The Great White Throne of Judgment 2/5/17

The Great White Throne of Judgment
Rev 20:11-15

I.    Intro
a.    Three friends decided to go deer hunting together. One was a lawyer, one a doctor, and the other a preacher.
b.    As they were walking, along came a big buck. The three of them shot simultaneously. Immediately the buck dropped to the ground and all three         rushed up to see how big it actually was.
c.    Upon reaching it they found out that it was dead but had only one bullet hole. Thus a debate followed concerning whose buck it was.
d.    A few minutes later a game officer came by and asked what the problem was. The doctor told him their reason for the debate. The officer told            them he would take a look and tell them who shot it.
e.    Within a few seconds the game officer said with much confidence, "The pastor shot the buck!"
f.    They all wondered how he knew that so quickly.
g.    The officer said, "Easy. The bullet went in one ear and out the other."
h.    Several years ago there was a TV evangelist who was preaching about his view of the 2nd Coming of Christ. Toward the close of the program he        apparently actually made this pitch of one of his videos:
i.    "Jesus is coming soon -- perhaps tomorrow! Send $10 for a video that will explain the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! Please allow six weeks for        delivery."
        What’s wrong with this picture???
j.    Read Revelation 20:11-15
k.    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. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

II.    The Courtroom
a.    Transcripts from actual courtroom proceedings.
b.    Lawyer: Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
c.    Doctor: No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.
d.    Lawyer: Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
e.    Witness: No.
f.    Lawyer: What was he doing with the dog's ears?
g.    Witness: Picking them up in the air.
h.    Lawyer: Where was the dog at this time?
i.    Witness: Attached to the ears.
j.    Lawyer: Could you see him from where you were standing?
k.    Witness: I could see his head.
l.    Lawyer: And where was his head?
m.    Witness: Just above his shoulders.
n.    Pic of inside courtroom
o.    Think about the architecture in a courtroom. Most of the time there are high, vaulted ceilings, sometimes there are massive chandeliers and                 paintings of important people hanging on the walls.
p.    In the gallery people sit on dark, wooden benches with high backs.
q.    People are not talking, and if they are it’s just above a whisper.
r.    Suddenly these big doors open and a bailiff tells everyone to stand while a judge walks in with a long black robe.
s.    Why is it set up that way? Obviously it’s to drill into our minds that this is a serious place, that the judge in this place has a lot of authority. In                fact, they can make decisions that control your life.
t.    Now picture what the Supreme Court of the Universe must look like. 
u.    The Ancient of Days will be will be sitting on His great white throne. 
v.    The word used for throne here is ‘mega’ because it’s the highest throne there can ever be.
w.    It’s called white because it is pure, holy, righteous. No one will be wrongly convicted here.
x.    These verdicts that come down are absolutely just and right.

III.    The Judge
a.    The judge here is none other than Jesus Christ. All unbelievers will stand before Him as judge.
b.    John 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
c.    2 Tim 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
d.    David Jeremiah ‘Somewhere between heaven and earth this judgment will take place. Jesus Christ Himself will conduct the trial, and no one is            better qualified. He did all He could do to save man. Since man has rejected Him, he must be judged by Him.’

IV.    The Defendants
a.    Rev 20:12 refers to them as ‘the dead, both great and small.’
b.    This is everyone who ever died without faith in Christ. No exceptions.
c.    Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Stalin, Hitler and all the other dictators who cruelly stood against God will be here.
d.    Murderers, child molesters, thieves, liars and others will be there. Capone, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Osama Bin Laden,  they’ll be there.
e.    Atheists and the self righteous will be there. Procrastinators will be there.
f.    Religious people will be there. Someone here today will be there.
g.    Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Baptists, Catholics will all be there.
h.    Show pics of all
i.    The immoral and the moral, the priest and the preacher, the nun and the missionary will all be there. 
j.    My friend, you do not want to be there.

