Are non- believers judged for their sins at the Great White Throne or are they only judged for the sin of unbelief? Are there scriptural references that answer this question? Does Revelation 20:12-13 answer that question? Does Les Feldick’s statement answer that question on pages 56 and 57 of his questions and answers from the Bible book?
We are attending Bible studies with C.C. and he is in disagreement with the Berean Bible Society over the issue of whether those who die in unbelief are judged for their sins or judged only for their unbelief (Berean Searchlight April and May issues). Ricky Kurth at BBS thinks this teaching is suspect because it leans toward universalism. C.C. is stressing this issue and we are unsure why it is so important or why there is disagreement among people who rightly divide the Bible.
One passage C.C. uses is II Corinthians 5:18-19 which seems to say the world is reconciled to God, all sin has been forgiven and it is our ministry to tell this to the world. It also seems to say that none of the sins of unbelievers will be brought up again. C.C. says ‘sin is off the table.’
We will continue to study with C.C. but we are interested in your view on this matter. And we would be very interested to see Richard Jordan do a TV presentation on it, or if he has already addressed this issue, which program is it?
II Corinthians 5:16-21 explains what is true presently in the age of grace. Today God in not imputing their trespasses unto them. He is holding back his wrath and dispensing grace. But we also know that will not last forever, II Thessalonians 2:5-12. When God withdraws his grace, by taking away the Body of Christ, he will send “strong delusion” “that all might be damned who believed not the truth,” “who loved not the truths that they might be saved.” Not being saved they will fall under his wrath, damnation and judgment. According to II Corinthians 5:18,19 the ministry and word for today is “reconciliation.” It is the offer of reconciliation. That is why II Corinthians 5:20,21 is God’s message through his ambassadors to the world – “be ye reconciled to God.” Reconciliation is made possible by the cross. The world is not reconciled to God, but is offered reconciliation on his part. When it is not accepted they will suffer the consequence of facing a Holy Just God without Christ, without salvation, with no reconciliation possible.
The scriptures make it clear that only the Believer is “redeemed” (freed from sin) and “justified” (declared righteous by God) and therefore “forgiven” – Acts 13:38,39; Acts 26:18 (forgiveness is received by believing the gospel); Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14.
Remember, those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost “hath never forgiveness” (Mark 3:29) and those who will not believe in Jesus Christ “shall die in their sins” (John 8:24) because they remain in sin and under sin (Romans 3:9).
Only the Believer is “Justified” – meaning “declared righteous by God” – Romans 3:22,26; 4:22-25; Galatians 2:16.
If a person is not declared righteous, he is unrighteous. The “unrighteous” are said to be: “fornications, Idolaters, Adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind” – I Corinthians 6:19. They are identified with their sins. “All unrighteousness is sin” says I John 5:17. And that is the beginning of preaching the gospel. A person needs to believe they are a sinner who needs to be saved from their sins.
God’s wrath is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness -Romans 1:18; 2:8,9; 3:5. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) and those who do not receive the gift of God will receive the just reward for their deeds – II Peter 2:13. Jesus Christ will execute judgment upon all their ungodly deeds and speeches of ungodly sinners – Jude 15. In I John 1:9 Israel had to confess their sins and if (and only if) they did, God would be faithful and just to forgive their sins and cleanse them form all unrighteousness. So those who did not, were not forgiven nor cleansed from unrighteousness. The same is true for us in the age of grace. Only the Believer is justified and therefore declared righteous. The Believer is saved from sin and its penalty. The unbeliever is not. He is not saved from the penalty of his sins – Romans 2:8,9; 5:6-9; 12:19; I Timothy 1:15.
Hell and the Lake of Fire is the punishment for all unrighteous sinful deeds – Matthew 25:46; II Thessalonians 1:9; Ephesians 5:5,6; II Peter 2:9. That is why in the great white throne judgment the “books” recording the “works” of those who are not in “the book of life” will be judged and damned with degrees of punishment for their works – sinful deeds: Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 23:14; John 5:29; Romans 3:8; II Peter 2:3.