Introduction: What does the Bible say about the last chapters of
human life on this sinful planet? Where does the earthly sanctuary
service point us for the future? What does the Bible say about the
conclusion of what Jesus has done for us as both the sacrificial Lamb
and the High Priest? What is the standard for our final judgment?
Let’s dive into our last study on this topic and find out!

  1. The Sanctuary’s End

    1. Read Hebrews 9:24-28. After Jesus finishes His work in the
      heavenly sanctuary, what will He do? (He will “appear a
      second time,” i.e.,return to earth.)

      1. How does this second coming of Jesus differ from the
        first? (This time He is not bearing our sin for us,
        He is coming to rescue us. He is coming to bring our

      2. Is Jesus bringing salvation for everyone? (No. Just
        those who are waiting for Him.)

    2. Read Revelation 20:11-14. What are we seeing here? Is this
      the sanctuary in heaven? Is the sanctuary descending to
      earth? (Read Matthew 25:31-33. Jesus’ mediation in heaven
      as our High Priest has ended. This is the return to earth
      spoken of in Hebrews 9:28. Jesus, on the judgment seat
      ( John 5:22-23), returns to earth as our King and our
      Judge. The sanctuary in heaven is on the move towards our

      1. Let’s look again at Revelation 20:11-14. Hebrews told
        us that Jesus was coming to bring salvation. This
        does not sound like salvation to me. How do you
        explain this apparent conflict in what Jesus is

      2. Notice that there seem to be several sets of books.
        How many books are there, and how many books are
        devoted to life? (There seem to be two groups of
        books. One group has multiple books. The other has
        only one. Recall last week that we ended our
        discussion with the “wages of sin.” People earn their
        destruction. The deeds of the wicked are recorded in
        the group of multiple books. We don’t know how many.
        However, for the righteous there is just one book –
        not a book of deeds, but simply a book recording
        their names.)

        1. What is destroyed in this final judgment? (Death
          and Hell. There is a final end to death, Hell
          and the wicked.)

    3. Read Revelation 20:15. What type of judgment takes place
      with regard to those whose names are written in the book
      of life? (It appears that the “judgment” for them is
      simply whether or not their name appears.)

      1. How can that be? Why do the righteous simply have
        their names recorded? (The mediation of our High
        Priest in heaven has resulted in our sins being
        covered by Jesus’ blood. His perfect life is our
        perfect life. There is no need to record our deeds
        because our deeds are not the basis for our judgment.
        Only the name is needed for those who have already
        passed from death to life ( 1 John 3:14-15).)

        1. Is it safe to be judged by our deeds? (No. Those
          are the people who are lost!)

    4. The U.S. Supreme Court building is very impressive. In
      pre-terrorist days, I walked up the many broad steps in
      front, through the huge outside columns, and into the
      grand entrance hall. There, I gave my name to a person
      just outside the big, bronze courtroom doors. They would
      confirm my name was on the list of members and I would be
      ushered to sit up front in the presence of the justices.
      No one asked me whether I was a “good enough” lawyer to
      sit in the presence of the Supreme Court. All they looked
      for was my name. This is the closest thing in my
      experience to the Revelation 20:15 admission to heaven.)

    5. An alternate reading of Revelation 20:11-15 is that
      everyone – the lost and the saved – are judged according
      to what they have done. As they are being judged the names
      of the righteous are written in the book of life. Can you
      square that reading with the sanctuary system we have been
      discussing all quarter? When the sinner appeared with the
      lamb at the sanctuary, did the forgiveness of sins depend
      on the relative merits of the person’s deeds? If so, why
      did the lamb get killed as opposed to the person being
      killed or punished? (The question then and now is the
      same: whether you have the Lamb.)

    6. If the “judgment” of the righteous is not based on their
      deeds, but only on whether their names are in the book of
      life, on what basis is your name written? Does that
      involve some sort of judgment? Let’s look at a few texts
      on this.

      1. Read Revelation 3:5 and Revelation 21:27. Do these
        texts suggest that a simple declaration gets our name
        written in the book of life?

