In previous expositions, I mentioned that there exists two types of resurrections: the first, being the resurrection of believers and, the second resurrection for unbelievers. I’d like to dwell on the second.
This resurrection is also called the resurrection of the unjust, or the resurrection to damnation (John 5:29). All those who died as unbelievers, having failed to accept Jesus into their lives on earth, will not resurrect in the rapture; neither will those unbelievers who will die during the seven years of tribulation resurrect during the return of Christ to reign on the earth. But all these dead unbelievers will be reserved for another time, to be resurrected. Which time? The great white throne judgement.
This judgement will consummate all dispensations, ushering everything back into the flow of eternity. After Jesus’ one thousand year-reign on earth with the saints, the devil been bound during this period; the devil is released for a while. He goes into the world and deceives people, then his own final judgement comes. The devil, and all his agents (demons) will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; then the great white throne judgement would occur.
I believe it’s qualified as great because God Himself, sitted on His white (holy) throne, will supervise the judgement. All the dead unbelievers, both small and great, peasants and presidents, paupers and rich people, will be resurrected and stand before God. No one, I mean no one will escape this judgement.
Now some may ask, what of those whose bodies died during a shipwreck and have decomposed in the sea? What of those who were burnt alive, or cremated into ashes? How will they be resurrected and stand before God in a resurrected body? The Bible in Revelations twenty verses eleven to thirteen says they will. It says the sea will surrender those who died in it. Even death and hell will deliver those who are in it, for this judgement.
The proceedings of the judgement will be thus. God will open two books, the books of records and the book of life. The book of records will contain documentations about the life of each individual. Every activity of that person on earth will be documented herein. The book of life is then opened. This book contains only names of those who accepted Jesus during their life on earth. God will judge these resurrected dead from these books. Whoever’s name is not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. This is called the second death. As many as partake in the first resurrection, that is saints, will not experience the second death (Revelations 20:6). But as many as resurrect (in the second resurrection), and partake in the white throne judgement, are doomed to experience the second death.
A good observer may ask, “Why is the great white throne judgement needed at all? When all who partake in it will eventually be cast into the lake of fire, because their names will not be found in the book of life.” My submission. I think it’s God’s way of showing that He is just. He needs to hold a formal court proceeding, open the evidence to each unbelieving resurrected dead, and convict him or her from the books of records, and the book of life, before been hurled into eternal damnation.
The good news is that we believers will be spared of this resurrection and damnation, if we endure to the end. The horrid picture the lake of fire and brimstone leaves in our imaginations, should make us as believers to make haste, and be dutiful with the master’s assignment of soul winning.