By Nathan Jones
What will be the ultimate fate of Satan and of you?
On Monday, January 30, 2012, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on his "God First" program. During the 45-minute interview we discussed the prophetic sequence of end time events, placing each event into its proper chronological order.
8) The Great White Throne Judgment
Nathan Jones: Revelation 20 starting with verse seven tells us of Satan's last act of rebellion, "When a thousand years were over Satan will be released from his prison. He will go out and deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and to gather them for battle. Their number are like the sand on the seashore." It's really sad to read about so many people joining Satan in his last rebellion. Going on, "They march across the breadth of the earth and surround the camp of God's people, the city He loves. Then fire came down from Heaven and devoured them. And the Devil who deceived them was thrown into the Lake of burning sulfur where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. And they will be tormented day and night forever, and ever."
Satan and his demons will finally be sentenced to Hell. Praise the Lord! Forever and ever Satan will be in Hell with the False Prophet and the Antichrist, who were thrown into the Lake of Fire earlier at the end of the Tribulation period.
We next get into Revelation 20:11 which starts talking about the Judgment of the Dead. In summary, there are three major judgments: the Judgments of the Just, the Sheep-Goat Judgment, and then we've got what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. This judgment is not for believers, but for those who rejected the Lord and rebelled against God, both alive and dead.
Once the unfaithful are resurrected from their holding place in Hades, they are judged based on their works, just like the Christians earlier were. But, do you know what they're missing? They're missing the ultimate work that saves them which is the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. They had refused that sacrifice all of their lives, and so Christ's substitutionary work isn't there to acquit them of their crimes. Even if they were good people according to man's standards in life, they couldn't do enough to get to Heaven because it's impossible to do enough good works to get one into Heaven. The Bible says our works are like filthy rags. Without Jesus' work on the cross they will be found wanting.
At the Great White Throne Judgment, Jesus will open the Lamb's Book of Life. This book has within it all the people who've accepted Him by faith over the centuries. If your name is not in this book, you will sent to where Satan was already just thrown. He was throw along with all those who rejected Him into Hell. This is also called the Second Death or the Lake of Fire. Its Jesus' final victory over sin and death. And, that's it! There's no more sin and no more death after that.
In life, those who wanted God to leave them alone get what they wanted, but they will still have the punishment of their sins upon them. They will still have to endure their punishment because God is a just God. He's a loving God, but He's also a just God. Without having accepted Christ's salvation, they have to pay the ultimate punishment which is separation from God in Hell.
Brian Thomas: So, for the Atheist who says that when we die we go off into nothingness, there will be a rude awakening for them when they find that not only will their spirit continue on but their physical bodies will be resurrected for judgment and punishment.
Nathan Jones: Yes, indeed. How can an Atheist go around saying there is nothing after this life? Really, how would they know? None of them have ever died and come back, and even if they could they couldn't come back because according to their belief they would have been annihilated. It's ridiculous. Such a belief is merely a wish. It's a hope. And, ironically, it's a faith.
Through the ministry I answer the questions that come in and we once had this one Atheist write in. Atheist always fly in guns blazing with all these "evidences" they believe support why God couldn't exist. They try to dumbfound you with all these supposed evidences. As I was reading this guy rant on and on about this and that, he finally paused and broke down. It became the most refreshingly honest email conversation I've ever had with an Atheist. He admitted, "You know what? I really do believe there is a God. But you know? What I don't like about God is that there are two choices. I don't like that it is either Heaven with Him forever or Hell where I'm destroyed. Why can't God," and he used lots of explicatives here, "just leave me alone. Why can't God leave me alone?" Then the veil came back down over his face again so to speak and he started back up with all his arguments about why God doesn't exist, even though he just told me that He did. He fell back into that stupor once again.
Atheist in their heart believe that God exists, at least the ones I've talked to. Nobody spends their whole life trying to disprove something unless they really and truly believe it exists. So, they really do believe there's a God.
You're so right, Brian, it will be a terribly rude awakening when they finally stand before God after rejecting Him all of their lives. The Bible indicates that God will say something like, "You got what you want. You wanted me to be out of your life, so now I will totally be out of your life." But, unfortunately for them, the Bible tells us that God is our life. He's what holds us together. He's what binds us. Without God we are "unbound."
Without God we are also utterly alone and desolate. By rejecting God, the choice they make is to be alone forever. This is so sad. It's awfully sad, because they will spend eternity in Hell where there is fire, there's abject loneliness, this never-ending feeling of falling, complete pitch darkness, and worst no fellowship with God. You exist trapped with your memories of loss and regret forever. Hell is an awful, awful place.
Because Hell is so tragic, it should be a great motivator to get believers in Christ out there sharing the Gospel with those who are lost and heading there.
8) The Eternal State
Brian Thomas: The Great White Throne Judgment is when God addresses sin completely for all of eternity. Afterwards, the Bible says a new Heaven and new earth will come into place. Can you speak on that for a moment?
Nathan Jones: Revelation 21 has a wonderful description of our eternal home of Heaven on earth.
You know, Brian, that we were created to have fellowship with the Lord forever. That's our purpose and existence — to fellowship with the Lord forever. Such intimate fellowship is impossible in this current sinful condition, for we are not able to see God face-to-face. But, in the eternal state, we will see God face-to-face once more.
