The Bible Speaks
“and I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened…” Revelation 20:12a
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and fatally shot 20 children and six adults and then pulled the trigger on himself. He thought, as many mass murderers think, that by killing himself he wouldn’t have to face judgment. He wouldn’t have to go before a court or look upon the families of his victims. He thought it was all over when he ended his own life ... but it wasn’t! There is a judgment; there is a resurrection of the dead; there is a record of our deeds and a second death and a real place called hell. Death is NOT final. Everyone must stand before God; whether they believe it or not.
There are five verses in the 20th chapter of Revelation that tell us exactly what will happen to everyone who has not been forgiven of their sin through Christ Jesus: everyone. There will be a day when the bodies and souls of all who have died since Adam will be resurrected to stand before God as He sits upon His throne. Each of them will be judged according to their deeds, which are written in the record books of heaven. Just think: every thought you’ve had, every word you have spoken, every deed you have done is seen by God and recorded in a book with indelible ink. Hebrews 4:13 says “there is no creature hidden from His sight; all things are laid bare before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Your closest friend may not know, your family may not know, Homeland Security may not have your phone records, but God knows and has recorded it. Nothing is hidden from Him.
There is a judgment and there is a resurrection and there is a second death. Everyone will die, but they will live again. Those who have trusted in Christ in this life will be raised to life anew in heaven with Him. Those who have not will also be raised, not to eternal bliss but to judgment. Before a Holy God they will hear their deeds recited and judgment passed. They will have no defense and no appeal. There is no second chance and no lawyer good enough to get them off. Some have said that they don’t believe a loving God would send anyone to hell. They are right; He won’t, their sins send them there. A judge passes sentence, but the defendant sends himself to prison by his actions. Everyone who is found guilty will be condemned to a second death (Rev. 20:14) and the Lake of Fire which is Hell itself. It won’t matter whether you have believed it or not. It will happen. God keeps His word.
There is good news, however. The Bible speaks of an escape; a way out; an opportunity for anyone and everyone to escape judgment. It is called the Book of Life and Rev. 20:15 tells us that if anyone’s name is found there they are free from judgment. It is the only way and it is a foolproof way. Have you taken it? Turn from your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor at Turner’s Chapel.