THE SINNER’S DAY IN GOD’S COURT
Revelation 20:11-15 (NKJV)
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, 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.
Ill. Everyone wants their day in court. They say, “If I could just tell my side of the story, then everything would be alright.” Well, every sinner will have their day in court. This is the last event that will take place before time is done away with.
This is a passage and message that is intended for the ears of the lost and the dying. All those outside of Jesus Christ. The time to come to Jesus Christ is now. Yet, the important truth that are contained here ought to give Christians a greater zeal to witness and evangelize for the lost souls, while there is still time left.
I. v.11-12 THE SETTING
A. The Background
1. A Terrible Fact – (Ill. The Great White Throne). Men will stand stripped of all their pretenses and will appear as they really are.
2. A Terrible Figure – Jesus Christ Himself!. The marks of the cross still visible in His body. The one that men have denied, cursed and ridiculed will be the One before whom they will stand! (John 5:22; Rev. 5:6)
3. A Terrible Fear – (Ill. The Glory that awaits the child of God, just to get to see Jesus!) But, for the sinner and the lost, it will pure agony to look upon Him! (Ill. Even the heavens and the earth must flee away as they too are defiled and must be made over.) There is nowhere for anyone to hide! They will stand before the One they hated and they will stand before Him in paralyzing fear.
4. A Terrible Fellowship – The petty, paltry sinner and the grand and glorious sinner will stand side by side here at the throne of the Eternal Judge. No one will be exempted. From the common drunk to the wicked world leader, every sinner who has ever lived will stand before Jesus Christ! (Ill. Cain, Hitler, Presidents, Popes, Preachers, Thieves, Murderers, Harlots, Drunkards, Druggies, everybody…you name it!)
B. The Books
Ill. The Mind. It stores everything that the person has ever experienced. It awaits the proper trigger to bring it once again to conscious memory. (Ill. Computer chips and memories)
Ill. God doesn’t forget either. He keeps some books on fallen men:
1. The Book Of Life Of The Lamb – This book contains the names of every person who has ever trusted Jesus Christ by faith. From the young to the old, from the first to the last. Their names are written here! What a glorious thought! Is your name here?
2. The Book Of The Lives Of The Lost – This book contains the record of the lives of the lost. Every deed, whether done or left undone is written. Man can either come to Christ for salvation, or he can stand on his own record. To come to Christ is to gain life, to stand on our own record is to die lost forever! You see, man will be judged for sins of commission and sins of ommission, Matt. 25:41-46, for flagrant and open sin, as well as, “the secrets of men”, Rom. 2:16.
Man will be judged not only for what he has or has not done, he will be judged for what he is – A sinner! Men will be weighed against the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness and will be found wanting on that day and be judged lost and doomed to Hell!
II. V 13 THE SUMMONS
A. There will be no hiding place! (Ill. The cry of God in Eden – “Where art thou?” This cry will come again!)
B. Every grave will give up her dead. The dust will come together again. The sea will give her dead. Hell will be emptied for the first time in thousands of years.
C. Imagine the scene before the throne of Jesus! The damned in all their hideousness and with the effects of their sins apparent in the dead bodies. (Ill. The saints will be raised and given a glorified body, but what will the dead look like?)
III. v.14-15 THE SENTENCE
A. The books are read and the sentence is given!
B. The Fearfulness – To hear the words of Matt. 25:41 spoken to you!
C. The Finality – No appeals, no leniency, no pardons. All who appear before the Righteous Judge are sentenced to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.
This very moment is the reason God sent to man the Bible.
This moment is the reason the Holy Spirit has striven with the souls of men for thousands of years.
God’s desire is that men repent and turn to Jesus Christ. Oh, it is not too late today!
Now is the time to be sure and to make your calling and election sure.
When you stand before Jesus, and you will! Will you stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ? Or will you face Him in final judgment at the Great White Throne?
If He is calling you, then you need to come to Him!