This is the throne of judgment before which we all must appear in the last day. It is called “a great white throne“, to set forth the power, holiness, and sovereignty of the One who sits upon it. It is called “great” because it is the throne of the omnipotent God. It is called “white” because it is pure, spotless, righteous, and just. Nothing proceeds from this throne but justice and truth. It is called a “throne” because the Judge who sits upon it, before whom we all must stand, is the holy, sovereign Lord God.
In the last day, when time shall be no more, we all must appear before the august, great, white throne to be judged of God, to be judged according to the strict and exact righteousness and justice of the thrice holy God!
Yet, while the Word of God constantly warns the wicked of the terror of divine judgment and the everlasting wrath of God, the day of judgment is never described as a terror to the believer, or even a thing to be dreaded by us. Rather, for the believer the day of judgment is always set forth as a matter of anticipated joy and glory.
On this earth God’s saints are constantly misjudged. His servants are maligned and slandered by reprobate men. But in that last great day, God almighty will vindicate his people and he will vindicate his servants. This is the thing that encouraged the apostle Paul, when he was slandered and maligned by his false accusers (I Cor. 4:3-5).
I do not dread that day. I look forward to it! And I do so with peace. If, as a believer, a sinner saved by God’s free and sovereign grace, through the sin-atoning blood and imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, you understand what the Bible says about that great day, you will look forward to it, too.
I do not claim to be an expert on prophetic matters. But I do know that there are five things clearly revealed in the Word of God about things to come.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
2. When Christ comes again there will be a great general resurrection of all who have lived upon the earth (John 5:28-29).
3. We must all be judged by God according to the record of our works (2 Cor. 5:10).
4. Those who are found to be perfectly righteous before God shall enter into eternal life and everlasting glory with Christ (Rev. 21:27; 22:11).
5. All who are found to be guilty of sin shall be cast into the lake of fire, where they must suffer the unmitigated wrath of God forever (Rev. 20:14-15).
“BEHOLD, HE COMETH!” Revelation 1:7
Do not concern yourself about the signs of the times and those things which men imagine are indications of the last days. There is very little, if anything, of spiritual value to be gained by studying all the books ever written on prophetic issues. They all have to be rewritten as soon as the predicted events have failed to come to pass. We are never commanded to look for signs of our Lord’s coming. We are commanded to be looking for him to come. Get this one blessed fact fixed in your mind – Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, the Son of God, is coming again!
The Son of God is personally coming again to this earth (Acts 1:9-11). That very same God-man who was born at Bethlehem, who lived as our Representative, and died as our sin-atoning Substitute on the cross, that very same God-man who arose from the dead, ascended up into heaven, and took his seat upon the throne of glory is coming to this earth again (John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:16; 2 Thess. 1:7). Even Job, in the oldest book in the Bible, testified to the fact of Christ’s second advent and drew comforting assurance for himself from it (Job 19:25-27). The Lord Jesus Christ came once in weakness. He is coming again in power. He came once in humiliation. He is coming again in glory. He came once to be despised. He is coming again to be admired. He came once to suffer. He is coming again to conquer and to judge.
The second coming of Christ will be sudden, unannounced, unexpected, and climatic (I Thess. 5:2; Rev. 3:3). The Lord does not tell us to look for the tribulation, or the regathering of Israel, or the rebuilding of a Jewish temple. He tells us to look for him! If you look for signs, and times, and seasons, you will be shocked when Christ comes. The only thing mentioned in the Book of God that will announce the Lord’s coming will be“a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God” (I Thess. 4:16).
No man knows the day or hour of our Lord’s coming; and that is best (Matt. 24:36; Mk. 13:32; Acts 1:7). If we knew the day or hour, we would become irresponsible and negligent with regard to our daily duties. Do not seek to know when Christ is coming. Be content with his promise, and wait for his appearing.
Our Lord Jesus may appear at any moment. “Behold, he cometh!” Look for him upon the tiptoe of faith and expectation. All will be taken by surprise except those who are expecting him to appear. Like those Thessalonians who believed God, we must constantly “wait for his Son from heaven” (I Thess. 1:10). Faith is ever “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13). These are matters of absolute certainty. Christ is coming now. Soon he shall appear. When the Son of God appears, he will bring with him a crown of righteousness, immortality and life for all who love him and look for his appearing (2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12).