The final topic in the foundation series.
There are two Judgements spoken of in the New Testament.
- For the believers that make it into the first resurrection, their judgement will be a burning up of the dead works and a reward for the Godly works done while still alive. This is referred to as the judgement seat of Christ. They never suffer the second death and in fact return to earth with Christ for the thousand year reign.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Revelation 20:5 They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
2. For believers and non-believers, the eternal separation from God and punishment will begin at their death. for them the holding place is in hell, Hades. This is still not the eternal judgement. Hell/Hades will ultimately be thrown into the lake of fire at the great white thrown judgement. This is when they will face the great white thrown judgement and will be given a second chance.
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens 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. 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 they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This account sounds like the account Jesus gave concerning judgment as well.
He spoke of this after he described the rapture. He is speaking about a judgement of works only.
The Judgement seat of Christ is a Judgement of rewards.
Mathew 25:33 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
This CANNOT be the description of the Rapture.
During the rapture, only the believers are gathered.
During the rapture event, Jesus never sits on a throne. He is here to take believers to heaven.
Mathew 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
What is prepared for the devil and his angels? The lake of fire. When is that opened? At the great White throne Judgement.
Referencing non-believers that end up in hell/Hades, they are not necessarily doomed. Their Judgement is yet to come which is the second resurrection which does not have to end up as the second death. This is also known as the great white thrown judgment. That judgment is predetermined by works alone.
Who will go into the first resurrection and go to the judgement seat of Christ?
There are 3 parables describing those who get to go before the judgement seat of Christ.
One is the account of the servants.
Mathew 24:45-51 This is the parable about the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time. In contrast to this is the wicked servant that determines that the return of the master has taken too long. And because of this he abuses the poeple around him.
Both servants had the same opportunity. Both knew the master. One stayed faithful and one abused his position.
The second is the account of the ten virgins.
Mathew 25:1-12 5 are wise and endure to the end. 5 are foolish and are not ready to meet their own bridegroom. It is interesting analogy. What bride is not ready for her own wedding day? They all knew who Jesus was. They all were expecting his arrival. They all fell asleep.
After later returning to be invited in the bridegroom meets them and denies them entrance to their own wedding banquet. This is the only account of Jesus saying "I do not know you". There are numerous accounts of Jesus saying I NEVER knew you. but only one stated this way. This indicates that He did have a relationship with them at one time.
The third parable is the parable of the talents.
Mathew. 25:14 Here the three servants are talents in accordance with their ability. Two of them were faithful and productive. one was fearful and buried his talent. Here again The indication is that they knew the master however became worthless to his master.
The descriptions of the servants that did not make it into the first resurrection (ending with the rapture). are: Worthless, denies knowing them, hypocrites afraid.
The description of those that obtained the resurrection and avoided eternal death: faithful, Wise, ready, good
Notice the reference in the first and third parable about those who are denied access. They will end up where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.