Who Are Those Judged At the Second Advent?

Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

The prophecies concerning the Second Advent of Christ to earth at the end of the Tribulation contain some very sobering details. For the Tribulation saints who did not suffer martyrdom, it will be deliverance. For every unbeliever on earth it means eternal doom.

The Bible speaks of seven distinct groups who will be judged before Christ sets up His kingdom.

1. The Antagonists of Believers: 2 Thess. 2:1-7

Paul gives persecuted believers in the church age and especially during the Tribulation the comforting prospect that their persecutors will at last be destroyed. “And to you who are troubled rest with us. When the Lord will be revealed from heaven . . . in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God . . . who will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

2. The Armies at Armageddon: Rev. 19:15, 21

Even as Christ returns with His bride from heaven (Rev. 19: 11, 14), the armies fighting at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16) and around Jerusalem (Zach. 12:1-2) will cease their carnage and direct their weapons against Christ and the saints (Rev. 19:19). With a sharp sword proceeding out of His mouth—most probably a word of judgment—He will destroy the armies of the world. An angel will invite the fowls of the air to consume the corpses strewn over Israel.

3. Antichrist and the False Prophet: Rev. 19:20

As Christ descends to the Mount of Olives and crosses the Kidron Valley to enter Jerusalem, He and His saints will encounter a scene of unprecedented carnage and destruction. Jerusalem will have been destroyed for its final time (Zech. 14:2). Millions of corpses are strewn about. The only two individuals left alive are the Antichrist and his False Prophet: “The beast was taken and with him the false prophet . . . these were both cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20). Not until 1000 years later will they be joined by those judged at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:15).

4. The Apostates and False Teachers: 2 Pet. 2:1-9, Jude 15

Religious leaders who made a mere profession of religion during the church age but then turned from that profession and became false teachers will, of course, remain behind at the rapture, it is because the Lord has reserved ”the unjust unto the day of judgment” (2 Pet. 2:9). They are that special group who deny the Lord bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction (2 Pet. 2:1). Religious teachers carry a sobering responsibility and if they apostatize, will receive the greater condemnation (Js. 3:1).

5. The Accursed of Israel: Ez. 20:33-38

Obedient Jews during the Tribulation will have a divinely prepared refuge east of Israel, in the mountains of Ammon, Moab and Edom (Mat. 24:16: Dan. 11:41). Soon after Christ returns He will bring them from their refuge and from the nations among whom the rest were scattered (Ez. 20:33-38). The scene of judgment may well be the valley just west of their refuge, Wadi Araba, extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, approximately 120 miles long and 10 miles wide. God, speaking through Ezekiel says, “And I will cause to pass under the rod. . . and I will purge out from among them the rebels (Ez. 20:37-38). It appears that one-third of Israel will emerge as a redeemed remnant from this judgment (Zech. 13:8).

6. The Abominable Among the Gentiles: Mat. 25:31-46

The gentiles will likewise be judged soon after Christ’s return. As He is seated on the Throne of David in Jerusalem, He will gather all the gentiles of the earth into a valley nearby, identified as the “valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:2, 12). There He will separate believers from unbelievers. “And before him shall be gathered all nations (literally, gentiles) and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats” (Mat. 25:31). The goats, or unbelievers, will be told. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat. 25:41). How sad that though hell was never created for man, but rather, God provided a Redeemer, countless numbers of gentiles who refuse to acknowledge their sin and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, will be doomed to the Lake of Fire!

7. The Arch-enemy Satan and His Host: Rev. 20:1-3

At the Second Advent Satan will be bound by an angel and placed into a deep pit for the next 1000 years. Presumably, all the fallen angels will join him in that place of confinement as well (Zech. 13:2). After the thousand years Satan and his demons will be released for a little season. Their totally futile attack against Christ and His Bride in Jerusalem will result in the attackers’ destruction by fire and ultimate confinement to the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:9, 15).

It becomes clear from the above that not a single unregenerate individual will enter the Kingdom. When Christ returns to earth the Judge of the universe will remove every sinner from earth. As King He will then inaugurate His glorious Kingdom.

© Manfred E Kober

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