What happens to people who die without ever hearing the gospel message, but who live according to the light of Elohim’s Torah-standards that he he has written in their inner spirit or conscience? Will they have a second chance at salvation? Paul seems to suggest so in Romans 2:12–16 as do several of the other apostolic writers. What about babies who die in the womb, or are aborted, or children who die before the biblical age of accountability? Will they burn for ever in the tormenting fires of hell? If so, then how could a loving Elohim approve of this? Watch this video to discover the surprising answers to these tough questions from the pages of the Bible.
Tag Archives: White Throne Judgment
My Notes on Revelation Chapters 20–22 on the Millennium and Eternity
Revelation 20:1, Bottomless pit. (See notes at Deut 32:22; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 9:1. Also see notes at Isa 14:18–21.)
Revelation 20:4, A thousand years. This is but one of six references in the Bible to the Millennium lasting for one thousand years. The other references are found in the surrounding verses (vv. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7). Even then, some biblical students still question the idea of the Millennium and categorize it as a NT concept only and, therefore, feel they can relegate it to the realm of the allegorical. An understanding of the prophetic implications of the seventh day Sabbath should settle this question once and for all. In traditional Jewish thought, the seven days of creation picture the time man will be on this physical earth. Six days (for six days or six thousand years) man does his own work, while on the seventh day (or one thousand years) he rests and fellowships with Elohim. This is a picture of the millennial rest, which the Jewish sages have long called the Messianic Era, which is yet to come. The Millennium is not uniquely a Christian or NT concept, but is rooted in Judaism going back before the Christian era. For example, the writer of Hebrews juxtaposes the Sabbath and the Millennium in Hebrews chapter seven when he compares Joshua taking the Israelites into the Promised Land with Yeshua taking the saints into the Sabbath, millennial rest of our spiritual inheritance.
Revelation 20:5, The rest of the dead. This phrase is a parenthetical thought. Before and after this phrase, the author is discussing those who will be part of the first resurrection, which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming. Later in the same chapter, John goes on to discuss what happens to the rest of the dead (vv. 12–13).
Revelation 20:7–21:1, Events after the Millennium. The events in these verses appear to be chronological and occur after the Millennium. In Rev 20:2ff John seems to be receiving a pre-millennial flashback vision. (See my discussion on these verses.)
Revelation 20:8, The four corners. These rebels who will inhabit the millennial earth have removed themselves as far as possible from Jerusalem, which is the seat of King Yeshua’s rule and is at the center of the earth.
Revelation 20:9, Fire came down from heaven. If the New Jerusalem, the seat of Yeshua’s millennial government, is hovering over the earthly Jerusalem during the Millennium, then this is the source of the fire or Yeshua’s judgment against the rebels who dare to defy his divine governance.
Revelation 20:10, The devil…lake of fire. (See notes at Deut 32:22; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 9:1.)
Tormented forever.The devil as a spirit either can only be contained, but not destroyed meaning Elohim is not all-powerful, or, more likely, Elohim will allow the devil to exist, though in a place of torment, as an on-going example and testimony to his sovereign greatness and power over evil.Continue reading
A Second Chance for Some of the Unsaved?
1 Peter 4:6, Who are dead. This verse seems to indicate that certain categories of dead and unsaved humans will stand before YHVH’s judgment seat (the white throne judgment of Rev 20:11–15), and will be accepted into his eternal kingdom at some basic level. Perhaps if their hearts showed a willing disposition toward YHVH while they lived, but they hadn’t gone all the way in choosing him for one reason or another, they will be rewarded for the good that they did in their lifetime and will be given an opportunity to accept Yeshua on judgment day.
It is possible that these are the ones Yeshua who declared would be least in his kingdom (Matt 5:19). Was Paul making a reference to this in Romans 2:12–16 when he talks about those Gentiles who sinned without the law, and who will be judged based on whether they lived up to the basic law of Elohim written in their consciences? Will these people, who lived according to the basic tenets of the Torah (e.g. not stealing, lying, committing adultery, murdering, coveting, honoring parents, living according to the golden rule and, in their own way, and adhered to a concept of a Supreme Being before whom they walked in fear without worshiping idols) be given an opportunity on judgment day to make their faith complete by accepting Yeshua’s sacrifice for their sins? Perhaps this explanation would help us to understand Hebrews 12:23, which speaks of the spirits of just men made perfect, as well as the salvation of the thief on the cross.
With regard to the thief on the cross who professed faith in Yeshua, let’s go one step further. Next to this thief was another thief whose heart remained obdurate toward Yeshua. On Golgatha, we have three categories of people, even as Peter describes three categories of people in 1 Peter 4:18: the righteous, the ungodly and sinners. The first category is self-evident. The second category seems to imply those who lived a decent life, but who never professed faith in Yeshua the Messiah, while the latter category were unrepentant and hard-hearted individuals who made no effort to live up to even the most basic standards of right and wrong that was written in their conscience. This verse seems to describe three categories of people on earth, which are the same three categories of people who were crucified on Golgatha: Yeshua the righteous, the repentant and ungodly thief, and the unrepentant second sinful thief.
