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THE WICKED STANDING BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Tuesday Evening, August 16, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"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" (Revelation 20:12).


The Bible teaches that there will be a final judgment of the unsaved dead. All of the unconverted dead will stand before the Great White Throne at the Last Judgment. The Book of Life will be opened, to show that their names do not appear there because they were never saved. Then "the books" will be opened, and the unsaved will be "judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

No truth in the Bible is clearer than this - you will stand before the Great White Throne at the Last Judgment, if you remain in an unconverted state. No unsaved human being will escape that judgment. All will be there, the rich, the poor, the wise, the ignorant, the prosperous and the poor. The dead, small and great, must all stand before the Throne of God. This will be the universal judgment of the unsaved dead. John, in his vision, said so.

"I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God"
     (Revelation 20:12).

At that great judgment the exact account of your sins will be revealed.

"And the books were opened…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

Dr. John R. Rice said,

The past tense is used because…John is telling us of a vision which he has already seen. But the vision is a revelation of the future. This is God's warning of the judgment yet to come when…lost sinners will be dragged out of Hell to face Jesus Christ, when God's record books will be opened, when sinners will receive their wages. Sinners already condemned, already in Hell, will be called out, not to see whether they are lost, but rather to publicly confess their sins and publicly have sentence passed upon them before the assembled beings of all the universe of God! This is the last judgment of the unsaved dead (John R. Rice, D.D., Litt.D., When Skeletons Come Out of Their Closets, Sword of the Lord, 1961 reprint, p. 12).

"And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

These books contain an exact record of all the sins you have ever committed, in thought, word or deed. The words are plain and striking,

"the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

Every lost sinner will give an account to God. Every sinful word which you spoke, every sinful thought, every sinful act, will be brought out in the open at the Last Judgment. There is nothing hidden that shall not be made known. The Lord will reveal the hidden things of darkness and the hidden counsels of your heart.

I. First, your open, public sins will be made even more public.

Sins that were only known by a few people on earth will now be read openly from "the books" before the vast assembly of every creature in earth and Heaven.

The worldly person whose life was spent on making money, who despised eternal riches, will have these sins read out from God's books. His base, shriveled, groveling soul will be seen in all its deformity by the vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

The thoughtless person, who was concerned only with his clothing, foolish talk, and worldly popularity, who wasted his time in church and neglected the salvation of his soul, and refused to think seriously about his sins and disregarded eternal things, will be seen as the vain and twisted person that he was by that vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

The person who scoffed at the warnings of God, who did not take Hell and damnation seriously, who ridiculed and looked down on those who came under conviction, will be shown as the fool he was before that vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

Here also will be revealed the character of the person who came to church but had his mind on other things, sleeping, thinking sinful thoughts, disregarding the sermons and the prayers, who week after week came to church without thinking of God's wrath or Christ's mercy, who month after month turned his back on the broken body of Jesus, and rejected the blessing of His Blood.

"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"
     (Revelation 20:12).

II. Second, your secret sins will be revealed.

At the Last Judgment, every disguise will be stripped away. Then your secret sins will be openly read out of the books. The pornography, the licentiousness, the filthiness, will all be brought out in the open.

The person who excused himself and tried to conceal his hostility to the gospel - the person who tried to hide his pride, his selfishness, his worldly-mindedness, his evil passions - with an outward appearance of morality - will be clearly exposed before the vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

The person who seemed so godly on Sunday, but had no inner communion with God, will be exposed. The ungrateful young person who neglected and scorned the Christianity of his parents will be seen as the ungrateful wretch that he is. These sins, though known to very few on earth, will be revealed openly at the Last Judgment. Every mask will be torn off. Every concealment will be brought to light before the vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

"And the books were opened…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12).

III. Third, your inward sins will be revealed.

The counsel of the heart, with all its crimes and corruptions, will be revealed from God's books. Christ pronounces the lustful look adultery, and anger and hatred murder. How will your wicked heart appear at that day, with all its pride, anger, lust and malice brought to light? Horrible as the sight will be, it will all be brought forth to the vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

But that isn't all. The times that you have heard of salvation, atonement through the Saviour's death and His redeeming Blood, will all be remembered. The countless times that you were told to come to Jesus, the countless times that you were told that His Blood would blot those sins out of the books, will be recalled. The sermons, the counselling, the prayers, the warnings, the invitations to come to Jesus, the Blood Christ offered to cleanse your sins from those books, the rejection of Jesus, the trampling underfoot of the Son of God, the rejection of His Blood as a common thing - this is also recorded in the books! The amount of crimes, the millions of sins, swell to an awful amount, yet all will be brought forth before the vast assembly standing before the throne of God.

Are you willing to stand before that throne of judgment with such a record of sins in God's books? Are you willing to remain among those to whom it will be said,

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire"?
     (Matthew 25:41).

(END OF SERMON)
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THE OUTLINE OF

THE WICKED STANDING BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"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" (Revelation 20:12).

      I.   Your open, public sins will be made even more public.

      II.  Your secret sins will be revealed.

      III. Your inward sins will be revealed.