Lost People Are Not Judged Immediately After Death
The Bible tells us this in Revelation 20:11-15 (emphasis added).
“And I saw a Great White Throne, and him [God] that 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, 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.
 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [Gk. hades, the grave] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
 And death and hell [Gk. hades, the grave] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever [whosoever’s name] was Not found written in ‘the Book of Life’ was cast into the lake of fire.”
An issue to be noted here above is that … regardless of one’s “works,” be they good or bad works, if one’s “name” is NOT written in “the book of life” they will ultimately face “everlasting destruction” (2Thes 1:9) in “the lake of fire.”
Many young people of most ages past have falsely believed their works are noble “good works” … they naively set out trying to fix this unfixable ‘fallen world’ of ‘fallen mankind’ and the societies that have been born of their corrupted human minds. Some of these societies have been markedly better than others… but all are of the fallen fallible minds of mankind.
Yet, these “works” of the unsaved lost souls are seen as ‘evil’ in God’s eyes since they spring from an unregenerate person’s fallen mindset, not having the understanding of “the mind of Christ.” The “mind of Christ” is available to be received from God only upon one’s expression of Faith in Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior. Until then, their fallen mind is actually working “at enmity [at odds] with God” (Rom. 8:7). Til then they do not and cannot not know God, nor His will for them today.
In verses 12-13, the dead are “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works… they were judged every man according to their works.” In that day all their works will be exposed for what they really are, being rooted in the Sin-nature that has ruled them in their human life. This is that same fallen nature in all humans that has prompted all of us to sin; hasn’t all of us lied, cheated, served ourselves and lived immorally to one degree of another?
The coming “Great White Throne” judgment will occur sometime long after death, not immediately after physical death. When lost unsaved are those who die without faith in Jesus Christ. There is a great delay after death, until Judgment Day.
This is because there are several major Biblically prophesied events that must transpire on earth … before the final “Great White Throne” judgment. Until then all the lost souls of the dead all the ages of humanity… “sleep in their graves,” until they are resurrected to face Judgment when “the books are opened” for all to see, without recourse.
God has been and still is longsuffering (patient), allowing time for all of us, that none of the living would be ‘eternally lost’… yet all the while fallen mankind has free will to “choose life [Gk. zoe, eternal]” or face “eternal destruction.”
Below is a summary the sequence of the great events to come, in reverse order, before the final “Great White Throne Judgment.”
- The final “Great White Throne Judgment” (see passage above) will not occur until after the 1,000 years Millennial Reign of Christ on earth when He deals with rebellious Israel and the rest of rebellious mankind (see Revelation 20:1-10).
- Those 1,000 years will follow the terrible seven-year ‘Tribulation Period’ of great trials upon earth, ending with the Second Coming of Christ (see Revelation chapters 1–19).
- The seven-year ‘Tribulation Period’ will come only after the Rapture, “catching away” or removal of the members of the invisible spiritual church, called “the body of Christ” from planet earth (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-13).
The Rapture, or ‘catching away’, of the members of the invisible spiritual church called “the body of Christ” to heaven will conclude today’s age of “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” when we can be Saved WITHOUT Any Works, simply … by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, as the free “gift of God.”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [salvation is] not of yourselves: it is the Gift of God: 9 Not of Works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
Upon our physical death it will be too late to be saved, for the die will have been cast according to our own free-will choice.
So, there is a long time between the physical death and the final judgment of lost unbelieving souls, being judged “according to their works.” There is a long delay between one’s death to sleep in “the grave” [Gk., hades, means ‘the grave’] and being sentenced to “eternal destruction” (2Thes. 1:9) in “the Lake of Fire”?
“And many of them that ‘sleep’ in the dust of the earth shall ‘awake,’ some to Everlasting Life, and some to Shame and Everlasting Contempt [revulsion].” Daniel 12:2 (KJV)
All the lost souls of all the ages will be judged after the Millennium, until then they sleep in their graves, since their “spirit of man” that had given them life has returned to the Lord.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth [the grave] as it was: and the spirit [of man] shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV)
The answer for all the lost who are yet alive on earth is always the same;
“… Believe on [trust in, cling to, rely upon] the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ...” Acts 16:3(KJV)
Then you will have a new outlook on this life with a hopeful and confident view to the eternal where there is righteousness and justice forever, in which all humankind is “one in Christ.”
“There is neither Jew nor Greek [Gk. ethnos, Gentile], there is neither bond [slave] nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (KJV)