If ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram are Not Going to Hell, Please Tell Me Where They are Going (Part 1)

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TEXT: Revelation 20:11-15

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

If ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram are Not Going to Hell, Please Tell Me Where They are Going (Part 1)

Hundreds of years ago, the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant asked the question, “What does it take for justice to be truly real?” Like many philosophers, Kant had observed that justice does not always prevail in this world. So Kant surmised that for justice to be real, there must be life after death where true justice is meted out.

Kant went on to reason that for that justice to be perfect, there would have to be a perfect judge, one who knew all the facts of every case, so that nothing would escape his scrutiny. Further, that judge must be righteous because if the judge were corrupt, justice may not be done.

However, according to Kant, that is still not enough to have true justice. The all-knowing and righteous judge must also be all-powerful so that no force can oppose the carrying out of his ruling in order for him to ensure that justice is done.

Although Kant’s religious views were ambiguous, he paints the picture of a judgment which takes place at the end of the world in which an omniscient, omnipotent, righteous, and perfect judge examines the deeds of every person and ensures that justice is done. Without knowing it, Kant perfectly described the subject of today’s message — the Great White Throne Judgment.

Today, we want to ask three simple questions about this very important future event.

1. Where is the throne? John, the writer of Revelation, says, “I saw a great white throne.” Of course, some things in the book of Revelation are symbolic. However, this throne is not. John describes it in plain, unambiguous language — it is a great, white throne. The greatness of the throne symbolizes kingly power and authority. The whiteness of the throne symbolizes purity and righteousness. The throne is meant to be the seat of a powerful being who will pass judgment on millions of people.

But, where is this throne? Where will the Great White Throne Judgment take place? Well, to answer that question, we must look, first at when this judgment takes place. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states that the events described in our passage “clearly follow the thousand years of verses 1- 6.” So, the Great White Throne Judgment takes place at the very end of time and human history and before the beginning of the new eternal age in which God will bring into creation a New Heaven and a New Earth.

The authors of the Bible Knowledge Commentary go on to state, “it apparently is located neither in heaven nor earth but in space, as suggested by the statement, ‘from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.'” Second Peter 3:10 reveals to us that at the end of time, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” In fact, the opening statement of Revelation 21 inform us that “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

Thus, this Great White Throne Judgment takes place after this present world has been destroyed because it is no longer necessary as the dead of all ages will be resurrected and taken to meet God.

2. Who sits on the throne? In verse 11, John refers to “him who sat on [the throne]” without clearly stating who sits on the throne. However, if we compare Scripture with Scripture, we come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ will sit on the great white throne and judge the millions who will stand trial.

In John 5:22, Jesus Christ said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” Yes, the same Jesus, who died on the cross to save us from eternal punishment for sin, will sit in judgment of those who have condemned themselves to Hell by refusing to believe on Him for their salvation.

In Romans 14:11, we find these words, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Philippians 2:10-11 also says, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

As the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary points out, Jesus Christ will be sitting in judgment as the representative of God. Jesus’ “reign is with a view to prepare the kingdom for the Father’s acceptance. When He has done that, He shall give it up to the Father, [as the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:28,] ‘that God may be all in all.’” When Jesus finishes His me-di-a-tor-ial work as judge — ‘me-di-a-tor-ial’ refers to Jesus’ position as a mediator between God and man — God the Father will come into direct communion with His creatures for the first time since the Fall.

Everyone who appears before the Great White Throne will bow to Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of the universe. Of course, all Christians will have already bowed to Christ willingly. So, this judgment is for those who refused to bow to Christ while they were alive. Every God-hater, every agnostic, every atheist, every humanist, every person who worshipped some other god, will bow before Christ and confess that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

3. What is the purpose of the throne? In verse 12, John states, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God.” That is the simple purpose of the Great White Throne Judgment — for all the dead to stand before God.

Who are these dead? These dead are the millions of unsaved folk who are dead and lay buried in the earth or in the sea. Yes, even those who had their bodies cremated will, by the power of God, be resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne. Those who thought they could escape this life by committing suicide will be brought to stand before God. Those terrorists, who are driven by the devil to strap bombs to themselves, walk into public places, blow themselves up and take as many people as they can with them, will be at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Right now, Google executive Ray Kurzweil is on a mission to cheat death. He is 65-years-old and takes 150 vitamins a day. He is investing in biotechnology and nanotechnology that he believes will allow humans to eradicate the effects of viruses and diseases within the body and effectively, in his words, “reprogram biology.” I have news for Mr. Kurzweil. He can take all the vitamins he wants. He can inject himself with all kinds of technology to regulate how his body acts. But, one day, he will die and he will have to face God.

Notice how John says he saw “small and great” at the Great White Throne Judgment. Rich people and poor people will be there, presidents and ordinary citizens will be there, the well-educated and the ignorant will be there, the famous and the unknown will be there. People of every race, ethnicity, language, and belief system will be there. The only common denominator among this vast throng of diverse people will be that they did not accept Christ as their Savior while they lived, and they died in their sins.

From other Scriptures, we know that all of the righteous dead, including Old Testament saints, the believers of the Great Tribulation, and the believers of the church age, were raised in the “first resurrection.” This second resurrection is only for those who did not accept Christ. And the purpose of their appearance at the Great White Throne Judgment is for them to be sentenced for their sins.

At this judgment, John tells us that “the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” The text does not clearly state what these books contain, but the first opened books likely refer to a record of human works. Of course, the second book — “the book of life” — is the record of those who are saved. Of course, the dead who are raised for this judgment do not have eternal life, and their judgment is based on their own works instead of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Lord willing, we will elaborate on the contents of these books in the next message in this series.

It may indeed seem at times that there is no justice in this world. In the news, we constantly hear about evil groups of people such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and others carrying out heinous crimes against innocent people. We ask, Where is the justice? Where is the fairness? We know that God is a God of justice and fairness. And, just as the philosopher Immanuel Kant theorized, if there will be justice in the world, there must be life after death in which a perfect, righteous, all-knowing, and all-powerful Being will judge every person who ever lived. That is the purpose of the Great White Throne Judgment.


Now, if you are with us today, and you are not ready for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, if you are not certain that if Jesus returned today you would be among those whom He took with Him to Heaven, allow me to share with you how you can trust Jesus Christ for salvation today so that you can be ready for His return.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “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.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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