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May 22, 2017 11:33 am
Listen together and read the word of God. This is found in Revelation chapter 20 verses 11 through 15. Read with me please. 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 fine 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. A man please be seated this morning in a continuing study of the book of Revelation we come at 21 Shirley one of the most serious passages in all of Scripture that we have just read it the day of the final judgment. The day when we have a record of the unbelieving being thrown into the lake of fire. Vanessa begin this message ask you this key question. Do you believe in eternal punishment. Dr. Norman Geisler was with us this morning states. Few doctrines have been attacked more than the doctrine of eternal conscious punishment and destroy the subject of hell is rejected out of hand by the skeptic's joked about by comedians and is dismissed as a primitive, archaic notion by many churches, and by many preachers are seldom it is that we had a message on eternal punishment. When Hugh Latimer was preaching the presence of King Henry the eight he said to himself, Latimer Latimer remembered the king is here. Be careful what you say preaching to the king, particularly one who could take of your head. Must've been pretty scary.
And then later he said Latimer Latimer remembered that the King of Kings is here. Be careful what you do not say Latimer was later going to be burned at the stake under the reign of Mary Tudor is making a very important point. What is not said in preaching what is not taught in the churches today is very important.
I fear an attempt to be politically correct to be thought of as cruel. We leave out some parts of the word of God that is very dangerous that is making us wiser than God. Paul said he had declared the whole counsel of God than the whole counsel of God includes a passage of Scripture that we have studied will study and hundred this morning when you think about the future life to ourselves. We could imagine all kinds of future. Remember John Lennon's great song imagine there's no heaven it's easy if you try no hell below us above us only sky that was Lennon's imagination is a brilliant musician, but a very very poor theologian, and whether you imagine something or not doesn't change reality.
Really what you think and what I think about the future is totally irrelevant.
The question is what does God say on what's going to happen and the reality is, as we read this morning that if you reject Jesus Christ as your personal savior. If your name is not written in the Lamb's book of life. The Scripture says that you will be thrown into the lake of fire in her study of the book of Revelation we learned a very important find that the love of God is not inconsistent with the eternal punishment of the wicked. That is God. Not only is loving and merciful and compassionate.
He is is also God who is righteous is holy God, who cannot look upon sin. No one will be in heaven who should be in hell and no one will be in hell who should be in heaven. The judge of the art. The ancient of days, the omnipotent, all lies. God, the God who knows everything about everything and knows everything about you will do what is right. Those who experience eternal punishment deserve that eternal destiny and eternal punishment is appropriate for those who have freely chosen to rebel against God, to live their own lives to think they know better than God to go their own way. It may surprise you if you're not too familiar with the Bible that our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ spoke more about how, then anyone else in Scripture central to his teaching central to his mission was the reality of eternal punishment. For example, listen to his words. These are the words of Jesus are not mine, but of the words of Calvin Church of the words of Jesus recorded in the gospel, entered by the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction. Those who enter by it are many. Think of the that the road tell the road to destruction is very wide under many people on it says Jesus for the what gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Jesus is saying that there are two ways. There is a right way and there is a wrong way, there is a way which is narrow, which leads to eternal life.
Not so many on that one. On the other hand, there is a wide roads. Many are on is a very popular just go along with the flow. You do what everyone else is doing. You conform your life to the prevailing culture that your raise then you follow your own prejudices undesired is a way that seems very good a way that seems right to you. But Jesus saying that Wayne leads to destruction. Don't say that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're a good sincere person you know don't you and the depth of your soul. You know this that you can live any way that you like you can do your own thing without any consequences in the depths of your heart you realize.
I think that God's justice and God's holiness demand a day of future judgment this morning were considering that solemn day that day which will, inevitably, that future day, the day of the edge of eternity that day. At the end of time that day, from which there is no escape that day when eternal destinies are forever sealed the day of final judgment now as we come to our Bibles and that you have a Bible there have it open please. Of Revelation chapter 20 last week in the Bible as we come to verse 11 we read of the judge. Then I saw says John a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Here is a great white throne, and God is on the throne.
He is the sovereign God who rules over all these the judge to whom we are accountable to the idea of God as a judge surprises you and you don't like that you want to God is like a kind of senile, overly indulgent grandfather figure is slightly out of it. Your idea of God were we, God wants to worship a God like that now God is presented is the one who is sovereignly in control people say said to me, my God, is to loving to send anyone into hell as if you can take the God that you like.
