The Judgment of the Living Dead (Part 7)

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TEXT: Revelation 20:11-15

11 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.

12 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.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Judgment of the Living Dead (Part 7)

Most people do not like to talk about Hell. They consider it to be a distasteful and perplexing subject. But, the discussion of Hell, no matter how uncomfortable, is always appropriate because people are always dying. Over 150,000 people die each day — that adds up to about 5 million people each month. We were reminded of it on a large scale this past week when the popular singer and songwriter Prince died. All of these people do not simply fade out of existence — they go to one place or another — Heaven or Hell.

Those who go to Hell continue their eternal existence in a state of constant torment and punishment. After Jesus Christ’s return to this Earth and the consummation of time and history, all of those who go to Hell are resurrected to face Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment. If the names of those who are resurrected at this judgment are not found in God’s book of life — thus indicating that they never accepted Christ as their Savior when they were alive — they are sent to the lake of fire.

Of course, it would be easier to stomach such a doctrine if we knew that these people would eventually be put out of their suffering. Can you imagine sitting down at the banquet tables of Heaven knowing that somewhere else in the universe, flames of fire are feasting on the bodies and souls of the living dead. We would like to think that that would not be what takes place, but, based on Scripture, that is the scenario we are faced with.

The Bible explicitly states that punishment in Hell or in the Lake of Fire is eternal. John MacArthur said, “Punishment in hell is defined by the [Greek] word ‘ai-o-nios’, which means eternal or everlasting. There are people who would like to redefine that word and say, ‘Well, it doesn’t really mean forever.’ But if you do that with hell, you’ve just done it with heaven, because the same word is used to describe both. If there is not an everlasting hell, then there is not an everlasting heaven. And I’ll go one beyond that. The same word is used to describe God. And so if there is not an everlasting hell, then there is not an everlasting heaven, nor is there an everlasting God. It is clear that God is eternal; and, therefore, that heaven is eternal, and so is hell.”

Not only has God’s word left no doubt about the existence of Hell, it tells us in very vivid language what will go on there. We have read, of course, that there will be fire there. There will also be weeping and gnashing of teeth there as poor, lost souls remember all the chances they had to be saved that they didn’t take advantage of. Not only that, but there will be darkness there. We take the sun, moon, and stars for granted down here; we think nothing of electricity that provides us with light even in the darkest of nights. But the Lake of Fire is utter darkness — the night sky without a single star, the creepiest haunted house without a single current of electricity to provide light.

When you read about the Lake of Fire in the Bible, you can almost sense the suffocating darkness closing in, you can almost hear the agonizing screams of the eternally damned, you can almost smell the smoke from the everlasting fire. John Calvin said, “By such expressions, the Holy Spirit certainly intended to confound all our senses with dread.”

Some Christians say you shouldn’t have to scare people into Heaven. But, I say, if the idea of Hell scares you, good. Fear, dread, being scared drives people to take action. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you are afraid you might trip and fall, what do you do? You turn on a light so you can see where you are going. If you are traveling on unfamiliar roads and you fear you might get lost, what do you do? You consult a map or you ask for directions. If you fear that the suspicious man who’s been lurking around your block is up to no good, what do you do? You call the police to check it out.

Fear drives people to action. If you are not saved, and if you have yet to respond to the love, mercy, and grace of God, I urge you to let the fear of eternal punishment and separation from God in the Lake of Fire lead you to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior today.

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If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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