And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Revelation 20:12
For a thousand years, the dragon (Satan) is bound in the bottomless pit. The once powerful and destructive father of lies now shut and sealed, unable to deceive the nations until the thousand years ends.
For those thousand years, the martyrs, along with those who did not worship the beast or receive its mark, come to life and reign with Jesus. Peace on earth for a thousand years. The Millennium; the first resurrection.
At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released from his prison and given authority to yet again deceive the nations. He gathers the multitudes in rebellion against God for battle. They march up over the plain of the earth and surround the camp of team Jesus. But instead of a battle, fire rains from heaven and consumes them. God is done with them! At long last, the devil is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet lie in perpetual agony. Here they will remain and be tormented night and day. Forever and ever.
John then sees a great white throne with the dead standing before it as books are opened. This is no trial, but instead a sentencing. The book of life – those who put their faith in Jesus - is also opened and the dead are judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. For believers, the debt was paid by Jesus when He took the wrath of our sin and gave us His righteousness…our name secured in the book of life. But of unbelievers, David Guzik summarizes, “Those who refuse to come to God by faith will, by default, be judged (and condemned) by their works.” No works can match up to a standard of perfection. Death and Hades – the last remnants of sin – are thrown into the lake of fire, along with anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life.
Challenge: Hell is real and hell is eternal. Fervently pray for those you know and love who haven’t yet put their faith in Jesus.