foundation truth

Lesson 39 - eternal judgment

The Bible teaches us that mankind is on a period of probation during their time on earth. During our lifetime, records are being kept of our deeds. I Timothy 4:1; Romans 14:10-12; Matthew 12:36, 37 We will be eternally rewarded for our deeds, whether good or bad. It is during this lifetime that God’s grace is extended to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those accepting Jesus as Lord of their lives experience a change of heart or of character. Character, what you are, determines your deeds and your destiny. Your deeds will determine your final reward.

WHAT ARE THE DISPENSATIONS OF TIME?

There are seven dispensations in Scripture which are represented by seven major covenants that God makes with mankind. These dispensations also relate to the week of creation.

  • Innocence – The Edenic Covenant Genesis 1:26-29; 2:15-25
  • Conscience – The Adamic Covenant Genesis 3:16-21; Romans 2:14-15
  • Human Government – The Noahic Covenant Genesis 9:1-17
  • Patriarchal – The Abrahamic Covenant Genesis 12:1-3
  • Law – The Mosaic Covenant Exodus 19:5-8, 20:1-17
  • Grace – The New Covenant Matthew 26:26-29
  • Kingdom – The Everlasting Covenant Hebrews 6:1-2; Revelation 21:1-8

HOW WILL THE DEAD BE JUDGED?

Before there can be a judgment, there must be a resurrection. In both the Old and the New Testaments, we have examples of the dead being resurrected.

  • Elijah raises the widow’s son from the dead. I Kings 17:20-23
  • Elisha raises the Shunammite’s son from the dead. II Kings 4:32-36
  • Elisha’s bones resurrect a dead man. II Kings 13:30, 21
  • Jesus raises the ruler’s daughter from the dead. Matthew 9:18-25
  • Jesus raises the widow’s son from the dead. Luke 7:12-15
  • Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. John 11:39-44
  • Peter raises Dorcas from the dead. Acts 9:36-41
  • Paul raises Eutychus from the dead. Acts 20:9-12

The Gospels spend more time telling of the resurrection of Jesus

Christ than any other part of Jesus’ life, because if Jesus is not alive, then our faith is in vain. I Corinthians 15:12-19

WHAT IS THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS?

Christ is the first fruits of this resurrection. I Corinthians 15:20

The Old Testament saints are evidence of this resurrection. Matthew 27:52-53

Those who are in Christ (whether dead or still alive) will be the next to be resurrected. I Thessalonians 4:13-17; I Corinthians 15:51-55

Note: Resurrection is not reconstruction! We will receive new bodies! This resurrection is called:

  • The first resurrection. Revelation 20:4-6
  • The better resurrection. Hebrews 11:35
  • The resurrection of life. John 5:29
  • The resurrection of the just. Luke 14:14
  • The awakening to everlasting life. Daniel 12:2

At the resurrection of the righteous, we will proceed to the judgment seat of Christ. This is not a judgment for sins but of righteous works. It is here that the righteous will receive their rewards. II Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-12; Revelation 22:12

WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF THE RIGHTEOUS?

  • An imperishable crown – I Corinthians 9:25
  • Crown of rejoicing – I Thessalonians 2:19
  • Crown of righteousness – II Timothy 4:8
  • Crown of Life – James 1:12
  • Crown of glory – I Peter 5:4

After the rewards are received, the righteous will return to rule and reign with Christ for one thousand years. Revelation 20:6

WHAT IS THE RESURRECTION OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS?

It is called the “White Throne Judgment” where everyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life is judged for his wicked works. Revelation 20:11-15 This resurrection will be at the end of the millennial reign and is called:

  • The second resurrection. Revelation 20:5, 7, 11, 12
  • The resurrection of the unjust. Acts 24:15
  • The resurrection of damnation. John 5:29
  • The awakening to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2

WHAT IS THE REWARD OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS?

  • The wages of unrighteousness – II Peter 2:10-13
  • The Lake of Fire – Revelation 20:13; Matthew 25:41
  • Wailing and gnashing of teeth – Matthew 13:42

WHAT IS THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS?

Heaven is the eternal dwelling of the righteous.

  • Heaven is an actual place. Genesis 2:1-4
  • Heaven is God’s home. II Chronicles 6:33, 39
  • There are three heavens. II Corinthians 12:2
    • The first heaven is the atmosphere. Genesis 1:8
    • The second heaven is the stratosphere. John 2:30-31; Hebrews 12:26
    • The third heaven is the throne of God. Hebrews 12:25

WHAT WILL BECOME OF THESE PRESENT HEAVENS?

  • There will be a new heaven and a new earth. I Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1
  • There will be a new capital city. Revelation 21:2, 10-27
  • God’s throne will be there. Revelation 22:1
  • The river of life will be there. Revelation 22:1
  • The tree of life will be there. Revelation 22:2

WHAT WILL NOT BE IN HEAVEN?

  • No devil – Revelation 20:10
  • No sea – Revelation 21:1
    No sin – Revelation 21:8, 27
  • No tears – Revelation 21:4
    No sorrow – Revelation 21:4
  • No temple – Revelation 21:22
    No sun – Revelation 21:23
  • No night – Revelation 21:25
    No sickness – Revelation 22:2
  • No curse – Revelation 22:3

WHAT IS THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS?

Hell is the eternal dwelling of the unrighteous.

  • Hell is an actual dwelling place. Matthew 5:22, 29, 30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15
  • Hell was not made for mankind. Matthew 25:41
  • Hell is divided into three sections.
    • Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek) – the place of departed spirits. Matthew 11:23, 16:18
    • Tartarus – a prison for sinning angels. II Peter 2:4; Jude 6
    • Abyss the deep or the bottomless pit. Revelation 9:1-2, 20:1-3, 7; Romans 10:7; Luke 8:31

WHAT WILL BECOME OF THESE PRESENT PRISONS?

They will be cast into the final hell, Gehenna. Revelation 20:14 Gehenna is described as a lake of fire and brimstone. Reve!ation 20:10

WHO WILL BE IN HELL?

  • The antichrist and the false prophet will be the first to descend there. Revelation 19:20; 20:10
  • The devil will be next to be cast into this lake of fire.
  • The fallen angels will be cast into hell. Jude 6
  • The demon spirits will be cast into hell. Luke 8:28-31; Matthew 8:29
  • The unrighteous will be cast into hell. Revelation 20:15

WHAT WILL CHARACTERIZE HELL?

  • Groaning – Matthew 13:42, 50
  • Torment – Revelation 14:9-10
  • Smoke
  • Unending – Revelation 14:11; Matthew 25:41, 46
  • Darkness – Jude 13
  • Curses – Matthew 25:41

Jesus spoke more about this terrible place than anyone else. The main reason that Jesus came to earth was to save us from this awful place. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord let us persuade people to escape the coming wrath of God. II Corinthians 5:11; Colossians 3:5-6; I Thessalonians 1:10

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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton

Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry. 

He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.

Dale Yerton