repentant saint, who has spent his life in the service of God, will still find it a relief to be freed from the burden of this body and the trials of human life.2
The second death however will not be due to the absence of the Tree of Life, but to the Judgement of God at the Great White Throne. At this Judgement all the dead will be raised in their bodies to give an account of the deeds they have done in them. The Judgement of those that are Christ's will have taken place a thousand years before at His return. This last Judgement however is the judgement of the dead. At it by his works will no man be justified before God, but the whole world will be found guilty of having broken the Law. There will however be found amongst them those who have not only broken the Law, but have also seen and hated both Christ and His Father without a cause, and have trampled Christ under their feet in unrepenting scorn. Thus will they have already sealed their eternal doom and wait only to suffer the sentence that has been already passed.
The rest however, though guilty of this first sin of breaking the Law, have not committed the second sin of refusing forgiveness, for they have as yet had no such offer made to them, nor have they ever heard the name of Jesus. For all such our Lord has laid down the principle upon which He will judge them in Matt. 11,20-24. He will take into account what they would have done, if they had so heard. He has made it clear in John 9,41 & 15,22-25 that He will not hold people responsible for not believing what they have not heard; and Paul sums up the whole matter in Rom. 10,14, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" All such will make clear what they would have done on earth had they heard and understood the Gospel by what they actually do in Heaven when they do at last see and hear the Saviour for the first time! They will find themselves before The Great Judge and His fellow judges,3 who would willingly have told them the truth upon earth had it been possible to do so: and they will give them the same answer as they would have given upon earth. Some have cavilled at this, saying that it will be easier to believe when you see: but they have forgotten that the Christian Church was founded upon Apostles who