With regard to those who never came to faith in the God of the Bible, different biblical religions treat these folks differently by pronouncing different fates on them. For example…
- The Roman Catholic Church deals with these folks by consigning them to a non-biblical purgatory where, apparently, they can work out their salvation.
- Rabbinic Judaism consigns these folks to the book of the undecided as opposed to the Book of Life and the Book of the Dead. What happens to those in the middle book, is not clear in my mind, but I assume that they get a second chance.
- The Protestants consign everyone to everlasting torture in hellfire who never accepted Yeshua while alive physically. There is no second chance for them.
- Armstrongism had these folks resurrected at the end of the Millennium where they were given “a hundred year period” to come to faith.
- My theory, on the other hand, is a middle of the road approach where the wholly wicked will be destroyed in the lake of fire, while those who lived faithfully according to whatever light of spiritual truth they had will eventually be given an opportunity to accept Yeshua. This seems to square with Paul’s statements in Romans 2:12–16 and view of YHVH’s Elohim as being a merciful and just Being.
Lot and Sodom’s Liberation—A Severe Warning to Us All!
Genesis 14:14, Three hundred and eighteen trained servants. This was a venerable fighting force for a nomadic chieftain to possess. If each of these soldier-servants had a wife and two children, this would have represented more than 1200 people associated with Abram’s army alone. No doubt Abram’s entourage could have been much larger considering those soldiers who had larger families as well as elderly people.
The size of Abram’s personal community along with his wealth is likely why the sons of Heth referred to Abram as “mighty prince [Heb. nasiy meaning “one lifted up, chief, captain or leader”]” (Gen 23:6). This would have been true especially in consideration of the fact that Abram’s personal army probably marched about four hundred miles round trip to defeat the six Babylonian kings in his rescue of Lot (Gen 14:14–16). This was a tremendous feat for a local chieftain-warlord to accomplish. This accomplishment likely made Abram into a legend among the local Canaanites who would have greatly feared and respected him.
Abram’s rescue of Lot and the residents Sodom from the six Babylonian kings brings to remembrance YHVH’s later promise to Israel that he would put the fear of YHVH into the hearts of their enemies and that one Israelite would put a thousand of their enemies to flight and two would put ten thousand to flight (Deut 32:30 cp. Lev 26:8).
This promise is exemplified in the story of Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites by his band of three hundred men—a similar number to that Abram’s army. May YHVH’s servants in our day be walking in such righteousness and holiness before YHVH as to warrant this kind of favor from the Almighty to receive the same blessing when they go up against their enemies!
Not only was the freeing of Lot and the other Sodomites a specular and miraculous feat—a testimony of the power of the Elohim of Abraham, but it was a testimony to these people of Elohim’s grace and mercy in that he rescued the Sodomites despite their wickedness. In spite Elohim’s warnings and grace, they still refused to turn from the wicked ways necessitating Elohim’s later judgment and destruction of that wicked city. The lesson is this. Elohim as a just and righteous judge warns people first by bringing upon them judgments onto repentance before imposing upon them his severe and ultimate judgments unto death. The problem is that most sinners are willingly oblivious to the initial warning signs, which if heeded, would bring them to repentance, thus sparing them Elohim’s ultimate and most severe judgments.
YHVH’s methodologies don’t change; he is the same yesterday, today and forever. He warns people, gives them space to repent before judging them; he is not an unjust judge. Be assured, those wicked rebels who at the end of the millennial age will pass before Elohim’s white throne of judgment and who he will deem worthy to be cast into the lake of fire will have had plenty of warning and time for repentance (Rev 20:11–15). The fiery destruction of Sodom in the Dead Sea Valley, the lowest place on earth, is a prophetic picture of the final lake of fire judgment and should be a lesson to all humanity of what is to come if they fail to submit to Almighty YHVH.
A Second Chance?
1 Peter 4:6, Who are dead. (See also Rom 2:12–16; 1 Cor 5:5; Heb 12:23.) This verse seems to indicate that certain categories of dead and unsaved humans will stand before YHVH’s judgment seat (the white throne judgment of Rev 20:11–15), and will be accepted into his eternal kingdom at some basic level.
Perhaps if their hearts showed a willing disposition toward YHVH while they lived, but they didn’t go all the way in choosing him for one reason or another, they will be rewarded for the good that they did in their lifetime and will be given an opportunity to accept Yeshua on judgment day. Perhaps these are the ones Yeshua declared would be least in his kingdom (Matt 5:19).
Was Paul making reference to this in Romans 2:12–16 when he talks about those Gentiles who sinned without the law, and who will be judged based on whether they lived up to the basic law of Elohim written in their consciences?
Will these people, who lived according to the basic tenets of the Torah (e.g. not stealing, lying, committing adultery, murdering, coveting, honoring parents, and, in their own way, and adhered to a concept of a Supreme Being before whom they walked in fear without worshiping idols) be given an opportunity on judgment day to make their faith complete by accepting Yeshua’s sacrifice for their sins?
Perhaps this explanation would help us to understand Hebrews 12:23, which speaks of the spirits of just men made perfect, as well as the salvation of the thief on the cross.