Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Last time we read about the second resurrection of the “rest of the dead” in Revelation 20:5 . Verses 11 and 12 give more details of this resurrection, often called the Great White Throne Judgment.
Satan has deceived the whole world ( Revelation 12:9 ), so the people brought back to life in this resurrection will not have had a real understanding of God’s truth or a full opportunity to repent and be saved. That’s why our merciful God opens the “books”—the books of the Bible—to their understanding. He also opens the Book of Life—and the opportunity to be written in it.
As Christians today are being judged during this physical life ( 1 Peter 4:17 ), the judgment during the second resurrection will also include time for education, repentance, commitment and evaluation. We’ll see more about this when we read from Ezekiel 37.
For more about this second resurrection, read our article “The Last Great Day: The Final Harvest.”