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When Will You Be Judged?
by Wayne Blank
"Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6 RSV)
"The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended ... And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by 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 any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:5,12-15 RSV)
Resurrections and Judgments
As plainly stated in the Bible, there are going to be two major resurrections, one at the Return of Jesus Christ, another 1,000 years later. Along with the time, the manner of the resurrections will also be different - those at the return of Jesus Christ will be to spirit beings, those a thousand years later back to physical life.
The reason for the difference is because those who will be resurrected to spirit at the Return of Jesus Christ will have made it to salvation, based on their already being judged through their lifetimes, whenever that was through human history, whereas those after the 1,000 years will be resurrected to physical life because they will be judged then - if they are judged worthy, they will be transformed to spirit, if they are judged unworthy, they will be cast alive into the lake of fire where they will be completely obliterated. Salvation and forgiveness of sins is for those who repent and obey God - the rest are going to be burned to ashes i.e. "they will be ashes under the soles of your feet" (Malachi 4:3 RSV)
The Resurrection At The Return Of Christ To Spirit Life
Those who have been truly called, and have repented, through all the ages up to the day of The Return of Jesus Christ will be resurrected from the dead, or instantly changed if they are alive that day, to eternal spirit life. They will serve Him, and rule the world with Him, during the 1,000 years (see The Elect):
"For this we declare to you by the word of The Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of The Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 RSV).
The Resurrection At The End Of The 1,000 Years To Physical Life
All of the people who have lived through the ages who did not have the opportunity to learn of Christ and be converted will be resurrected back to physical life at the end of the 1,000 years - not as any sort of "second chance," but as their first chance. Then, for that relatively short time between the second resurrection and the final judgment, they will learn the truth and have the opportunity to repent and be converted. Those that choose to obey God will then be transformed into eternal spirit beings just as those who were changed at the Return of Christ 1,000 years before.
The logical reason that Satan will be released from his prison for a short time after being locked up for the previous 1,000 years is to test those who will then know the Truth for the first time, including the hundreds of millions of people of the last generation of humans then alive, the descendants of the humans that were born and lived through the 1,000 years when Satan had no influence over them, as he does with the world now.
"The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended." (Revelation 20:5 RSV)
The Lake Of Fire
All of those through the ages who refused to repent after they learned the truth will be resurrected back to physical life for passing of the sentence that they will have brought upon themselves. These incorrigible wicked will be destroyed along with those who rebel later. They will be completely obliterated - burnt to lifeless ash. It will be as though they never existed.
"And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by 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 any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:13-15 RSV)
Fact Finder: Does God want everyone to choose eternal life so that none would perish?
This Week's Bible Quiz
True or false?
1. Lamech was the father of Noah.
2. The name of Noah's wife is not recorded in the Bible.
3. Humans became meat-eaters after the Flood.
4. Hagar was the father of Ishmael.
5. Isaac was the son of Abraham.
6. Isaac was married to Rachel.
7. Dinah was the daughter of Jacob.
8. Jacob died in Egypt.
9. Jacob is buried in Israel, the land named after him.
10. Joseph knew that the Exodus would happen, hundreds of years before it happened.
For the answers to this November 12 2002 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page