If there is a God, the and that is if there's a God who is the ancient of days. If there's an eternal God, to the beginning, created the heavens and the art if there is a God who created you in his image.
If there is a God who in his grace and compassion has sense Christ to be your savior and if you ignore that provision you're going to stand one day at the greats white throne to your idea of God.
My idea of God is not the point question is who is God and God has revealed to is in his word. That's why we teach the children the Bible so that they have a true view of God, so that the undersigned truth, not based on our culture not based on their imagination, not based on our desires and our prejudices in a personal philosophy of life that we were carried not by looking within, but rather by looking to God's word, which is perfect and tells us about God and tells us that God is the judge may know this began in verse 11 it says from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was finding for them the location of this great white throne. This final judgment is unsigned of human history. This is a reference here in verse 11 to the destruction of the heavens and the earth were going to hear more about that. Lord willing.
Next Sunday, but listen to Peter second Peter chapter 3, Peter writes one of the followers of Jesus, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
He writes second Peter 37, but by the same word the heavens – that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly prediction that one day the university as we know it is going to be destroyed by fire, and that will, the day of judgment. This day, when the earth and the sky flee away.
Verse 10 again. Second Peter three verse 10 but the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved in the act and the works that are done on it will be exposed when the what can happen to the universe, people are concerned about her green arms mother was going to happen to it on the to imagine the Scriptures tell us one day in the future should be burned up here is the judge the ancient of days, God himself sitting on the throne is the perfect and just judge noticed that the throne is described as being rates because it's the throne of God, the highest place of authority and final judgment whites emphasizes the holiness and the purity and the righteous of God's judgments since this is the point, but I think we shy away from the one who's going to judge us is God's are not going to judge you you're not going to judge me when only the judge one another. That is an objective standard and that standard is pure and it is perfect. Our problem is that we like to compare ourselves with others.
People say all the time. Well I know I did something wrong but who are you to judge me because you've also messed up your life and it is true, isn't it all of us mess up her life's and that makes us quite comfortable.
It makes us feel good. I have my sins and failures and so have you. I was pastoring in Michigan. I owned a white Ford Explorer.
I like my car. It was new and I kept my white car white. I took care of it. I wash the I cleaned it inside the night. One day I was visiting people in hospital not driving back to church as our 2 o'clock in the afternoon on that lunch and I saw a Burger King.
Some of you are going to be a racing movie doesn't take care of his his health eating burgers listen. It taste good right and you're not my judge, so don't judge me.
So I stopped for a burger, not the double one on me. I'm not excessive, but the burger and fries.
Of course, and I was placing my order I was placing my order and also Diet Coke, no ice please. I want to taste the coconut dice and as I was placing an order, a young woman came into the bargain. Kagan said does anyone here on a white Explorer and I said yes I she said you better, excited and is is going on. She said to me, to women have crashed into your car on no in your pastor, you gotta be nice to people in the circumstances, and next to my beautiful whites no longer perfect Ford Explorer was the rust bucket. It was, I won't tell you the make of the car in case interview on it, but it was not a Fort and it was old it was ancient and it was covered in rust and there were these two women and I said to them, and I look to my car and it's. Alone. And you know all of the work is going to be done to hassle of to repair the I said to the woman, did you do this and they said yeah we we did leave him. He drove in. You know you're in car was there. I submit my car is perfectly part between the two lines describing all liability. It is totally your fault not mine and that they said well it doesn't look that Pat and they said the only hours versus okay you can handle it. I said excuse me, look at my beautiful whites Ford Explorer and take a look at your car to point out it was a wreck.
I was surprised. The thing actually went and they can believe the conversation they honestly thought that because of the impact of the collision was minor on theirs. I should be concerned about it of the problem. They were comparing of rust bucket to my car when like that in three will rust buckets and we played with each other and we damage ourselves and we damage others and we think it isn't so bad and I my in fact be a little better than you because I haven't messed up my life quite as bad as users were becoming before the perfect event with a bit appealing before and greets whites through a God who dwells in it. Scripture says in unapproachable light, our God who is light and in him there is no darkness at all. A goddess who is so pure he can't look upon sin.
