by Julia Bruce
CEO, Author, and Conference Speaker
An All-Knowing, Omniscient God
Have you ever been given a whole lot of information at once and in a very short amount of time? So much that your mind seems to whirl round and round as it attempts to process everything being fed to it? Our human minds simply cannot hold and contain every single memory. In other words – we forget. We have trouble remembering why we walked in a room much less remembering every detail of every moment of our lives. But what if you were responsible for knowing everything – every moment from the beginning of time to now – on into the future – right down to the end of time? We simply are not capable of knowing it all – but God is. He is all-knowing, or omniscient. But just what does that mean for both the believer and the non-believer at the final judgement?
We Forget – God does not
We often forget things. Sometimes we conveniently forget -like when we tell the kids to clean their rooms after school. Other times we neglectfully forget – like when you don’t write down an appointment in your calendar because you just know you’ll remember it. And other times, we get distractedly forget – like when you get engrossed in a really good Bible study, lose track of time and forget to pick up the kids from school. And sometimes we just humanly forget because it’s just impossible to remember it all – like when your wife gives you a list of 10 things she needs at the store and you remember three of them.
The Omniscient God can choose to not remember
But God, as an omniscient God, doesn’t forget anything in the sense that you or I would. God can choose to not remember – but He doesn’t forget. For the believer who has accepted Christ as their Savior, their sins are forgiven and wiped clean. Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” And 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And yet the omniscient God, can choose to not remember, as we see in Jeremiah 31:34, where God says, “for I will forgive their iniquity [sin], and I will remember their sin no more.” The reason He can choose to not remember our sin, is because the blood of Jesus covers our sin and God sees us as “justified” or “just as if I’ve never sinned.”
What does Omniscient mean?
God knows everything – always. Omniscient. Its a big word that is hard to spell. It’s not a word you’ll find in the Bible. Not in the Greek, Hebrew, or even the King James. It’s a theological word given to a truth found in the Bible. Omniscient means that God knows all things, past, present and future, real and potential, and He knows them all at the same time. He not only knows what was, and what is, He also knows what will be. On top of that, He knows everything that could be but is not. He does not have to learn anything and He has not forgotten anything. God does not have to reason things out, find out things, or learn them gradually. He even knows those things that we have yet to discover. We can’t hide from God, run from God, or do things behind his back without getting caught. He simply knows it all.
We can’t hide anything from an omniscient God
Isaiah 66:18 tells us God knows our works and our thoughts. David wrote in Psalm 139:1-4, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before I word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.” What this means is that there is nothing we can hide from God. Not any action or any thought or any motive – whether they be good or bad.
The omniscient God will be the judge in the final judgement
Isaiah also tells us that God will gather everyone from every nation to him and he will judge them in the final judgment that the book of Revelations tells us is to come. There won’t be any acceptable excuses because God know our thoughts, motives, every word we say, and every action we do. Paul also mentions it in Acts 17:31 where he writes, God “has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth.” But what happens at this judgement and who is it for?
What happens at the Final Judgement?
At the Final Judgement, John 5:22 tells us that Jesus will be the judge. Both the living and the dead will stand before him. Here is what the Bible has to say about the Final Judgement:
- Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5
- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
- But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37
- I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his Kingdom 2 Timothy 4:1
- “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. 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.” Revelation 20:11-15
The Great White Throne
This great white throne is the coming judgement for every person who reject Christ’s offer of salvation. It will be their last stop where their sentence will be handed down and they hear him say, “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!.” (Matthew 25:41) They will not have a chance to repent at that point. The time for that is now – in this life. Once you breathe your last earthly breath, there will not be another chance.
What about Believers – or Christians?
Believers will also stand before Jesus, but rather than judgement, they will fully comprehend just how great and extravagant His grace is. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:5 that our Omniscient Christ will disclose the motives hidden in the hearts of believers. He will expose every rebellious act, wrong attitude, and cutting word and we will come face to face with just how unworthy we are of His sacrifice on our behalf. But that sorrow will only last for a moment before He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and the joy of knowing His forgiveness and mercy will fill us.
For the Christian, this judgment is not about punishment because we have already been justified by the death and resurrection of Christ. There will be no need to hang our head in guilt and shame. Because His blood cleanses us from all sin, the judgement is more to show just what our sin cost Him and that He has forgiven, pardoned, and redeemed us. When we stand before Him at the final judgment, we will stand clothed in His righteousness and forgiveness of every sin.
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