Are All People Judged By God At The Same Time?
I see this many times where a person mentions that everyone will be judged and that those not found in the Lambs Book Of Life will not enter heaven. Where does this come from? What Scripture are they referring too? If you do a search for the phrase “Lamb’s Book Of Life” in the Bible there is only ONE VERSE containing this phrase. That makes it a very specific Scripture and we need to look at the context of the verse to see who this is speaking about.
” And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelations 21:27 KJV)
Where is it they will ‘in no wise enter’? What is Revelation 21 speaking about? Let’s go back a few verses to see. Let’s go to the very first two verses in Revelation 21 where we find the answer to this question.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1-2 KJV)
It is very clear that Revelation 21 is talking about the NEW heavens and the NEW Earth that God sends us to AFTER the 1000 year reign of Christ on the current Earth on which we now live. This is not talking about those of us now living in the Age of Grace. It is also not talking about Old Testament Saints. It is talking about those after the 1000 year reign of Christ.
There Are Two Returns Of Christ
A time is soon coming that Jesus will return for His Bride, that is all believers in Christ. Those who have accepted His gift of eternal life through the atonement provided by Christ on the cross. He will return first in the clouds and will call all believers in the graves to rise again with immortal bodies and meet Him in the air. Then those believers that remain and are alive on Earth will instantly be changed to immortal bodies and will also meet Christ in the air. (see, 1 Thessalonians 4) This event is referred to by many as the Rapture of the Church, or the Rapture of the Bride. You can read more about this event in my other article The Rapture.
After a 7 year period on Earth for those left behind (known as the Tribulation Period in the Bible) Jesus Christ will return, along with His Bride that was Raptured. Christ will this time set His feet on the Earth. This event is called The Second Coming of Christ. There will be many events that take place in the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ that are too vast for the current topic but you can read up on these events as there is a lot of material on this subject. It is a fascinating topic and very relevant to our current time and on God’s timetable for history.
During the Tribulation time period many will come to Christ and be saved. Most will lose their life in doing so as the Antichrist persecutes them.(Revelation 6:9) Those believers who survive the Antichrist’s assaults will remain on the Earth to repopulate in the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth. Christ will have His Arch angel grab Satan, bound him in chains, and cast him into the bottomless pit for 1000 years. (Revelation 20:1-3) Christ and His Bride return and take over the world governments and the world system. Christ will flip everything back to the way it was in Eden, before the fall of humankind. For 1000 years Satan will not be able to affect, nor infect, people with his deceptions of pride.
First The Rapture, Then The Bema Seat of Christ
After the Rapture of the Bride of Christ believers will find themselves at a ceremony called the Bema Seat of Christ.
At the Bema Seat Rewards Judgement (1 Corinthians 3) of believers by Christ Himself, you can see that believers may lose rewards and gain rewards by their good works for Christ. However, understand that this Bema judgement is similar to an athletic competition ceremony. It is not punitive against sins committed because those at this judgement are already Raptured and have new immortal bodies without the fleshly sinful mind present.
In fact, the words “sin or sins” is not even found regarding this judgement of believers. Their sins on Earth were already judged on the cross in Jesus Christ. The Bema Seat is where Christ will have us give an account of our lives after our moment of salvation and is based on our MOTIVES for the works we do for God.
God always looks at a persons motives. Those works that were done in the flesh (that is by us attempting to do them for the wrong human reasons) will mean a loss of reward. Those works done with the right motives for God and by the Holy Spirit through us will receive reward. That is, by what we do and why we did the works. So yes, it is important to want to please God and be involved in His work. Yet, even a person who accepted Christ with no works will still be saved and in heaven yet with little or no reward. (1 Corinthians 3:13) Everyone will suffer some loss of rewards and gain of rewards. Some may not receive a reward and feel some shame about it. But overall the feeling is like that of school graduation or an Olympic rewards ceremony. It is a positive event and all at this Bema Seat event are all in Heaven where joy abounds in ways that we cannot yet even comprehend fully right now here on Earth.