V.    The Summons
a.    Quite simply there will be no place to hide.
b.    No high priced lawyers to get it postponed or dismissed.
c.    No one will be able to jump bail. 
d.    All will appear.
e.    Rev 20:13 describes the places where the summons will go out.
f.    “ 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.”
g.    It’s interesting here that God mentions the sea. In the ancient world the sea was believed to be the most inaccessible place. No one could                     venture out into the depths of the sea.
h.    No one buried at sea could ever be found or disturbed. But here God says there is no mysterious, out of the way place where anyone can hide              from Me.

VI.    The Evidence
a.    This will be an open and shut case
b.    Illustration
c.    Only two exhibits will be presented.
d.    A is the ‘books’ that are opened. These books are records of the works of every unsaved person. It’s a full account of their sins. Their thoughts,            desires, wants. 
e.    Our symbol of justice is a blindfolded woman with scales in her hand. It attempts to paint the picture that justice is blind. That she judges                       impartially.
f.    The Bible says that God judges with His eyes wide open. He has eyes like fire that can penetrate the most hardened sinners.
g.    God is logging sin in His books. And it is precise.
h.    Exhibit B is the Book of Life.  In this book are everyone’s names who have been saved by the grace of God.
i.    This list includes all hopelessly lost sinners who trusted in Christ in order to avoid this judgment.
j.    Imagine the opening of the book, the scouring of the pages, the anticipation ‘is my name there’, even though you will know that it isn’t. 
k.    Friends, this is not a judgment to determine if a person is saved or not, it’s a judgment of the works of the unsaved.
l.    Well after all the evidence is presented, the gavel will fall, Jesus will pronounce the verdict of guilty. There’ll be no appeal.

VII.    Sentence
a.    The sentence will be imprisonment in hell for eternity with no hope of parole.
b.    Transport will be immediate.
c.    This sentence may seem harsh, it may even seem unfair. But you’ll know at that moment that it’s not.
d.    But the price of sin must be paid.
e.    2 Cor 5:20-21 ‘Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled            to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’
f.    The pardon was offered through Christ, it didn’t have to be this way!
g.    The supreme choice is clear, either we will pay it ourselves or allow Christ to pay it for us.
h.    In his book the ‘Ragamuffin Gospel’ Brennan Manning has a beautiful passage.
i.    “Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
'But how?' we ask.
Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. 
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.”

VIII.    The Prison
a.    Hell is real, here are six sobering facts about it.
b.    #1 Hell is a place of Awareness and memory
c.    People there will know where they are and how they got there. If you think about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. The rich man knew                    where he was, he knew who he was. People there will have perfect memories, they’ll suffer the anguish of regret.
d.    #2 Hell is a place of physical, mental, and spiritual torment.
e.    Look how Jesus described it:
f.    Matt 13: 41-42 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
g.    Mark 9:47-49 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.
h.    There’s no way to put a positive spin on this place.
i.    #3 Hell is the only place besides heaven to spend eternity
j.    There’s no third option. It’s heaven or hell, that’s it.
k.    #4 Hell is a place where the Inhabitants do not want Others to Come
l.    The rich man never complains that it’s unfair for him to be there. He regrets his torment but never says it’s unjust.
m.    He wants his brothers to repent and not join him.
n.    Erwin Lutzer said ‘We might think this man would have preferred to have his brothers join him in hades for the sake of companionship. But he was more than willing to never see them again if he only knew they would be on the other side of the gulf where Lazarus and Abraham were meeting for the first time. Apparently, even in Hades there is compassion, a natural human concern about the fate of those who are loved.’
o.    #5 Hell is earned
p.    Hell is what we have earned. Romans 6:23 ‘the wages of sin is death.’ 

IX.    Conclusion
a.    Warren Wiersbe said ‘the White Throne Judgment will be nothing like our modern court cases. At the White Throne, there will be a Judge but no jury, a prosecution but no defense, a sentence but no appeal. No one will be able to defend himself or accuse God of unrighteousness.’
b.    AB Simpson captures this in the old son:
What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be.
Someday your heart will be asking,
What will He do with me?