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The Last Judgment - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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March 5, 2024 5:00 am

The Last Judgment - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 5, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip begins his message “The Last Judgment” and shows you what it will be like for the unbeliever on judgment day.

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If hell really is the place for eternal punishment of the wicked after death, how come it is used so lightly millions and millions of times every day? Well, I can't answer that question.

But I can answer one question, and this message will attempt to do just that. And that is, what will the final judgment be of the unbeliever? What will that judgment be like?

What fate awaits those who reject Jesus? Well, today on Connect with Skip Heitzing, Pastor Skip begins his message, The Last Judgment, and shows you what it will be like for the unbeliever on Judgment Day. Now, here's more about this month's resource to give you biblical insight into the current war in Israel and where it fits in God's plan for His nation. Israel at War.

That's the title of a new book by Skip Heitzing. Modern Israel has been at war from its very first day of existence. As Skip points out, on the day after Israel became a nation, that was May 14, 1948. On May 15, virtually every Arab neighbor attacked Israel to destroy it.

Israel had been a nation one day, they didn't have an organized army. Israel at War is up to date concerning current events in the Mideast and includes Skip's comments during his December tour of the Gaza border and a video link to Skip's interview in Jerusalem. The new book, Israel at War, is our gift to you this month to anyone who encourages the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more.

Make your financial vote of support at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. Israel at War will give you Skip's insight from over 40 trips to Israel and decades of Bible study. I know the Middle East seems like a very complex situation.

It's actually pretty basic. One side wants the other side dead. On one side you have a Jewish nation, a Jewish state called modern day Israel. Israel wishes to exist as a sovereign state living in peace. Most Palestinians and other Arab nations, not all but many of them, deny the right of Israel to exist. Receive Israel at War by Skip Heintzig with your gift.

Go to connectwithskip.com or call 1-800-922-1888. Okay, let's turn to Revelation 20 and hear what Skip has for us today. Revelation chapter 20 where I'm going to be speaking on the theme The Last Judgment. Now we're going to show you a painting that is pretty familiar to some of you.

Anybody recognize what that is? So that is a painting called The Last Judgment. The Last Judgment was painted 500 years ago, actually 582 years ago by the famous artist Michelangelo.

It took him five years to paint that. As I said, it's on one whole wall of the Sistine Chapel. They don't like when you take pictures of it. I've been busted a couple times taking pictures in the Sistine Chapel and they yell at you and make you put your camera away. And then I found out why they want to sell you a picture book on your way out.

But I digress. So it is estimated that 25,000 people every day visit and see this painting. 25,000 people every day are exposed to the artwork of Michelangelo, The Last Judgment.

I'm guessing very few people take it seriously. I think they see it as a beautiful work of art, but they don't really let it penetrate and yet people who study this painting will tell you when you look at the faces, the anguish. You can almost hear the screams, the cries as they are all looking to Christ for the final verdict on their eternal destiny. Well, I wanted you to see that and I want you to turn in Revelation 20 beginning in verse 11 to what I am thinking is the most sobering scene in the Bible.

In fact, I'm going to say the most sobering scene in all of literature. It is the final tribunal, the final sentence of every unbeliever at the last day judgment, the final judgment for the unbeliever. There's only five verses we're going to look at, verse 11 through verse 15 of Revelation chapter 20. It's pretty plain. It's pretty straightforward.

And don't worry, I'm not going to preach all from the ground here. But here's what's amazing about this last final judgment. It's so straightforward, it's not embellished. So there's no like gory details, just the facts, just the basic facts of what is going to happen. It is a courtroom scene. It is a very judicial scene. And this is a courtroom not to determine guilt, but to sentence the guilty.

That's why I say it's a very sobering scene. Now let me just tell you where we're at in terms of a timeline. Where we're at in terms of a timeline. The rapture has happened by this time. The tribulation is over.

The second coming of Christ has already happened. And we have been ruling and reigning with Christ for how many years? A thousand years.

All of that is in the rearview mirror. This is now the end of the end for earth. Before the earth and the heavens are annihilated by God and He builds a new heaven, creates a new heaven and a new earth.

So it is the end of the end. If you go back to Revelation 20 in the end of verse 4, it says, they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years, but the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. And then John says, this is the first resurrection.

Now the antecedent to that is those who ruled and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. They've gone through the first resurrection. Now we're looking at the second resurrection. What Jesus called in John chapter 5, the resurrection of condemnation. You recall when He said some will be raised to life, others to the resurrection of condemnation. The second resurrection, as I will explain, is a resurrection of condemnation.

