“For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” – Luke 9:24

Last week I dug deeper into the theme of “Judgment” than I ever had previously. At some points in my study, I was brought to tears, trudging through stark and vivid biblical portrayals of eternal torment, reminding me that hell-fires are literal confines of lasting punishment and not allegorical imagery spun by folktales and Hollywood mimicry. Christ spoke more of hell than any other subject. The devil and demons will be sent there. Billions of humans will be sent there. It will house eternal fires (Matthew 25:41).

The Last Battle

After the flourish of our current church age has passed and every tongue and tribe been touched, seven years of tribulation will prompt evil reign across earth. When all seems lost and the armies of earth prepare to overtake Jerusalem, Christ will end His period of gracious withholding, and will descend from heaven to step foot atop the Mount of Olives, deftly restoring heavenly order on earth. With one silent whisper, a sword of lightning will proceed from His mouth, and millions of enemies will die without so much as a fight. All the strength of planet earth reduced to simple ash and carcass. The last and famed battle not even a battle but simple annihilation. (Zechariah 14:12-15, Revelation 19:1-19)

The Millennium

For one thousand years Christ will rule planet earth. The saints who were found to be “His” during our lifetime will rule at His side and bid His justice as ordered. Those humans who survived the tribulation will be enabled to repopulate planet earth unto their own joy and Christ’s superior and evident glory. (Revelation 20:1-6)

The Great White Throne

After one thousand years, Satan will be loosed for his final coup and he, along with every earthly follower still insistent on disobedience, will be sent to judgment. The old earth will be destroyed, literally “uncreated” (an impossibility via human physics and done by God alone), and a new heaven and earth will be established without any pain, sorrow, sin, or corrupting force. Yet, between the annihilation of the old earth and the establishment of the new, a judgment will take place. A final court hearing. A trial.

Every man, woman, and child, who has ever lived and not known Jesus, will be subatomically revived to stand before the white purified throne of Jesus Christ. There, each deed they ever committed will be played back for all heavenly and human hosts to observe. And, then each deed will be compared to the perfect sacrifice that was, and is, Jesus Christ.

If each man’s deeds take but only one hour, this judgement will last some five million years. And, as the deeds are specified, Christ will show His nail scarred hands, a once offered tangible pathway between imperfect sinner and His perfect heaven, that had been rejected time and again. Man and woman. Husbands and wives. Entire families. Complete nations. All see their sin. All admitting they rejected His solution. All will forthrightly admit, “I was wrong. You are holy. Let my judgment be so.” And, then they’ll be sent to, “Springs without water and mists driven by storm, for whom black darkness has been reserved…” (Revelation 20:11-15, Mark 9:43, 2 peter 2:17)

Each sinner, facing judgment, will admit their judgment is fair…


Christ’s words, “For whoever wishes to save his life…” should upend our human desires for earthly gain. Do you see the word “wishes?” Please tell me you see that Christ warned it was only a “wish.” The trade-off of earthly  satisfaction as opposed to eternal satisfaction is not even a trade-off at all!

Man may “wish” to save his life here on earth but it WILL NOT happen. He will die. He will be judged. No matter how many riches, how many friends, how much sex or power, he will still remain unsatisfied and still endure judgement. Therefore he is not even jeopardizing eternity for “full” life or “fun” life. In fact, he is choosing to give up eternal joy for “nothing” at all. This life houses nothing but a vanishing greed, an empty dream, a magicians dove. Nothing on earth will satisfy. Thus, we should not trade it for our very soul.

Judgment is very real. Christ’s pathway yet remains. Do not “wish” any longer my beloved friend…

Join Church at the Mission online or in person. The current sermon series is titled “Divergent” and focuses on teaching the truths which separate true Christianity from every other world religion. Vacation Bible School begins in August for children 1 – 6th grade. Further details can be found at http://www.camtustin.org. 


Posted by Anthony Wood

Anthony is Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA, and has authored the books Defining Church & Defining Family. He’s married to Bre, and they have three children.

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