As it will happen at the end of the Millennium, after Satan is released, unbelievers from all over the world will surround the entire area where the saints will dwell—all around Jerusalem (Rev. 20:9). They no doubt will intend to kill all the believers and destroy the temple and Jerusalem. But God will not let it happen—not a bit of it. Before they will even begin their charge, God will send fire down from heaven, which will devour them. All (all unbelievers) will be slain by the heavenly fire except the devil. But he will not escape; he will be cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet are (Rev. 20:10). As for the living saved, apparently, at this time He will glorify and transfer them to Himself—probably to the New Jerusalem, where all other believers from past generations reside.
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
The next scene that John saw was that of a great white throne, and God was sitting on it in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 11). Since there is no mention of a room or walls, we may assume that this throne was suspended in midair by itself—an awesome scene! John tells us (in Rev. 20:11) that the earth and the heavens fled away at His presence. Wow! Imagine it. Just by His very presence, or perhaps by His stare, the earth and the universe will immediately go into a state of non-existence; and only He and His throne will remain. According to John MacArthur, “This judgment takes place in the indescribable void between the end of the present universe (v.11) and the creation of the new heaven and earth (21:1).”
After the earth and the heavens disappear, there will rise up out of that great void dead people who will be found standing before the throne. Who are these dead people who are now able to stand, as if alive? They will be found to be all the unsaved, who were buried in the earth and the sea (v. 13); and it will include all who were cremated.
So here before us is this great and terrible scene. The entire universe has disappeared and all believers are also gone. All that is left is God on His throne and the unbelieving dead whom He has raised who are standing before Him. I would assume that when God raised them from the dead, He at this time will give them new bodies that are suited for hell. They will be indestructible bodies, able to endure punishment for eternity. This gives me some comfort, as I cannot imagine anybody’s body burning forever. Hence, God will be just and fair.
So they will stand all together before the throne, waiting to receive their judgment; however, as each one waits I imagine that he will feel very much alone; he may not even be aware of the others. We don’t know all the details of the trial or what the Lord will say. All we are given is that “books” will be opened—apparently record books; and “another book” will be opened—which will be the Book of Life (Rev. 20:13).