An Eternal Encounter
Encounters with Christ – Message 10
September 5, 2021
I. Introduction: Today, I will conclude the series, Encounters with Christ.
A. The title of this message and my focus will be, An Eternal Encounter.
- The book of Revelation reveals what will happen at the end times (the End of the Age), when each of us will be judged.
- Theme verse: Revelation 20:12 (NLT)—I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. …
- Each of us will have an encounter with Jesus, our judge, who will determine our destiny.
II. An encounter with Jesus in eternity will include… (Revelation 20:11-21:7)
A. #1 - Enduring judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15. C/R: Daniel 7:9-10; 12:1-4; John 5:25-29; Romans 2:5-8,16)
- John describes the final judgment in which all of humanity stands before God’s throne to receive His justice.
- Revelation 20:11a (NLT)—And I saw a great white throne [color reflects the purity, wisdom and truth of God’s judgment; Revelation 4:2] and the One sitting on it [Ancient One; Daniel 7:9), which refers to the Trinity, the Godhead, and includes Christ, who has been given the authority to judge (Matthew 25:31-32; John 5:22-23).
- Revelation 20:11b (NLT)—The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide.
- The first heaven and earth, which we now occupy, has been corrupted by sin since the Fall, will be removed and replaced (Genesis 3:17-19; Haggai 2:6; Hebrews 12:26–28; Revelation 6:12–14; 16:18–21; 21:1).
- Revelation 20:12a (NLT)—I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne.
- Believers and unbelievers will be included; both will have their lives evaluated by the perfect judge. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28–30; Acts 24:15; Revelation 11:18; 13:16; 19:5,18)
- Some theologians think there will be two different judgments—one for believers and one for unbelievers separated by 1000 years; others say there is a third judgment that comes first found at Matthew 25:31-32 that will separate sheep (believers) and goats (unbelievers).
- This passage indicates Christians and non-Christians are judged before the white throne.
- Revelation 20:12b (NLT)—And the books [Daniel 7:10] were opened, including the Book of Life [Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8]. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.
- The books (plural; Daniel 7:10), records of our deeds, including words, thoughts, actions and attitudes, provide the evidence on which each of us is judged (Romans 2:6–11).
- The Book of Life (also, the Lamb’s Book of Life; Revelation 3:5) lists the names of all true believers, every saved person who has been redeemed by Christ’s blood (Revelation 21:27)
- The names were written down before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8;17:8).
- Once a name is written, it can never be erased, so you needn’t fear that you can lose your salvation—all of your sins have been atoned for! (John 10:28-30)
Revelation 20:13 (NLT)—The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave [lit., Greek Hades] gave up their dead. [All people will return to bodily existence to be judged.] And all were judged according to their deeds.
- Unbelievers will be condemned for their sins—and their rejection of Jesus. (John 12:48)
- Believers, whose names appear in the Book of Life, will be spared, but their lives will also be examined for how they lived as redeemed persons in God’s kingdom.
- The recorded deeds of believers give evidence of their trust in Christ and are the basis for determining their rewards (Romans 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 22:12).
- 1 Corinthians 3:13–15 (NLT)—13But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
- APP.: How are you using the life—the time and resources—Jesus has given you?
- Revelation 20:14-15 (NLT)—14Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. [physical death is the first, this second death refers to permanent, inescapable, spiritual death; Daniel 12:1-4;
- Revelation 2:11; 20:6; 21:8] 15And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:13; see 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:15; 21:27]
- Death, which began with the Fall into sin (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12), will be destroyed when Christ returns and resurrects believers to eternal life, never to die again, thus destroying the last enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26) and leading to the renewal of all of creation!
- APP.: Is your name in the Book of Life? Are you living your life with eternity in view?
An encounter with Jesus in eternity will include…
#2 - Experiencing a new environment. (Revelation 21:1-2. C/R: Psalm 102:25-26; Isaiah 65:17; Hebrews 12:22-23; 2 Peter 3:10-13)
- Revelation 21:1a (NLT)—Then I saw a new heaven [physical sky and space] and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. …
- The removal of the first heaven and earth, which was cursed by God (Genesis 3:16-19; Romans 8:20-21), eliminates evil, sin, suffering and death (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:10–13).
- Scholars differ on whether the old heaven and the old earth will be totally destroyed and replaced with an entirely new creation or “renewed” like the transformation (glorification) of believer’s resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-54; Philippians 3:21).
- The new heavens and earth will be eternal, perfect, pure, a place where no evil, no aging, no degradation, exists; a world filled with God’s righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13)
- I think it will be similar to our current earth, but without the curse of sin; it will be earth as God originally intended it to be—Eden restored.
- Revelation 21:1b (NLT)—And the sea was also gone. [Does not mean there will be no bodies of water in the new earth; it means the source of earthly rebellion, chaos, and danger—the sea from which the beast emerged (Revelation 13:1; Daniel 7:3) will be removed.]
- Revelation 21:2 (NLT)—And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem [Hebrews 12:22–24; Revelation 21:10-27 refers to streets of gold and gates of pearl], coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
- The church, composed of all believers, who will reside in the New Jerusalem, are portrayed as the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-33; wedding feast: Revelation 19:6-9).
- APP.: Does that sound like a place you want to be?
An encounter with Jesus in eternity will include…
C. #3 - Existing in God’s presence. (Revelation 21:3-7. C/R: Psalm 16:10-11; John 14:2-3; Romans 8:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
- Revelation 21:3 (NLT)—I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.” [“God with us” Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Zechariah 2:10]
- In heaven, we will be in constant contact with God Himself, He will remain with us.
- No more inability to hear God or feeling He is far away, that we’re separated from Him.
- Revelation 21:4 (NLT)—“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
- God He will reverse the curse that entered the world through human sin, bringing sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness, grief, sorrow and death (Genesis 3:14–18; 25:8; 65:19-20; Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 7:17).
- Revelation 21:5 (NLT)—And the One sitting on the throne [God Himself] said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” [Several family members heard this response in prayer.]
- Write this down was instruction to John to record the truths contained in verses 1–4: the new heaven and earth, new Jerusalem, presence of God, no sorrow, pain or death.
- Revelation 21:6a (NLT)—And He also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega [first and last Greek letters]—the Beginning and the End.” [Revelation 1:8; 22:13]
- God (Father, Son and Spirit) accomplished His purpose, completed the plan of redemption by destroying His enemies and saving His children.
- God is the Alpha and the Omega because existed before creation; He lives outside of time, He contains and controls all of creation—and He will renew all things!
- Revelation 21:6b (NLT)—“To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.” [water of life flowing from throne of God and the Lamb: Revelation 22:1]
- APP.: Does this world leave you thirsty? Unsatisfied? Unfulfilled? Feel like something is missing? Always looking for something that will provide peace, contentment, freedom from guilt and regret? Do you desire righteousness (being right with God)?
- This spiritual thirst can only be satisfied through intimacy with God, which will be incomplete on earth, but will be fully satisfied as you drink from the water of life!
- Jesus offered water of life to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:10-14) and to the people who attended the Festival of Tabernacles (John 7:37-38)—and He offers it to you!
- Revelation 21:7a (NLT)—“All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings,…”
- Victorious? Over what? Over sin leading to death; over self, relying on your efforts instead of casting yourself on the mercy and grace of God! If you are victorious…
- Revelation 21:7b (NLT)—"…and I will be their God, and they will be my children.”
- This eternal adoption results in continual intimacy with God—with all these inherited blessings—as you live constantly in His presence!
- APP.: Is that what you desire? Then take a step!
- Wait! Are we at the End Times? My answer: Live every day as though you are!