11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. ~ Revelation 20:11-15
Today, we come to one of the great questions ever: What will happen to us after we die? We all live, most will die, and all will be resurrected. But, not everybody lives the same way. Not everybody dies the same way. And, not everyone will be resurrected in the same way.
In v.11 of today's text we read, "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them."
The earth and the heavens will flee from the presence of its maker. In John 5:22 the Lord Jesus said, "The Father has committed all judgment to the Son." So, it will be the Lord Jesus who will sit upon this throne of majesty and He will gather all the dead before Him. There will also be some living people from the millennium who will be there as well for it needs to be determined as to whether their names are in the book of life or not. When the Lord looks at those who have trusted in Him, He will see His righteousness applied. But, for those who did not trust in Him, when He looks upon them, they will yet be in their sin because their sin will not have been atoned for.
It is needless that anyone goes to the lake of fire. No one is thrown into it against his or her will. They will have chosen the lake of fire by refusing the free offer of salvation through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is and there will be no other choice. If your name is written in the book of life, you will enter into eternal life with God for eternity. If your name is not written in the book of life, then your ultimate fate is the lake of fire for eternity. This is the second death of which John wrote about earlier in this chapter.
In v.12-13 we read, " 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done."
In the Bible, God uses different words for the word "life." The first is bios and another is Zoe. Bios means the material world that is around us, standard of living, and possessions. It focuses on the externals. The New Testament rarely uses this word when it mentions real life. It's used, but rarely, and almost always negatively.
For example, the Lord Jesus said there was the seed that fell among thorns. It was choked up by the pleasures of this life. The biological life choked up the spiritual life. Everybody has biological life. But, not everyone has eternal life. The Lord Jesus said unless you are born again you will never see the kingdom of God. It comes by the new birth, by being born spiritually from above. But, the question is not do I have eternal life; the question is where will I spend my eternal life? Everybody will live forever. The human soul goes on and on. But death is real. Death is mentioned 394 times in the Bible.
So, there is something worse than physically dying. It is called the second death. Death simply means separation when you die physically. Your soul and spirit is separated from your body but there's a further separation called the second death. That's the separation from the presence of God forever. It's the worst.
In the Garden, before man sinned, God said, "In the day that you eat of this fruit, you will surely die." The death Adam and Eve brought into this world is the corruption that makes us die physically. What most fail to see is the first death came with a second death. And, after the thousand years of Christ's reign on earth ends, there will be another resurrection. It's the resurrection of all the lost, all the unsaved, all the ungodly from the fall of man onward.
In v.14-15 we read, "14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire."
All live, most die, and all will be resurrected. The word resurrection is used about 40 times in the New Testament. It literally means a rising of a corpse from the grave. When the Lord Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth," and when he came forth, it was a literal rising from the dead. When we die, our soul will leave our body. The body will be left to decay but the soul, the real us, will continue in a conscious state of being. If you're a believer in the Lord Jesus, you will spend your eternity with the Lord. If you're an unbeliever, you will spend your eternity in hell. Our destiny will depend on what we did when we were faced with the gospel of Jesus Christ as the provision for our sin.
We all live, most will die, and all will be resurrected. But there will be a big difference in how we are resurrected. We all have life but not everybody has been born again to spiritual life. We all die but we do not have to face the second death. If we are born once, we will die twice, and, if we are born twice, we will die just once.