15. The Final Judgment The AG Statement of Fundamental Truths states: There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works.There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works.
15. The Final Judgment Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).
15. The Final Judgment The Bible declares that God is the Judge of all (Ge. 18:25; He. 12:23) and that He is “ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Pt. 4:5). It also declares that “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Eccl. 12:14).
15. The Final Judgment “Judgment is the process whereby God calls people to account for their behavior and allots their destinies accordingly” (Travis 408). Jesus echoes the words of the OT prophets when He spoke of the final “Day” of judgment when He would return to establish His kingdom (Mt. 7:22; Lk. 17:31).
15. The Final Judgment “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” —Mt. 7:21-23
15. The Final Judgment At this judgment God will separate the righteous from the unrighteous for their eternal destinies (Mt. 13:38; 25:31-46). Jesus explained this in the parable of the wheat and weeds: “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.”
15. The Final Judgment “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”—Mt. 13:37-43
15. The Final Judgment John affirms that there are only two final decisions in judgment: life or condemnation (Jn. 3:36; 5:29). “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” —Jn. 3:36
15. The Final Judgment Luke 12:8-9 indicates that “just as the criterion of judgment is relationship to Jesus, so the outcome of judgment will be expressed in terms of relationship to Jesus” (Travis 410). Further, God’s judgment also means that evil will be destroyed once for all.
15. The Final Judgment Not only will there be a separation between the righteous and unrighteous, but also there will be a fiery, eternal judgment on the unrighteous (Mt. 3:12; 25:34, 41). Such judgment is just, for a sin against an eternal God demands an eternal punishment.
15. The Final Judgment Hell was originally created as a place of punishment for the devil and his angels, but it will also include unbelievers (Mt. 25:41; Lk. 8:31). The unrepentant and disobedient are liable to its punishment (Mt. 5:22, 29-30). If you believe in an eternal heaven, you must accept an eternal hell.
15. The Final Judgment Hell is a place of eternal, conscious punishment (Mt. 25:46; cf. Da. 12:2). The figures of the “undying worm” (Mk. 9:48; cf. Is. 66:24) and “the fire that is not put out” (Mk. 9:48; Mt. 25:41; cf. Is 66:24) support this conclusion. Nevertheless, the greatest judgment on unbelievers is separation from the loving Son of God.
15. The Final Judgment The final judgment of God occurs at His Great White Throne: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.
15. The Final Judgment “Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
15. The Final Judgment “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” —Rev. 20:11-14
15. The Final Judgment The events surrounding the final judgment of God are depicted in the following diagram.
Final Battle, White Throne, and Eternal States Satan Thrown Into the Lake of Fire The Dead Great and Small Lake of Fire Fire From Heaven Satan Released Out Of the Abyss Rest of the Dead Are Raised Death and Hades, Those Not Found in the Book of Life Are Thrown Into the Lake of Fire = Second Death Earth and Sky Flee Final Battle New Jerusalem Descends Great White Throne New Heaven and New Earth, Eternal States Abyss (Bottomless Pit) Second Resurrection
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth The AG Statement of Fundamental Truths states: “We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21-22).“We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21-22).
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth Heaven is the place of God’s habitation, or throne (Ps. 14:2; 103:19; Is. 66:1; Mt. 5:16; 6:1). The will of God is done perfectly in heaven and heaven’s perfection is the standard for us on earth to emulate (Mt. 6:10). Heaven is the ultimate place of joy and celebration (Lk. 13:28-29).
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth In previous lessons we have discussed how heaven is already invading earth. We learned that all things are reconciled to Christ through His redemption, including the created worlds (Ro. 8:18-25; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10). Thus, the “cosmic drama of recreation” (Hawthorne 190) was started at the resurrection of Christ and will be consummated at His return.
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth Paul said that we are already a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15) and a new “humanity” (i.e., “man or mankind;” Eph. 2:15; 4:23-24). Since the New Creation has already penetrated this age, we are in the process of constantly shedding the old humanity and putting on the new humanity.
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth Nevertheless, God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth at the consummation of His plan. At that consummation everything will be made new.
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”—2 Pt. 3:10
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea…He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” —Rev. 21:1, 5
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth Isaiah often wrote of the new heavens and new earth (cf. Is. 56-66): “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.”—Is 65:17-19
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth That consummation will see a redeemed humanity on a redeemed earth. That is, God’s people will live and reign with Him on a new earth.
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth Heaven was always “the temporary abode of the saints between death and the resurrection” (Ladd 276; Rev. 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23). Revelation declares that the heavenly Jerusalem will descend to earth (Rev. 21:2) where it will remain. Heaven and earth are thus forever joined in the New Jerusalem in the New Creation.
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth One of the most anticipated benefits of the future kingdom has to do with the final rest and peace for all believers. This is God’s enduring Sabbath (Ps. 95:11; He. 4:9-11). God’s enduring Sabbath includes His reign of peace or shalom. We must not forget that the Messiah is the “Prince of Peace” and “of the increase of His government and peace will be no end” (Is. 9:6-7, emphasis added).
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth Paul declared, “A new Creation is everything!” (Gal. 6:15).
16. The New Heavens and the New Earth I leave you with the words of C. S. Lewis in The Last Battle as he described the difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia as if one looked in a mirror at the old: “The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.”
Davidson, Bruce. Reasonable Damnation: How Jonathan Edwards Argued for the Rationality of Hell. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Volume 38 (1995), 38:50. Ladd, George Eldon. A Commentary on the Revelation of John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972. Levison, J. R. Creation and New Creation. Gerald Hawthorne, Ralph Martin, Daniel Reid, editors. Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993 Packer, J. I. Knowing God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1973. Ryken, Leland, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III, editors. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998. Stephen, Travis. Judgment. Joel Green and Scott McKnight, editors. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1992. Sweete, Henry. The Apocalypse of St. John. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998. Tenney, Merrill. The Gospel of John. Frank Gaebelein, ed. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981. Works Cited