Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 20
John continues his description of Godís great court, at the end of the world.
Johnís word for the people there simply means Ďthe deadí. He did not use that word for Godís people who had died in Revelation 6:9 and Revelation 20:4. Instead John writes that he saw the Ďsoulsí of Godís people. The soul means the real life of the person. Godís people were living even after their bodies had died. However, the people at this court were dead, although they were completely aware of their situation. They even stood, to give honour to God as their judge.
Human judges often allow rich or important people to impress them. Godís standards, however are perfect. He is the judge of all people. Nobody will ever persuade him to make a judgement that is not right and proper.
The evidence in Godís court is the records of each personís deeds. These records are in the books that God examines in order to make his decision about each person. He knows the wrong and evil deeds of which people are guilty. He knows their words, their thoughts and their attitudes. People can hide nothing from him; he knows every secret.
If that were the end of the process of Godís judgement, there would be no hope for anyone. All people are guilty of wrong and evil deeds (Romans 3:9-18). Nobody satisfies Godís perfect standards (Romans 3:23). However, God has another book: the book of life, in which are the names of all his people.
Nobody can become one of Godís people by that personís own efforts. However, because of Godís great kindness, people who trust God become his people. This happens because Christ died to save them. They have turned from their evil deeds and they have invited God into their lives. So, they will live always with God in the New Jerusalem.
Next part: Three prisons: the sea, the grave, and hell (Revelation 20:13)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.