11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The Great White Throne judgment is at the end of the Millennium after Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and the False prophet were thrown a thousand years earlier.
Notice that this judgment is in space. Earth and heaven recede away or flee. They are not there.
Proverbs 20:8 A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
We know that the taint of sin corrupted the universe.
Job 25:5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
The saved in Christ are judged by His righteousness and have eternal life by virtue of that perfect righteousness of Christ. The dead here are judged by their own righteousness and must face a certain fact.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
God has given mankind His perfect standard not only in verses like the following under the Old Testament;
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
…but also in the New;
Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
These people standing at this Great White Throne have neither believed Christ nor trusted in Him for salvation.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Shall any man be able to claim that he has lived to God’s standard of righteousness? Better would it be so that we leaned on Christ’s righteousness and on His perfect sacrifice for our sins than on our own frail and failing vanity.
Their names have been removed out of the Book of Life because they rejected Christ.
Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin — ; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Note that death and hell are cast into the Lake of Fire. Hell is not the Lake of Fire as some fundamentalists claim. Also notice the reference to the sea.