They are from the sky flee away from him and there you stand before the judge in her lower courts. People take an oath to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth but they frequently lie witnesses forget important details wittingly or unwittingly mislead the court. Critical evidence is sometimes surprise evidences manufactured people lie, judges are biased rarely is there such a thing as real true. Just as the whole truth is rarely disclose in a court of law. As you know, if you had an experience of a legal system but in this final judgment to use the words of Hebrews 4, verse 13, no creature is hidden from his site, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of them to whom we must give account. This judge knows every single detail of your life. He knows everything about your I heard this week is people are talking about the investigation into Trenton from Russia and all the rest of it. Politicians… It is over and over again, they say, of course you know is bad enough doing something wrong, but is even worse, the cover-up and this was that's true, the cover-up and engagement government item and Eve did when they sins many people in Scripture dated. I suspect you've done it covered up, perhaps trying to skew the evidence trying to get someone to lie to make you feel too badly is no covered up here. Why because the God is perfect. This judge is perfect. He's not misled. He looks right into your heart. Not only does he know what you've done. He knows the motivation behind it.
He knows every single detail about your life are judgments we love to judge others that way.
It's often biased or prejudiced not often based on the facts. If you like someone we try to overlook their mistakes and we don't like someone we love to get something against that person even on the basis of an ops unsubstantiated accusation we judge people, but this judge is absolutely impartial is no respecter of persons whose judgment is without bias is judgment is without prejudice is judgment is perfect. He sits on the great white throne the judge. Secondly, the defendants verse 12. Who are the ones before the judge.
I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. John sees the dead to realize that every single one of us. Every person who's ever lived is going to be physically resurrected. There's a resurrection to life, but there's also a resurrection of judgment and Revelation 20 is dealing with the final judgment of all unbelievers will stand before God at the great white throne. John says in verse 14. This is the second death when he tells us here that the wicked of all ages will be there for dead, great and small, standing before the throne of the great white throne. Everyone is on the same level. The great people of the world are there. The Kings the presidents the celebrities the wealthy, the famous there there. The smaller also there. The nonentities of life the masses. The millions of ordinary men and women who lived and died and you would only known in that immediate small circles there. Also there there all there. No exceptions. The small and the great lived for time, but neither facing eternity. They live for themselves but neither facing God live live for the world but not of the face the world which is to come.
This is the final judgments and regardless of the circumstances of the life all believe all unbelievers will be there. Verse 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 multiuser people of died at sea in the ancient world sea was regarded understandably as the most inaccessible of places final judgment. The sea gives up the dead whether someone was, but I did see whether someone was cremated whether some they had their body frozen. Doesn't matter. All unbelievers will stand before the great white throne. No one, however famous however they died.
However, their varied no one can escape the final judgment is an interesting verse 13 that death and Hades will give up the dead who were in them the powder of death is strong but the pilot of God is greater. All of the unrighteous will be resurrected using what's Hades.
Hades is the intermediate place where unbelievers go when they die when you die, your eternal destiny is determined were dealing with a final judgment, but if an unbeliever dies today. They don't go to hell. Hell is the final place the final destiny of the unbeliever. They go to this place called Hades an intermediate place and John the saying of the great white throne, Hades will give up the dead who were in them. Usually what happens today when a believer in Jesus Christ dies when it is a believer in Jesus Christ go in the time to go into the presence of the Lord body is buried to the soul spirit goes to be with the Lord awaiting the final resurrection member. Jesus said to the thief on the cross today. Today will be with me in paradise. There is no biblical basis for purgatory. God's justice has been finally satisfied once and for all by the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for our sins. John writes the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. So when a believer dies of your trust is in Christ when you die, you go immediately to be with the Lord. If you're an unbeliever, you go to Hades what's happening here. The final judgment. Hades will give up the dead, and you have an unbelievable stand before the great White throne judge defendants. The trial in the verse 12 will verse 12. Again, 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 in 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.
God is the divine book keeper books are opened what's in these books the complete record details of the lives of the unrighteous of their illegal trial in the criminal trial, the prosecution has to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.
