KEY TEXT: Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
KEY THOT: This is the second resurrection of all the dead--"great and small"--to be judged before the Great White Throne. This would include those who died during the Millennial Reign. Among them, some have chosen to submit themselves to the iron-rod rule of Christ while others have chosen to rebel against His rule from the God's city situated in Jerusalem. The books will be opened, including the Book of Life: "And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done" (v.12). There will be no more "second chance" after this, for the new order of the new heaven and new earth will replace the old heaven and old earth.
The dead came from everywhere on earth and in the sea, including unbelievers who had died before the Millennial reign of Christ. These departed souls who have rejected God's saving grace have been kept in Hades to await this Great White Throne judgment: "Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them" (v.13). They will all be judged "according to what they had done". Our behaviour is the best indication of our belief system. If we claim we are disciples of Christ, then our behaviour will show it: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35). This is not salvation by works but judgment by works because our works reveal the true condition of our hearts.
After this Great White Throne judgment, everything that is ungodly will be cast into the lake of fires (Hell), an event known as the "second death" (v.14): "Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (vv. 14-15). We need not speculate "where" this lake of fires is located, for soon, a new order of existence will come into being--a new heaven and new earth where heaven and earth becomes one contiguous realm, no longer separated by space and time: "we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
Abba-Father, You have loved us so much that You have even reserved a new heaven and new earth for Your children. We pray for all who are still outside Your kingdom, that the full number of the Gentiles will come in soon while there is still time. Amen.