      2. Read the words of our Lord in Matthew 25:31-40. What
        happened to just having our names written in the book
        of life? Isn’t this clearly a judgment based on

        1. Where, in the Ten Commandments, are we told
          about anything like this?

      3. Read what Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23. How do you
        explain this text? Jesus says words are not enough
        to have your name written in the book of life, but
        then Jesus says these great works accounted for

      4. Read Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:21-22. Have we not
        gone from bad to worse? Now we not only get judged on
        our works we get judged on our mental process! Is it
        so hard to get our names written in the book of life?

    7. Let’s go back and revisit a point we have studied
      repeatedly this quarter. Read Romans 6:1-4. When, in
      baptism, we died for our sins through Jesus, our name was
      written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    8. Read Romans 6:5-7 and Romans 6:11-18. Friend, let’s see if
      the parts of the puzzle can now fall into place. In the
      sanctuary service, there never was a judgment based on the
      deeds of the sinner. Everything was based on the lamb.
      But, seeing that lamb die must have moved the heart of the
      sinner. How much more should seeing Jesus die for us move
      our hearts! This new attitude is the new self, the old
      self has died. This is why in Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus tells
      us that anger (an attitude), not murder (a work) is the
      new standard for judgment. This is why in Matthew 25:31-36
      Jesus talks about a judgment of the righteous based on
      acts of kindness, not violations of the Ten Commandments.
      This is why in Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says that knowing
      Him, not good deeds, is the key to heaven.

    9. Read Matthew 22:36-40. Does Jesus’ explanation now make
      sense? The wicked face a judgment based on their works
      under the law – their violation of the Ten Commandments.
      Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life based on
      our acceptance of what Jesus has done for us in His works
      of unbelievable love and sacrifice. Our names remain in
      the book of life (see Revelation 3:5 about the possibility
      of having your name blotted out) when we live in this
      attitude of gratitude and love for what Jesus has done for
      us. That transforms our attitude towards others! 1 John
      3:14 tells us this love marks our passage from death to

    10. Can you decide today to start being loving? (No! How could
      you ever grit your teeth and love? This is an impossible

      1. If you think about Jesus, and the love is not
        happening, are you just lost? (Carefully review
        Romans 8:1-17. The Holy Spirit is the key to this
        transformation of our hearts. It is the key to
        keeping our names written in the book of life.)

  2. The New Earth

    1. Read Revelation 21:1-3. What is the final destination of
      God’s throne? (The New Jerusalem, the throne of God come
      down to the earth made new. God and saved humans now live

    2. Read Revelation 21:4. What is part of the “old order” and
      what is the new order of things? (Tears, crying and
      mourning are our reaction to pain and death. Pain and
      death, and all that flows from them is gone under the new

      1. How can everything be so perfect when some people
        entered heaven not because they had perfect deeds,
        but because they had their name written in the book
        of life? Might these be dangerous neighbors? (No. An
        attitude of love is the key to the book of life.
        Imagine living in a place where everyone loved you –
        everyone had your best interests in mind!)

    3. Read Revelation 21:5-7. What else is a part of the new
      order for those whose names are written in the book of
      life? (You can continually drink from the spring of the
      water of life. You inherit all things new. You have a
      father-son relationship with Jesus!)

    4. Read Revelation 21:8. What is the alternative destination?
      Look at this list. Why would God mention being “cowardly”
      as a sin – the first sin, even? Why would it be mentioned
      before those who are “vile?”) (Barnes Notes suggests these
      are the people who were afraid to be known as friends of
      God in a wicked world.)

    5. Friend, do you have the courage to be baptized and have
      your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Do you have
      the courage to confess your sins to God and ask the Holy
      Spirit to lead your life? Do you have the courage to
      desire a loving nature? Do you have the courage to follow
      Jesus? If so, I invite you to take that step and
      contemplate the reward which lies ahead of you! Praise God
      for this great opportunity? Praise Him for His amazing
      grace and love!

  3. Next week: We begin a new series entitled “The Prophetic Gift.”