But many an accused person is life. The court hearing the verdict not guilty even though they committed the crime prosecution failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt here of proof is going to be established not just beyond a reasonable doubt beyond a shadow of a doubt, guilt is going to be irrefutably established because all of the record is there indisputable. All of the sinful deeds of the unrighteous are brought to light. God knows everything. Did you notice it says at the end of verse 12 and again at the end of verse 13 that people are judged according to what they had done it was justice in John 528 and 29 Jesus said this to very important verses do not marvel at this for now it is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out. Those who have done good to the resurrection of life, those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
A resurrection to life and the resurrection to judgment using what's the basis of the judgment. John tells us, is according to what they had done. Please understand that salvation is by grace alone that we don't get into heaven because were done good things we ought to do good things. But good things can never save us. However good you are, you can never ever eradicate the sin in your life. What about the past. If it were possible for you to live a perfect light from now until the day of your dad. We still would have the problem of your past sin. And you know that no were saved by grace alone is the wonder of the gospel that God so loved the world that he gave us his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life that the offer of salvation is given to you based on what Christ has done. Know what you have done. Know what I have done, but the price has been paid and now I have to receive Christ personally into my heart online. But here is the fines on this one. I want all of you to consider the possibility of a faith without works member Jim says faith without works is dead.
This passage isn't teaching salvation by works, but it is teaching damnation by works to what's important to God, and you understand this was important to God is not what you say. But what's in your heart and what's in your heart comes out a man can say to his wife. I love you wife once theater has been saying I love you, but my wife and I suspect all wives are much more much more impressed.
Not so much by what I say but how I treat my wife because if I truly love my wife is going to come out by my attitude by my words how I act towards her. I white care for her, how I love her.
It's a love in action words are cheap so Jesus said that in the last day people will say, Lord, Lord, we did all of this in your name. Joe is going to say to them, depart from me. I never knew you. You workers of lawlessness people on the last day who are saying to Jesus. This is what we did.
I taught Sunday school I sung in the choir. I was, and now that I was a pastor I was a missionary.
This is all I've done. Jesus is not that I never knew you.
That is never knew you in the way of salvation because when I look at your life.
It shows a life of lawlessness, superficial faith, because the Bible teaches. It's possible to have a profession of salvation without possession of salvation told the story before vote of the of a man who was doing his doctrine is the same term as I was.
It was a pastor and a been a pastor for years and had preached for years and then he suddenly realized through the word of God and the conviction of the spirit that although he was a pastor.
Although he was a preacher he still did not truly know Christ.
Do you really think that you can say that little prayer and it doesn't matter how you live and if someone challenges you use it all. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Savior when I was five years old on I stepped forward at a church meeting.
I walked the aisle and I was told I was saved at someone wrote my name in there and my Bible and and MM told I was saved but the way you live your life is a denial of that there's no real love for Christ in your heart.
Jesus says if you love me you will keep my commandments.
In other words, we are not saved by our works, but our works are live demonstrate what's in our heart you know that if you're married, you know that with your children. You know that with your parents. You know that with your friends will like it when someone says to us. I love you John, but the test of love is not from the lips. It's from the heart and it's from the life and what we confess is authenticated by her will and I think must be the most horrific thing for anyone to hear depart from me, I never ask you if you truly been saved by the grace of God is a spiritual fruit in your life re-examine your life. Is there something for God or don't mean perfect.
I'm certainly not perfect, far from it, but I believe if someone examined my life over the years that would see that I do live for God not perfectly, but my heart is the guards that love God and I love Christ her, but you. The book is opened. Those in the book of life are saved. Revelation 21 verse 27 nothing unclean will antedate this is the new Jerusalem, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who have written in the Lamb's book of life, who gets into heaven. Those whose names are in the Lamb's book of life. Those who know Christ that eternal life is received as a gift from the life-giving one was conquered that this is the wonder of the grace of God. Think of all of the evil all of the sin that we've committed. And yet, through simple faith in Christ through receiving Christ as my Savior.
All of that said, kind, and is forgiven clients the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all of our sins. Make sure your names written in the Lamb's book of life.
Finally, the verdict and penalty verse 14 and 15. 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. The verdict here is final. It is a revocable and or law courts.
There is a system of appeals. I was practicing law the verdict when it's the way that the client didn't like one of the first question was can we appeal. What can we do about this. This is wrong. The verdict is wrong.
Can I appeal. There is no appeal here. Yes, we recognize in human courts that are often miscarriages of justice, but there's no appeal from the great white throne. God's judgments are absolutely just, this is the Supreme Court of all Supreme Court's God to the judge the perfect judge makes no mistake his verdict is final and if your name is not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire. That's the penalty. John says here in verse 14 is the second death in one of the things I love about heaven is there is no more. There's no death in heaven those in heaven will never die as death itself is thrown into the lake of fire.
