Friday, December 19, 2014
 

Back To Sermons

By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon The End Of The World ]

END OF THE WORLD says, 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. The Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

them" suggests to me they have served their purpose, and there is no longer a need or use for them. I don't think it is reasonable to believe that the new heavens and earth will be made out of earthly materials of the present heavens and earth. The nature of the new heavens and earth hasn't been revealed and conjecture is useless.


In addition to seeing the heavens and earth pass away, John saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. The small and great is a general expression that included all, both evil and good. There is to be one bodily resurrection of all human beings who have lived from Adam and Eve to the second coming of Christ. The words "the dead, small and great" mean the whole human race. There will be a simultaneous resurrection and a simultaneous judgment of all who have lived on planet earth. That is a big thought for our little minds, but Jesus clearly said, "The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear my voice and come forth."


Concerning this general resurrection, it is also said that the sea gave up the dead who were in it. and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. Death and Hades are really one, for hades always follows death. The body returns to the earth at death and the soul goes to hades, some location in the unseen world. At the time of the general resurrection the souls are returned to all bodies. All who perished at sea and were buried in the waters, all who were cremated and scattered over land or sea, and all who were buried in earthly graves-- all arise on the same day.


After the resurrection comes the judgment, and in order that this may be conducted in an appropriate way Christ opened the books. Then another book was opened called the Book of Life. All were judged according to their works by the things which were written in these books. We are told that one book was the book of life, but the other books were not named. There is almost unanimous agreement that the book of life contains the names of those destined to go to heaven. It is a list of people who are to live in the New Jerusalem. When a penitent believer is immersed in water for the forgiveness of all sins of the past life, and the Lord adds him or her to the New Testament Church of Christ, also called the Church of God, that person's name is added to the Lamb's book of life, another name for the Book of Life. However,


Jesus said to the members of the church in Sardis, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels"{Rev.3:5}. This clearly teaches an important truth about the Book of life. It is always a current list of the saved. He certainly threatened to remove the names of the Sardis Christians who failed to overcome the evil which was around about them. Furthermore, this necessarily implies that this book will be brought up to date, revised and finalized at the time of the judgment. There is no such a thing as once a name goes in this book, it will always in the book, just as there is no such things as once saved always saved. Since the book of life is the registry of the saved, it is understandable that this book would be present at the great white throne judgment.


In addition to the book of life, John speaks of other books that were opened. The contents of these books are identified by the statement, "and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Some think these books contain the works and deeds of men. Others think they refer to the laws of God in the Old and New Testaments. All will be judged by the laws of God under which they lived. Jesus also said that His words will judge men in the last day. So it would seem these books include God's laws by which the deeds of men should be judged.


It is universally agreed that the "opening of books" is to be understood figuratively, for God does not err through f orgetfulness. He knows them that are His. God is not ignorant of those destined to eternal life. It is not that He has to put all of this down in books in order to remember. The opening of books is an allusion to the practice of human tribunals. The law has to be read and the charges made and evidence presented to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The reference to the opening of books is to assure us this judgment will be more honest, fair and reasonable than any human tribunal. The judgment will be as accurate and particular in the trial, and just as close, as if all things were registered and put on record. Nothing shall be missed or mistaken in the circumstances, but things shall be so just in themselves and so manifested and put beyond all doubt to others, as if an exact register of them had been kept and now published. There will be nothing hid which shall not be discovered, even as to others, before men and angels.


Revelation 20:11-15


The subject of these verses is the end of the world and the great white throne judgment. John describes the great judgment scene, closing with the final disposition of the unrighteous dead.


He first, speaks of the great white throne and the One who sits upon it. The throne is called great, because of its largeness and extent. It represents a tribunal which the entire human race must attend. All nations, living as well as dead, must stand before this throne. The saints of all ages will meet there along with the unbelieving and unrighteous of all ages. It is called white because of the purity, holiness and justice of the One who will serve as Judge and Jury on this momentous day. The judgments rendered will be absolutely right, just and fair. We can be certain that any verdict rendered against the disobedient will be based on a principal used in the courts of our land. They will be proven guilty, not only beyond all reasonable doubt, but beyond any possible doubt. Since Jesus died for every human being who shall appear before Him, and since He is loving, merciful and kind, we can be certain if anyone is deserving of mercy, he will receive it.


The One who sits on this judgment throne is the resurrected and ascended Christ. He said His word would judge a man in the last day, and scripture reveals that God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by His Son Jesus Christ, and assures everyone that this is so by raising Him from the dead. This throne is called the judgment-seat of God and the judgment seat of Christ. Jesus said, "The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son"(John 5:22).


Next. John sees the heavens and earth pass away and disappear from the face of Jesus, and no place was found for them. When this happens human history has come to a close, and this is the end of the world. This is the same event described by Peter when he said, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the elements will melt with fervent heat and both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up"(2 Pet.3:10). Some are of the opinion that the old heavens and earth will be reconstructed and become the new heavens and earth. The words, "No place was found for

Back To Sermons

San Fernando Church of Christ©2005