Paul describes life after salvation as a race to press toward knowing what awaits at the finish line. As a new believer, your number one goal is to learn about God and His ways (Here is a Quick start for knowing about what God is really like). Start reading the Bible. Use the free study guides found online – there are thousands! The more you know the Bible, the more the Holy Spirit is working in you and guiding you in your life. Your salvation happened in a single moment in time, appointed by God and now the Holy Spirit of God lives within you and will teach you all things. He will start to sanctify you which continues increasingly throughout your life until that day when you will be resurrected at the Rapture. Just pray to your heavenly Father for Him to help and He will. I guarantee you that!
Jesus says to believers,“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12 KJV)
The Great White Throne Judgement Of The Unredeemed
After the 1000 year reign of Christ that starts with The Second Coming Of Christ Satan will be set free from the bottomless pit for a short while. He will again start to deceive people and turn some against Christ. This is Satan’s last effort to take over the throne of God. Christ defeats Satan and all those with him and utterly destroys them all and they all die. Something that most in the reign of Christ will not do, that is be killed and die.
The next event we see is called The White Throne Judgement. This is what Revelation was speaking of when it tells us that only those in the Lamb’s Book Of Life shall enter the NEW HEAVENS and the NEW EARTH. At the White Throne judgement all the unredeemed and who the Bible calls ‘the wicked’ will be resurrected. But for these, it is too late. They never accepted the pardon for their sins through Christ and so they will be judged by their sins. The books of John and Mark make this clear,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3: 16-19)
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
No one at this judgement will be the Bride of Christ. No one here being judged will be saved and enter the NEW HEAVENS nor the NEW EARTH that God has prepared for the redeemed. They all stand condemned. Some would say, how can a loving God condemn someone to a lake of fire forever? That is so wrong a question to ask. God punished us through Christ so that we would not perish an eternity in hell. A person asking this does not know God. Nor God’s never changing attributes.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:14-18 KJV)
The deciding factor in being found in the Lamb’s Book Of Life is not whether you have ever sinned. We ALL HAVE SINNED! The deciding factor is not the works you do after you have been saved. The deciding factor is whether or not you have accepted Christ’s free gift and pardon for your sins through the atonement He provided on the cross 2000 years ago!
You see here that it mentions when ‘Moses lifted up the serpent’. What does that mean? This is referring to what happened during the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt as slaves. During the Exodus we can see how the Hebrews saved out of Egypt grumbled against God. They just seen some pretty amazing works of God to save them from Pharaoh right? Water turned to blood. Frogs gone wild. Grasshoppers galore. And let’s not forget the Red Sea PARTING and they went across it on DRY LAND! And yet we see this…
“And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” (Numbers 21: 5-8 KJV)
Notice that it took an unpleasant event to make them come to their senses. In this case, it was such unbelief in RESTING in God, that God sent a severe punishment and it says ‘much’ died‘. How about your life? You know, God disciplines those He loves. What loving father does not discipline their children? If we do, how much more does God?
When they were remorseful they came to Moses and admitted they sinned. Then God had Moses do something you may not expect. He did not tell Moses to tell these people they had to do penance. He did not tell them they needed to ‘do this’ or ‘do good works’. No God instructed Moses to create and lift up a serpent and whoever was bitten by a deadly snake, shall live. God required only two things from the people. These two requirements are to admit your sin, and to look at the serpent (by doing so you are believing it can save you). Repent and believe. If you know the New Testament this should sound very familiar to you!
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15 KJV)
Now you can see more clear what is being said in John 3, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
What happened in Numbers 21 was a foreshadowing of what Christ would do at the cross and to be saved from eternal death we need to repent and believe in the COMPLETE and finished work of Christ on the cross to forgive us ALL our sins.
And that is done not by what you do. But by looking to Christ, in belief, that as the Son Of God He will save you.