Will there be degrees of punishment for those sentenced to hell?
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Now here we are at the end of the thousand years reign and rule of Christ and we are at the Great White Throne. It’s up in space somewhere. It’s not on the earth, because the earth has fled away. So now in the resurrection of the unjust, they are brought back bodily because that’s what resurrection denotes. Now, back to Revelation 20. Here the lost stand before the Lord, Who in their case is the Judge, and not the Savior. As Judge, He shows them their record, and there will be degrees of punishment. Jesus made that so plain, when He said to the people of Capernaum in Matthew 11, the following:
“And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, `That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.'” So He makes it very plain that the people of Capernaum would suffer more in their eternal doom, than the horrible people of Sodom.
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“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished…” So there’s coming a day when they’re brought back on the scene to have their day before our Lord to see what degrees of punishment they will receive in the Lake of Fire.
“This is the first resurrection.”
Now this is always confusing, because it’s not talking about the rest of dead in the first part of verse 5, but the ones up in verse 4. They were in the first resurrection which was the resurrection unto life.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: (the believers) on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Now come on down to verse 11.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, (which will be Christ) from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, (the lost who have been down in Hell in torment ever since they died) 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(those spiritually dead who never entered into salvation) were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.(remember a believer will never face second death, because we experience our second death when we identified with Christ when He died on the cross. Remember Paul says, `we are crucified with Christ!’) 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
So these unbelievers will be resurrected out of Hell and given a body that is fit for the Lake of Fire. That sounds horrible doesn’t it? But that’s what the Book says.
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“I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.”
Now those are strong words aren’t they? In other words Paul is saying, “Whoever it is that is bringing in this false teaching, and is leading you away from the Gospel of Grace, his judgment is sure.” He’s going to one day stand before the Great White Throne where only lost people will stand, and he’s going to be judged, absolutely they are. I’ve said for years that preachers and theologians who mislead people are going to have the hottest corner in the lake of fire, because they are misleading multitudes.