Years ago, I listened to a preacher named Adrian Rogers on the radio. Before long, he disappeared off the dial. When I googled his name, I learned he died in 2005. I missed his good old, tell-it-like-it-is preaching – until recently. One day a few weeks ago while scrolling through YouTube looking for something uplifting to watch, I saw a sermon from Pastor Adrian Rogers. Pastor Rogers has been dead for a few years now, so I knew this was something from the archives, but I didn’t care. The name of this sermon was “The Final Judgment.”
Pastor Adrian Rogers points out five categories of people he believes will be judged when God opens up the books referenced in the book of Revelation, chapter 20, verses 12-15. Let’s look at the passages he refers to make his point.
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
The first point pastor makes is the dead are both great and small. It didn’t matter their status or their stature in society, both stood before Almighty God.
The Bible says these dead were judged according to what they had done.
Next Adrian Rogers said he believes there are five categories of people to be judged.
- The out-and-out sinner – These people hate God and reject him.
- The self-righteous – These folks think they are so good, they don’t need God. They think the gospel is for everyone else, but not for them. These people don’t believe they need to be saved because they are good people, and good people always go to heaven. They don’t think judgment is for them because they are good.
- The procrastinators – These folks know they need to be saved – someday, but not today. So they put off the most important decision of their life thinking they have tomorrow, and tomorrow after that, and tomorrow after that.
- Lost church members – These people occupy the pews of churches every week. They have religion, but they don’t have Jesus. The church is not the way to heaven but is more like a signpost that points to heaven. You must believe in Jesus. The Bible says Jesus is the only way to the Father. Many people have their name on the church role but not written in the book of Life.
- These folks haven’t heard the gospel – They have never heard the gospel message. While they don’t have enough light to save them, they do have enough sin to condemn them. They are sinners and they will be judged. We were all born with sin.
“Pastor are they saved if they have never heard the gospel?”
I think there’s a bigger question. Are you saved if you don’t want to tell them?
They will be judged according to the Bible, but let’s look at Luke 12:47-48.
Luke 12:47-48, “47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Let’s dig deeper into this passage.
My Bible commentary says, “If this punishment seems too severe, the explanation of God’s principle of judgment now clarifies matters. The servant in verse 47 may represent those who sin “with a high hand,” committing, “presumptuous sins”. If so, the servant who “does not know” (verse 48) sins “unwittingly” and has “hidden faults”. In either case there is some definite personal responsibility and therefore judgment, because the servant should have made it his business to know his master’s will. All have some knowledge of God (Romans 1:20), and God judges according to individual levels of responsibility (Romans 2:12-13). The closing statement would apply especially to the apostles and church leaders throughout the successive centuries.”
Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
We sit in church pews, watch and listen to sermons online, attend Bible studies, and watch Biblical videos. What will happen to us? We have heard the truth.
What are we doing with God’s truth?
We know our Master’s will. Are we doing it?
What has God asked us to do? Are we doing it?
I hope so.