“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
Have you ever heard someone say, “All roads lead to God”? While it is not true, according to Jesus Himself, that all roads lead to heaven, it is true, all roads lead to God. Whatever road you choose to travel in this life, it ultimately ends at the throne of God. John explains that he saw every person who had ever lived, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all standing before the throne of God and awaiting judgment for sin. There is no road you can travel that will not ultimately lead to the throne of God. Even those who stubbornly resist the Spirit of God and refuse to accept Him, will stand before this throne, along with those who refuse to believe He even exists. There is no way of escaping the throne, but there is a way of avoiding judgment.
John records that a book was opened which contained a list of all the sins that each person had ever committed. One sin is enough to condemn, and every sin is recorded. However, there is a second book; the Book of Life, which contains the names of all who have received Christ and His forgiveness of sin. Those whose names are in the Book of Life have had all the charges against them erased. Paul put it like this,
Colossians 2:14 “. . . having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
The most important decision you will ever make is the one regarding Jesus. If you choose to accept Him as Savior and Lord, your sins will be forgiven and you will be excluded from judgment. If you choose to reject Him, for whatever reason, you are left in your sin. One day you will stand before the throne of God and the book of deeds will be opened, read, and you will be sentenced. It seems like a pretty straightforward decision. Joshua put it like this;
Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Questions for Revelation 20
The title of this book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. In the last chapter, we saw Jesus revealed at his Second Coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to the world that rejected Him. As this age comes to an end, we see many things in this chapter that are unlike anything we’ve seen before
1. Read verses 1-3. After Christ’s return what happens to Satan? Why? For how long?
2. Read verse 4-5. Although this group of people (martyred tribulation saints, now resurrected) is given authority to rule, they are not the only ones. In other places in the Scripture, we see that the saints in general will hold this position (Revelation 2:26, 3:12, 22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). If you are currently being persecuted in any way, take heart. There is coming a time when Jesus will reward you and set things right.
3. Read verse 6. How long will these saints rule with Jesus?
4. Read verse 7-9 what will happen at the end of the thousand years? Why? This is a final demonstration of the depravity of man. Even after a thousand years of Christ’s wonderful rule, with Satan bound and his influence removed, many people will still align against God at the first chance they get. Look up Jeremiah 17:9.
5. In verse 10 we see Satan’s final end. Where does he end up?
6. In verse 11 we see a Great White Throne. What is the response of heaven and earth to this throne? There are many people who in their arrogance defy God, and say accusatory things like “When I see God I’m going to ask Him why He…?” Before the Great White throne, man will clearly see his place before his Creator. Look up Hebrews 4:13 and 10:31.
7. Read verses 12-13. Notice the books that are opened: The Book of Life, and books. It would seem that these other books are records of the works of men. Man in his pride often will say something to the effect of “I’m a pretty good guy. My good deeds will get me into heaven.” However, only having our sin forgiven by Jesus gets us into the Book of Life, and heaven. Read Ephesians 2:8-9.
8. Read verses 14-15. Who/what is cast into the lake of fire (where the devil already is)? Look up Matthew 25:41. Who was the lake of fire originally made for? What causes men to end up there? Read John 3:36. If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sin and give you eternal life, do it now.