Why Judgment Day

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The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and Lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth ; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exhalt the horn of his anointed. I Samuel 2:6-10

Have you ever wondered, “Why judgment day?” If all souls go either to heaven or hell at the moment of death, why judgment day? Is God going to take them from heaven and hell for judgment day, only to put them back after their judgment? Of course not! At the return of Christ, as Revelation 20:1-3 tells us, Satan will be imprisoned for a thousand years. In Revelation 20:4-6, the apostle John reveals the order of resurrection.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6

We see that we will become judges, rulers, and priests, and will rule with Christ for a thousand years. The resurrection of Christians comes a full thousand years before the rest of the dead come back to life. If only Christians can be saved, again we should ask, why judgment day? In Revelation 20:7-10, we read what will come to pass at the end of that thousand years.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Here we see the world after the return of Christ. The earth has been repopulated with mortal people who have formed nations during this thousand years. We also see that the camp of the saints and the beloved city are on the earth. This is the time when we receive the promise of Revelation 2:26-27.

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

At the end of this thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison and will be allowed to deceive the nations once more; after which he will be cast into the lake of fire himself In Revelation 20:11-15, we see the climax of all human endeavor from creation to Satan’s final deception.
 

And I saw a great white throne, and him that 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, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire .

Everyone who ever lived, “the rest of the dead,” from the creation to the end of the thousand years will be resurrected and “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” If anyone’s name is not found written in the book of life, he is cast into the lake of fire. We know that “the books” contain the works of men, but what else can we learn about these books and the book of life? Let us examine a few passages pertaining to this subject.

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. Malachi 3:16-18

Daniel had a dream and saw visions of beasts which represented various empires throughout history. In the time of the final empire, he said,

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:the judgment was set, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10

Speaking of the final persecution of the saints prior to the return of Christ and the events following, Daniel wrote,

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Daniel 7:21-27

In Daniel 11:32-39, the glorified Christ relates more about this three and a half year persecution. In Daniel 12:1-3, He informs us of our salvation.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

We must be found written in the book of life at the end of the judgment in order to be saved. In Psalm 69, David prophesied of the distress of Christ prior to His crucifixion.

They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. Psalm 69:21-28

Even those who crucified Christ are written in the book of the living. “Let them be blotted out” implies that names which are written in the book of life may be removed. Psalm 139:15-16 implies that our names were written in the book of life before we were even born.

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
 

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Revelation 3:5
 

For I testily unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things, which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19

Speaking of the final empire, the fourth beast which we read about in Daniel, Revelation 13:6-10 says,

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

This passage suggests that people who submit to the beast government were never written in the book of life, but were fitted for this purpose. Those who refuse to worship the beast will be killed or imprisoned; out of sight, out of mind. Therefore, it will seem to them “all that dwell upon the earth” that everyone on earth worships the beast.

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Revelation 17:8

The Bible does not tell us whether anyone else was never written in the book of life, only those who accept the mark of the beast. This government will be so powerful and in control of all aspects of life that it will seem impossible to resist. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”

The book of life is a list of names written before creation. It will be altered in the judgment. Only those whose names remain in the book at the conclusion of the judgment will enter the kingdom of God.

Christians are to be the judges. If Christians are resurrected and receive eternal life one thousand years before the judgment, will the book of life be opened only to find no other names in it? Again we ask, why judgment day? Who are we going to judge?

Let us consider the entire human race since the beginning of time. Is salvation only for those who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ in this life and accepted it? What about people who never heard about Jesus? There must be billions of them since the creation. Or what about people who heard something about Jesus, but the message they heard did not ring true; so, they chose not to believe? In order to believe the truth, we must first have heard the truth! Satan wants us to perceive of God as being unfair.

Consider all the people who have suffered a life of poverty, starvation, and enslavement never having experienced anything but misery and deprivation in this life. Yet, they go on striving to survive. Do you think they were all fortunate enough to have had a missionary come and tell them about Jesus? If some of them were so fortunate, were they told the truth? Let us be realistic. The majority of people who have ever lived on this planet have never heard the truth. Are they all going to burn? Jesus said in John 3:18-21,

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

This passage does not condemn everyone who does not believe, only those who have heard the truth and refused to believe. How can we believe or disbelieve something we have never heard. Paul tells us in Romans 10:14-15,

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?…

Not intending to take this scripture out of context, look at verse 18.

But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Paul was not saying that everyone has heard the truth about Jesus. He was quoting Psalm 19:4. Examine Psalm 19:1-6.

The heavens declare the Glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

This Psalm is referring to the heavens, the creation itself, as being evidence of the Creator. There is no place on earth where we cannot see the evidence of God. Therefore, there is no excuse for not believing in God. What we believe about God, however, is a different story; just believing that God exists is not enough. Let us consider these following verses:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
 

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44

The only way to come to the true God is to become a Christian, but we must first be called by God in order to become Christians. Only those whom God has called even have a chance to become Christians in this life. If Christians are to be judges, priests, and kings, then who are the people of the nations that we are to rule over? Revelation 21:23-27 tells of nations and kings in the kingdom of God.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life .

You must be found written in the book of life after the judgment to enter the kingdom of God. If Christians are to become “the kings of the earth,” then there must be other names in the book of life besides those who were chosen to become Christians. Who are these people? How can they remain in the book of life without having accepted Christ?

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