When The Thousand Years Are Over

20: 7-15

    The Second Coming will also usher in the great final judgment. History will not simply run its course unrestricted, but under the guidance of God, will come to a consummation. His purposes will be fulfilled in the end. Jesus said: For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s Shechinah glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he or she has done (Matthew 16:27). Christ will be the Judge. Yeshua pictured Himself as sitting on a glorious throne and judging all the Gentile nations (Matthew 25:31-33). And it appears the believers will share in the judging. In Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:28-30, Jesus suggests that the twelve disciples will judge the twelve tribes of Isra'el. We are told that believers will sit on thrones and judge the world (First Corinthians 6:2-3; Revelation 3:21 and 20:4).

    All humans will be judged (Matthew 25:32; Second Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27). Rabi Sha'ul warns that we will all stand before God’s judgment seat (see Cc – For We Must All Appear Before the Judgment Seat of Christ). Every secret will be revealed; all that has ever occurred will be evaluated. Some have questioned whether the sins of believers will be included – that it would seem to be unnecessary inasmuch as believers have been justified. But the statements concerning the review of sins are universal. The Bible leads us to believe that the sins of believers will be revealed, though they will, of course, be revealed as pardoned sins. Therefore, in view of the certainty of the Second Coming and the finality of the judgment that will ensue, it is crucial that we follow God and seek His will in our lives.

    The fallen angels will be judged at this time. Peter writes that God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment (Second Peter 2:4). Jude 6 makes an almost identical statement. The holy angels, on the other hand, will participate in the judgment by gathering together all who are to be judged (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Fa - The Parable of the Weeds Explained).

    Those who appear will be judged in terms of their earthly lives. Jesus said that at the resurrection all will come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned (John 5:29). While one might infer from Matthew 25:31-46 that it is the doing of good deeds that makes the difference, Yeshua indicated that some who claim and who even appear to have done good deeds will be told to depart from Him (Matthew 7:21-23).

    The standard on which the evaluation will be made is the acceptance or rejection of the Messiah Himself and His Word. Jesus said: The one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day (John 12:48). Even those who have not explicitly heard the Torah will be judged: All who have sinned outside the framework of the Torah will die outside the framework of the Torah; and all who have sinned within the framework of the Torah will be judged by the Torah (Romans 2:12 CJB).

    Once passed, the judgment will be permanent and irrevocable. The righteous and the ungodly will be sent away to their respective final places. There is no hint that the verdict can be changed. In concluding His teaching about the judgment, Jesus said that those on His left hand will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life (Matthew 25:46).443

    Therefore, there are four climatic events in this section. First, Satan returns to deceive the Gentile nations one last time (20:7-10). Secondly, after they are defeated, they will face the Great White Throne Judgment (20:11-12). Thirdly, then there will be the Second Resurrection (20:13), fourthly, the condemned will face the Second Death (20:14-15). These nine verses introduce the judgment at the end of human history and the beginning of the Eternal State (21:1 to 22:5).444


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