Daniel said much the same thing. Those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Now let's look at our verses in verse 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. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the 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. 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. And then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The lake of fire. Now from the very beginning of creation throughout history, Satan has been trying to deceive men and women about the reality of this event.

And he has managed to do that in a number of ways. One is to sort of trivialize the idea of hell. You know, Hollywood is really good at stuff like this. So Hollywood has sort of an interesting fascination with the subject of hell. I did a little digging and discovered that there are an estimated 790 movies with the word hell in the title. 790 movies with the word hell in the title. Some of the famous ones are From Hell in 2001 starring Johnny Depp, Drag Me to Hell in 2009, Motel Hell.

I've been to a few of those. That was in 1980. Home Sweet Hell in 2015. Then there were the 11 Hellraiser films. In 2003 was the movie In Hell. And the other one that is sort of a notorious one is I Hope They Sell Beer in Hell.

It came out in 09. Word up, they don't. Now hell is often spoken about lightly, flippantly. People use it as a fill word, as an expletive. Who in the hell do you think you are?

Why in the hell should I do that? They use it very flippantly, very lightly. And then some people will even say something that I think is so shameful to tell another person to go to hell.

They're not even aware of what they're saying. I was shocked one Sunday morning when out in the courtyard, a guy came up to me and said, that was a hell of a sermon, pastor. I didn't know how to take that. I didn't know if I should say thank you or God help you.

I didn't know. One author said, it is not unlikely that within the last 24 hours, you've heard somebody say, what the hell are you doing? Or I sure as hell will.

Or who in the hell do you think you are? That word hell has become a conversational byword in our day. Good friends dare to say playfully to one another, go to hell. They surely don't mean go to the place of punishment for the wicked after death, though that is how the dictionary defines the word hell. But why use the word hell? Why not instead say, what in the jail are you doing? Or I sure as school will. Or why not say, go to Chicago?

These days there are similarities. If hell really is the place for eternal punishment of the wicked after death, how come it is used so lightly millions and millions of times every day? Well, I can't answer that question.

But I can answer one question, and this message will attempt to do just that. And that is, what will the final judgment be of the unbeliever? What will that judgment be like?

And to give you a description of the final judgment for the unbeliever, I'm going to give you four descriptive sentences. It will be a judge, but no jury. There will be accused, but no appeal. There will be a ruling, but no recourse. And finally, there will be punishment, but no probation. That in a nutshell describes the final judgment.

Let's begin with the first. There will be a judge, but no jury. Verse 11, 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. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. Now this scene is known as the great white throne judgment. If you read through the book of Revelation, you discover the word throne appears a lot. About 50 times in the book of Revelation, you see throne, throne, throne, throne. When John was caught up into heaven in Revelation 4, immediately I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne sat in heaven, and one sat on it. It is this throne that is in view. It is the great white throne judgment. It is great not because of its size, but because of its singularity.

God alone is judging. It is great also because it is final. It is the final end of all unbelievers throughout all of history, now resurrected, and they stand before this great throne. It is white because that represents God's utter purity, holiness, and impartiality. And you need to get this part. God's judgment is the final end of all unbelievers.

And you need to get this part. God's judgment is always tied to his holiness. The reason God must judge is because his character is that he is holy.

And by the way, the Bible says in Isaiah 6, when Isaiah had a vision of heaven, he said, they sat in heaven one to another. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty. It's the only attribute of God with that three-fold formula.

Holy, holy, holy. God is never called loving, loving, loving. He is never called merciful, merciful, merciful. He is never called gracious, gracious, gracious.

He's never called patient, patient, patient. Though he is all those things, he is first and foremost holy. And to say holy, holy, holy means he's really, really, really holy.

That's his flagship attribute. Now, this is unlike an earthly court because there is no debate here about guilt. There's a prosecutor but no defender. And God is the only one presiding over it because he is the only one qualified to preside over it. God is the only one who is omniscient. He knows every thought, every action, every motive of every single person. God is the only one who is omnipresent.

You know what omnipresent means, right? He is everywhere present, which makes God the supreme eyewitness to every single event in history. He is also omnipotent. He created the earth. He created people. He created heaven. He created hell. He's the only one qualified. So there's one who sat on that throne.

Now, a couple things to make note on to drive this toward, to put a finer point on this first sentence. God is judging, but God is judging specifically in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one uniquely in view who is judging from this throne because the Scripture teaches over and over again that Jesus will be the one who executes final judgment. There are several verses of Scripture.

