12 April 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 20:11-21:8

This section of Scripture begins with the Great White Throne Judgment. Unbelievers will stand individually before God and give an account of all of their actions throughout their lives. They will see their actions in light of God’s holiness. Unbelievers will be punished eternally for their sins and for rejecting Jesus as their Savior.

This is different than the Judgment Seat of Christ, a time when believers will be held accountable for their actions in the name of Jesus. They will not be held accountable for their sins because they are covered with Jesus’ blood.

Either God the Father or Jesus the Son is seated on the throne. Though we don’t know who is seated on the throne, we can be sure that He who sits on it will judge justly and rightly.

John saw the throne descend from heaven. He also saw all of creation flee from God’s holy presence. There is no place for unbelievers to hide from God’s upcoming judgment.

John saw books being opened. The books contained every action of every person who ever lived. Unbelievers are held accountable for everything they had done. It’s possible that God’s Word also will be opened since it is the holy standard of living. Sin will be viewed from God’s perspective, and His divine judgment will be seen as true, right, just, and fair. The Book of Life also was opened. All believers’ names are written in this book.

The second death is a spiritual death. It is eternal separation from God. The beast, the false prophet, Satan, death, and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death. Every unbeliever was thrown into the lake of fire.

John saw God dwelling with His people face to face in the new heaven and the new earth. The first heaven and the first earth passed away because they were cursed by sin. There are two thoughts about the new heaven and the new earth – either God will create a new heaven and a new earth or God will renew the existing heaven and earth.

We do know that the new heaven and the new earth will be infinitely perfect. God promised there would be no more tears, no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain. God Himself will wipe away our tears. And God promised that those who overcome will inherit everything and be His children.

We will spend more time looking at the new heaven and the new earth in the coming weeks.

Things to Think About
  • Everyone will spend eternity in one of two places – in the new heaven and the new earth or in hell. These are real places! By God’s grace and Jesus’ death, I will be spending eternity face-to-face with God in the new heaven and the new earth. Where will you be?
  • Every person is made with an eternal soul. Our souls are the essence of who we are. Our souls were created for eternal fellowship with God, but many people reject God and choose to live eternally separated from God instead of eternally fellowshipping with Him.
  • The horrors of hell testify to the seriousness of sin.
  • The reality of hell testifies to the sincerity of God’s love.
  • The joys of heaven testify to the magnitude of God’s grace.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“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. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Revelation 21:1-2 NIV