January 2, 2022 @ 8:00 PM


We now approach the single most frightening topic in the Bible, the Great White Throne Judgment. It is frightening because all the unsaved on earth will stand judgment before the Righteous Judge of all the Universe. There is no plea bargaining. There is no commutation of sentencing. There is no parole. There is only just and righteous judgment, sentencing, and punishment. Let’s talk about it.

I.  What is the Great White Throne Judgment, who will be the judge, who will stand in judgment, what is the criterion of judgment, what is the purpose of it, and what is the fate of those found guilty?

  1. The Great White Throne Judgment – Following the Millennium, the Bible declares that Satan will be released from his imprisonment in the pit.  He will rally the nations together in a last futile attempt to dethrone Christ.  They surround Jerusalem.  God defends His Son and His people by striking the armies of the nations with fire bolts from heaven.  This is the last war.  Satan is dispatched into the Lake of Fire – the place prepared for his punishment from the creation of the universe.
  2. The Judge – Following the last battle, Christ will ascend His Throne (called the Great White Throne) to judge all the unsaved who have died from the beginning of time.  Only those who have rejected Christ will stand in this judgment.  No believers will be there, for their judgment and the punishment for their sin occurred on the Cross of Christ on Mount Calvary (Rom. 8:1, et.al.).  No site is named for the Great White Throne Judgment.  Some believe it to be on earth.
  3. The Fate of the Damned – The basis for judgment is deeds performed in the flesh.  All are given a fair trial, yet, because they have rejected Christ, all must stand judgment with their only defense being their deeds.  The books of heaven are opened and all deeds good and bad are reviewed.  All who stand in this judgment are shown the truth that “there is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10) apart from Christ.  The Lamb’s Book of Life is checked to be certain that no one is unjustly punished.  All who stand in the Great White Throne Judgment are sentenced to the Lake of Fire for eternity.

II.  What is the Lake of Fire, where is it, for how long will the souls of the damned be imprisoned there, and what is the difference between death, hell, and the Lake of Fire?

  1. The Lake of Fire – The whole subject of death is a complex one.  Man is an eternal being spending eternity with God or apart from God.  The Lake of Fire is called “the second death” for it is the place where the souls of men who have rejected Christ will spend eternity.  They experience physical death (“the first death”) and, banished from the presence of God, they experience spiritual death (“the second death”).  Believers in Christ will never experience the second death.
  2. Differences Between the Lake of Fire, Hell, and Death:
  3. The Lake of Fire – The Lake of Fire is just that, a lake that eternally burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8).  It is distinct and separate from Sheol, Hades or Hell.  Occasionally Sheol is used to describe the grave or death in general, but most often it is used interchangeably with Hades or Hell to describe the holding place for the souls of the unsaved dead.  The Bible also uses another term, Tartaroo, to describe that location in Hell where the sinning angels have been imprisoned (2 Peter 2:4).  Tartaroo is translated “pits of darkness”.

a. The Lake of Fire was likened to the garbage dump outside the walls of Jerusalem.  This dump was called Gehenna ("Valley of Hinnom").  Gehenna burned continually; worms and rodents prospered, smoke and stench permeated the air.  To the Jew, that was a picture of the Lake of Fire.  In the Lake of Fire the souls of men experienced pain and torment.  The pain was so severe that it was described in physical terms as gnashing of teeth, agony and weeping.  In the Lake of Fire, the dead were punished for eternity.

b.   Hell and Death – Death, then, is simply a separation, either the soul from the body or the soul from    God.  In either case, the soul must spend eternity  some place.  Hell is that holding place, a jail if you        will,  where the souls of  the unsaved are held in torment until the Great White Throne Judgment.  At the    Judgment, a trial is held and sentencing is passed.  The damned go from  Hell into the Lake of Fire (the  penitentiary) where their eternal sentence is  carried out.

III.  Key Scriptures:

  1. Great White Throne Judgment:  Ecclesiastes 12:14, Isaiah 26:19, Jeremiah 17:10, Daniel 7:10, 12:2, Matthew 16:27, John 5:22-29, Rev. 20:11-15, 11:18
  2. Death:  I Cor. 15:21-26, Rev. 1:18, 6:8, 20:6, 21:4
  3. Hell:  Psalm 9:17, Isaiah 33:15, Matthew 3:12, 7:13, 8:12, Mark 9:43, Luke 16:23, Acts 2:27-31, II Thess. 1:9
  4. Lake of Fire:  Matthew 25:41, Rev. 19:20, 20:10, 14, 15, 21:8

IV.  Summary:

Following the Millennium and the final insurrection of Satan, all the dead, great and small, rich and poor, stand before Christ Jesus’ Great White Throne to be judged.  All, having rejected Christ in this life, must stand on their own merits.  All are found lacking and guilty of the greatest crime in the universe – rejecting God’s Son.  All are damned to the Lake of Fire for eternity.  In contrast to heaven, where there is no more pain or tears, those condemned to the Lake of Fire know nothing but weeping and gnashing of teeth in pain.  No one you or I love should ever experience that! What can you do to prevent that from happening to them? Present the Gospel to them!! Suck up your courage and share Jesus Christ with them and then pray for them everyday. There are no guarantees they will receive Christ as their sin-bearer but they never will unless you or I share the Gospel with them.