. Remember, their bodies will not be consumed or burned up, but their bodies will be tormented forever and ever. They will have all of their senses and feelings. As awful as it is, and it is awful, that’s why most people have quit talking about it. But that still doesn’t take it out of Scripture. Don’t forget, the finished work of the Cross has made it possible for every human being to escape this lake of fire judgment. They will realize when they stand before God they made their choice for this punishment. We look at certain aspects of human history, and say they never had a chance, they never heard. Well, they must have had some kind of chance; otherwise God would not tells us in the Book of Romans 1:18:20 “…so that they are without excuse.” And they are without excuse! I think that will be part of their torment of that final doom – that constant regret that they are there, and they didn’t have to be.
As I teach John’s Gospel, Chapter 10, about the Shepherd and the sheep fold, I always point out where the door is into the sheepfold. It’s not somewhere that is inaccessible, or unreachable, but right at ground level. Right smack in front of every human being as they sojourn through this life. And so God is absolutely just and fair, that when people have trampled under foot what He suffered and died for, then He doesn’t have to show mercy, and He won’t. This is going to be a place of judgment and it’s going to be awful. When people say that you and I as believers will sit and watch this Great White Throne judgment take place they don’t know what they are talking about. That would be horror of horrors. We wouldn’t want to see the lost stand there and hear their doom prescribed. And I’m glad we won’t. Now finishing verse 12:
“… and the books (plural) were opened, and another book (singular) 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.”
Now the Book of Life is going to show them that their name is not there. There are two views on this. Some maintain that every person’s name is in the Book of Life, and if they die without salvation then their name is blotted out. The other view is that when people are saved and experience salvation, their name is placed in the Book of Life. And there are Scripture verses for both approaches. But regardless, at the Great White Throne they are going to see their name is not there. They will have no argument. God brings up their record. I know God has no problem keeping a record of every human being that ever walked the face of the earth. I know He will have the record, and it will be completely accurate.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them (now watch that language. Hell is going to give up those that are in it): and they were judged every man according to their works.” And then those who had been occupying hell…
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire (do you see the difference between those two places? Death and hell is the place of the unbeliever who has died and is waiting for this Great White Throne judgment. He waiting for the resurrection out of hell, only to go to something far worse, which is of course the lake of fire. And the Bible calls this); This is the second death.” They died physically and now they die spiritually. The definition of death is: for the physical, it’s the separation of the spirit from the body. For the spirit realm, death is the separation from God. It’s an eternal separation.