At the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the millennium, what books are opened to judge the people? There is the book of life that records if you have accepted Jesus Christ as saviour. If your name is in the Book of Life, then you are granted eternal life. But what if the person’s name is not found there? What if they are not a believer? What are they judged on? We can trace through the Bible how God will judge non-believers: on their intention and motivation behind their actions, their words, and their deeds.
Intention and Motivation
Our thoughts are not hidden from God. Each one is recorded and will be exposed for His judgment. So all those things that occur in our mind that we share with no one – all will be laid bare, uncovered and on display.
1 Corinthians 4:5
So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.
God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
Having exposed motivations, God will move to everything we have said. Our mutterings and whisperings – even those things we’ve said about another driver in the privacy of our car. This is what Lord Jesus said about this judgment.
And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
And lastly, there will be a review and judgment of every act or deed. These will be measured against His law set down for humankind. The reason Jesus came to die was because no human could successfully live within the law. We are born in sin and continue throughout life. Jesus died to pay the debt of our sin. For those who accept His gift of life, our sins are blotted out. God throws them into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again. If they are gone and forgotten we who are believers will enjoy the blessing of not being judged on our sins.
But for non-believers all of their sins remain with them, still recorded in God’s records. Every sin, every violation of His law, every ungodly thing we have ever done will be held up for judgment against His law.
But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done.
And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Paul summarizes the predicament that each person will find themselves in if they have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord. He pulls it all together in one quite descriptive passage.
Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin.
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“They rush to commit murder.
Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace.”
“They have no fear of God at all.”
Think about everything you’ve said and done, and every thought you’ve had. How will you feel to have it all revealed, unmasked, all on view? I think in the presence of the Most Holy it will be overwhelming. There will be no argument. There will be no defense. We are told in Romans 14:11 that “every knee will bend to me [Jesus], and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.”
For the believer, ours sins are removed from us. We will no stand in judgment at the end of the millennium. We will be judged earlier at the Bema Seat. Because of our faith in Him our salvation is not at risk. Our sins will not be remembered so we will not be condemned. Our deeds and actions, words and intentions will be measured for reward based on how faithfully we lived our lives for Christ.
There is the book of life listing all who have accepted the Lord Jesus as Saviour, Lord and Master. Then there are the other books that contain all we have thought, said and done. Our judgment of our actions, words and thoughts will result in rewards and crowns. The non-believers judgment of their actions, words and thoughts will result in condemnation and eternal death in hell.