That wonderful Hades that intermediate place for unbelievers will also be thrown into the lake of fire.
The beast rescinded for the false prophet. The devil himself going to be thrown into the lake of fire. It was prepared in the first place is Jesus for the devil and his angels, but the lake of fire is also the destiny of all unsaved business have sometimes called the eternal fire of darkness eternal punishment. The bottomless pit.
The second death. Eternal destruction of all descriptions of conscious eternal punishment in hell.
There is no hope. There is no exit there's no end. Jesus says the fire is unquenchable. It's indescribably awful those in hell are without hope that will never escape. CS Lewis said the doors of hell are locked on the inside. Here is ultimate and unending hopelessness. The decree which comes from a holy God is final.
It's unalterable is a remarkable it's reversible. The torment will never come to an end because it is eternal is a genre you preaching this well preaching first because it's in the Bible. I don't choose what I preach. I take a book and go through your mind do that because I wondered, be faithful to Scripture, the preach my favorite subjects not print.
Something will make you feel good to get you through another day to be faithful to Scripture and here it is.
You know my forgiveness because winds people look ahead and prepare.
I went for my check up this week like I do that I hate going to doctors being prodded and poked the guy working if you put on the neck supporting the two who wants that. Why do I do it because it's a wise thing to do is of there's something wrong with me physically. The doctors goodness a John you need to change this if you want to live a healthy life. This is what you must do you need more exercise. All you need this.
All you need that. That's only wise and wise people make wills why because they realize they're not going to live forever and I want to make sure that there is states is laughter people they love, and that any tax liability is mitigated. That's only wise. The plan for the future about your spiritual future far more important than your physical health far more important that your investments and making a will. Although these are smart things to do.
You say well John maybe when I'm in my 60s or 70s or 80s are I'll do that I'll get right with God, but not now. I want to live it up. How foolish. Number one, you can died anytime number two, the more you pursue sin, the more you live your own life, the harder and harder your heart will become know today if you hear God's voice, get right with God. God doesn't wish any should perish. God wants everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth that everyone will repent and get right today God offers you salvation.
One day Jesus said to his disciples rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven if you're a follower of Christ, we rejoice this morning is your rejoicing that your name is written in heaven can imagine that. But once I was on the broad road leading to destruction God in his grace intervenes and now all through the grace of God.
My name is written in the Lamb's book of life. When you say John, I'm not sure if I'm saved, I'm not sure of. My name is written in that book of life.
Thank you for your honesty would appoint you to Christ the Savior.
He can save you believe in the on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved as they were leaving this morning from the front, myself and others. It will be a joy to point you to Christ to help you trust Christ, don't leave today. If you're not sure whether or not your names written in the Lamb's book of life. This is the most important thing to consider your eternal destiny I'm saying today. There's only two destinies is eternal life and eternal destruction where you going, timeless eternity. Charlotte's infinity measureless limitless father must see incomprehensible vastness extensible ever and ever and ever to be judgments immensity torments intensity fearful finality changeless decree conscious in an entertaining sinful identity. Other endeavor and ever to be purpose, immutable kindness, inscrutable Christ for the said out accursed on the tree, grace, unaccountable love unsurmountable ever and ever and ever to be God is offering you eternal salvation in Christ anguish or ecstasy.
Peace or perplexity infinite absolute offer to the cause on the brink today ponder eternity ever ever and ever to be your young man you young woman. You've never really thought about eternity 409 where there were 94 there were nine of 19 of 29 all of us a living life right on the H at any moment we go from time into eternity.
Make sure you trust is in Christ. Christ came and loved the Savior to transform your and to give you as a gift. This wonderful eternal life that you can join us and rejoice, because your name is written in the Lamb's book of life. Let's pray on to give you an opportunity if you've never done it to place your trust in Christ will you do that. Could God demonstrates his love to you that while you're still a sinner. Christ died for your trust. Repent of your sin: to the Savior who died on the cross and rose again the living Christ that he will come until Savior. Father is a sobering passage and some was a hard passage for us perhaps would rather study something else this morning but thank you for your truth and how important it is that we hear these words whereby we may be saved. Open hearts regarded by his father, give people a glimpse of eternity, but all will place their faith in Christ in his name we pray