Revelation 21 tells us, "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." In this passage we are told that we will be with the Lord forever in a new Heaven. That new Heaven is what's called the New Jerusalem. It's a super city that God is building. The city is about 1,500 miles wide and long and high. Maybe it's pyramid shaped or maybe it's cube shaped, we aren't told. If it was on the Earth of today, it would stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to Colorado, and from our border with Canada down to our other border with Mexico. The New Jerusalem is indeed a super city.
The New Earth is a revived earth and a redeemed creation. The creation is currently under a curse, but the curse will totally be lifted. God will reform the Earth, and Heaven will be brought down onto the New Earth. The New Jerusalem will reside on the New Earth and that will be the capital city where we all will live.
The New Earth's description is awesome! We know that God dwells there. We get to meet God finally face-to-face. Our glorified bodies will have the capability of seeing God, as our earthly bodies just can't hack seeing the awesome blindingness of God. The flesh is weak and so our eyes would melt out if we were to see Him in our earthly bodies. God's just that powerful and that strong. But, in our gloried bodies we will have the ability to see God first-hand.
God is the light source of the New Jerusalem. If there is still a sun, moon and stars, they will produce light, but they'll be weaker than the light from God.
Revelation 21 tells us the city is built out of precious metals and jewels. The gold streets are as clear as glass. Twelve foundations support the city, being made of different precious stones. Giant pearls are used for the twelve gates.
The precious building blocks of the New Jerusalem is all materialistic, which is all wonderful and all, but the heart of Heaven is God and that we will dwell with Him. We will be given access to the throne room of God! From that throne a river of life flows forth. We will get to see the Tree of Life growing on each side of that river, which we read about in earlier in Genesis. The Tree produces crops once for each of the twelve months. It provides food for the nations.
Living in fellowship with God means there is no more sorrow and no more tears. There will be no more suffering. Life in Heaven means perfect joy.
The New Jerusalem is the capital city of the universe. Now, the Bible doesn't tell us exactly, but I think because we have forever to be with God that all that creation God made out there — all those planets and galaxies, and stars which are being discovered more and more every day which is God's domain — who knows, maybe He will let us go out there and explore them all. Maybe when God says that we will be governors and mayors over cities, maybe that also means whole planets or solar systems even. Such a possibility can boggle the mind!
Besides the eternity to explore God's wonders, we will get to explore God's infiniteness. As we work and learn, we could end up having like ten PhD's in just the first 100 years. The learning never ends!
Also, the fellowship with the Lord never ends. The fellowship with all those loved ones we have lost over the years will resume forever. That's what the Bible teaches, and it's all due to Christ's victory over sin.
Back with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they lived in a perfect world. They had personal fellowship with God. They walked and talked with Him, but then sin broke that relationship. But, God has used all these thousands of years to get mankind back to that fellowship with God once again and forever.
Our sin will be forgotten, as Isaiah 65:17 tells us, "Behold I will create a new Heaven and earth and the former things will not be remembered nor will them come to mind." Everything that was sinful and evil in the world will be forgotten. Mankind will once again spend forever in fellowship with the Lord, And that's the overall plan of God for the world — to bring us back into fellowship with God forever.
Brian Thomas: It is going to be wonderful time. I so much look forward to it. It's going to be great!
Nathan Jones: Like you said earlier in the beginning of the program, Brian, about growing up under this false idea that some people have that when we die we are just a bunch of ghost floating around bored to death on clouds playing harps, what an awful existence that would be. Who could get excited about that? I think Satan uses that misconception about Heaven. Satan uses that false idea about what Heaven's like to get people side-tracked. They end up thinking that they'd better enjoy life on earth now because Heaven sure sounds dull.
Heaven is awesome to discover if only people just truly read about it in the Bible. Just open up Revelation 21 & 22 and you can read about how amazing our eternal life is going to be with God. Now that's something to get excited about! Share Heaven with other people and get the news out to as many people as possible to lead them to the Lord so they can share in Christ's love and fellowship in Heaven too one day.
Brian Thomas: Knowing about what our eternal destiny is truly about really helps us as Christians learn and see what's going to happen. It gives us focus in life. And, I think it gets us more motivated to go out and proclaim the Gospel as it strengthens our testimony.
God's Plan For You
Nathan Jones: If you have listened to or read this interview, then you've learned what God's plan for the ages is. You know what God's purpose in your life is — to have personal fellowship with Him forever, and while you're on earth we do good works for Him.
Give your life to the Lord. Accept Jesus Christ in faith. Jesus died for your sins because He loves you and wants you to be saved from Hell. He wants to share eternity with you.
Pray, "Dear Lord, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Just pray that out of your heart, expressing your repentance for what you have done wrong and ask Jesus to forgive you and be your Savior. The weight of guilt will be gone.
After you've given your heart to Jesus Christ, go show the world that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior by being baptized by water. Also, join a church so that you can have fellowship with other believers and so you can learn about the Lord in Bible study and prayer and worship.
I invite you to check out our resources and to learn more about Bible prophecy by visiting our website.
Brian Thomas: If you have not yet accepted Christ, please do so while you still have time. And, for those of us who are already Christians, please take this message and and proclaim the coming of our great Messiah and all the wonderful things we have to look forward to.
Keep looking up because Christ is coming soon. Many blessings to you all!