Great White Throne Judgment
the Destruction of the Earth
Revelation 20:11-15 – Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
After the non-battle between God and Satan comes the end. The final judgment takes place, at which time everyone who was not raised or transformed a thousand years earlier at Christ’s return will be resurrected and sent to their eternal destiny. This includes those non-believers who died before Christ’s return and everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike, who may have been born and died during the thousand year reign.
It also says that “the earth and the heavens fled from [God’s] presence, and there was no place for them.” This means that our present earth will be destroyed. It will be “no place.” It will be completely gone.
2 Peter 3:3-13 – Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”
The last scene we saw prior to the Final Judgment was the last battle between Satan and God, in which God throws fire (Revelation 20:9) or burning sulfur (Ezekiel 38:22) down from Heaven to destroy the rebellious army. I wonder if this fire from Heaven might not be the same fire that destroys the heavens and the earth. This world and Satan’s army could be destroyed at the same time, while God protects His followers.
Who will Judge?
- Jesus the Christ
Matthew 16:27 – "For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what He has done."
John 5:27 – “And [God] has given [Jesus] authority to judge because He is the Son of Man.”
Acts 10:42 – He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
God has given Christ the power to judge. (See also Romans 2:16.)
- The twelve disciples
Matthew 19:28 –Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
(See also Revelation 20:4.)
1 Corinthians 6:2-3 – Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
Who will be Judged?
- Every person who ever lived
Romans 14:9-12 – For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.' 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
(See also 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5; Revelation 20:11-14.)
- Fallen Angels
Jude 6 – And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these He has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
2 Peter 2:4 – For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to Hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment…
(See also 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.)
Matthew 8:28-29 – When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29'What do you want with us, Son of God?' they shouted. 'Have You come here to torture us before the appointed time?'"
Remember that Fallen Angels and Demons are not the same!
This blog post is included in my book, Last Days: A Biblical Guide to the End Times.
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Read the answers to more interesting questions on my Theology 101 - Simple and Surprising Answers to Your Questions! page.