I'll give you two. John 5 22, the Lord Jesus himself said, for the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son. He has given him authority to execute judgment.

When Paul stood on Mars Hill, the Areopagus in Athens, he warned the philosophers of that city saying, God has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained. So the one sitting on the throne is God the Son, Jesus Christ, doling out the judgment. You know in the Bible, we know this, right? Jesus is sometimes described as a lamb. John said, behold, look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, but he is also a lion.

He's both a lamb and a lion. And one day you are going to meet Jesus face to face as either a lamb or a lion. But I promise you this, you will meet him one day. You will meet him one day.

He is the only unavoidable, inescapable person in your life. Every person will meet him. By the way, speaking of Jesus, did you know that Jesus Christ spoke more about hell than any other person in the Bible? And since we're on the subject, he spoke more about hell than he did about heaven.

And not just making references to it, but actually describing it with some pretty graphic detail. Luke 16, he said it's a place of eternal torment. Matthew 13, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Luke 16, a place of no return. Matthew 25, a place of outer darkness. Mark 9, the place where the worm does not die, the fire is not quenched. And Matthew 25, a place prepared for the devil and his angels.

Speaking on that last note, I also need to tell you this. God's original intention for hell was not to put people in it. He made it for the devil and his angels. Jesus said he will say, depart from me, you cursed into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. It was created to punish Satan. It was not created for man to inhabit. He never meant for humans to go to hell. However, people have chosen to go there and God will respect their choice. G.K. Chesterton, one of my favorite old dead guys, said hell is God's great complement to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.

He wants to keep you out of hell, but some people are hell-bent in going there. So that's the first descriptive sentence. There will be a judge but no jury.

Second, there will be the accused but no appeal. In verse 12, I saw the dead, the dead, small and great, standing before God. The books were opened.

Another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works by the things written in the books. 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.

Who is this judgment for? The dead, the unsaved dead. This is a judgment for unbelievers only. They were dead physically, now resurrected, and they have been dead spiritually. No Christians will be at the great white throne judgment.

Why do I say this? Because believers have been already resurrected at the rapture much earlier on and have been ruling and reigning with Christ for a thousand years. Now why will believers not face the judgment?

Because we already faced the judgment. We trusted in the one who took the judgment upon himself at the cross. That's what Jesus said.

That's exactly what he promised in John chapter 5. He who hears my words and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life and does not come into judgment but has passed from death into life. So these are the unbelieving dead now resurrected to stand trial before God. And notice the description of the dead, small and great. The down and out, the up and out.

Either way you're still out. The somebody, the nobody, the rich and the famous, the poor and the obscure. All unredeemed people everywhere who died in their sins apart from the knowledge of Christ. Kings, queens, emperors, peasants, presidents, preachers who have not believed in Christ.

No one will be exempt. God is no respecter of persons and treats all who reject him in one sense the same. I'm going to get to that in a minute.

In one sense the same. I can imagine that you can expect Adolf Hitler to be part of this group or Mount Saitung to be part of this group or Stalin to be part of this group. We could name a few others but your Uncle Bob could be part of this group. If they didn't believe in Jesus Christ they will be part of it. So let me give you a quick thumbnail sketch of who's going to be in this vast crowd being judged. There's going to be the perverse, the perverse.

What do I mean by that? That's the out and out sinner. That's the God hater. That's the Jesus denier. Don't want anything to do with God.

Don't want to talk about it. They'll be there at this judgment. Not just the perverse but also the pious will be there. The self-righteous person. The person who doesn't really think he or she needs God. I'm pretty good.

Compared to a lot of people I'm pretty good. And they think that their own goodness or works can get them into heaven. That's Skip Heitzig with sobering truth for the unbeliever in his message The Last Judgment from the series The End is Near. Find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. We're glad you've joined us today. Connect with Skip Heitzig exists to bring more people into God's family and connect listeners like you to his unchanging truth. That's why we make teachings like this one today available to you and others on air and online.

If they've helped you connect with Christ today, would you consider giving a gift to help others around the world connect with him in the same way? Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Join us again tomorrow as Skip concludes his message The Last Judgment and explains the eternal implications of being born again. So there's a simple formula I learned years ago. Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

Pretty easy to figure out. You're born once, you die twice. You'll die physically and you'll die spiritually. But if you are born again, then you're born physically, but then you're born spiritually, you're only going to die once. It's physical. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-05 05:05:24 / 2024-03-05 05:13:57 / 9

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