Revelation 20:12-15, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death, and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (NASV)
This passage describes the great white throne scene (v. 11) in which Jesus judges the world when they are on trial during the Millennial Age. During the one thousand years (2 Peter 3:8) Satan and his forces will not have influence (Revelation 20:2). The Old and New Testaments (the books) will be used to explain the divine message to the earth’s inhabitants. Verse 13 talks about the resurrection of all who have died, the first being Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:18). Isaiah 26:19 & 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 corroborate that the dead will live. All of mankind, both those living at that time and those who were dead and resurrected, will have a chance to fully understand and practice God’s righteousness. Isa. 26:9 says, “When the earth experiences Thy judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” Matthew 22:37-39 tells what the Heavenly Father will expect of mankind.
Verse 14 and Isaiah 25:8 cite that death will be done away with. Revelation 21:4 states this perfectly, “and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Revelation 3:5 illustrates the principle that those who overcome will not have their name erased from the book of life. Revelation 20:3, 7 states that after the one thousand years of no Satanic influence, Satan will be released for a short time. This will give mankind the opportunity to practice the righteousness and love that they learned. Those who choose not to follow the Divine standards of righteousness and love (whose names are not found in the book of life) will be thrown into the lake of fire as is Satan (Revelation 20:10, 15).
What a beautiful plan God has laid out for mankind. “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). God’s Kingdom will be established here on earth (remember the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13?). According to His promise in 2 Peter 3:13, there will be a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.