This is not a "General Judgment," for there is no such thing in the Scriptures. The Church is not in this Judgment, nor is Israel, for both have been already judged. The Church was Judged at the "Judgment Seat of Christ," and Israel was Judged during the "Tribulation Period." This is a Judgment of the DEAD ONLY, and is an entirely different Judgment from that of "The Nations" recorded in Matt. 25:31-46. That is on the earth, this is in Heaven. That is of the "Living Nations," as Nations, this is of the DEAD. That is for the Nations' treatment of Christ's brethren, the Jews, this is for WORKS. There no "books" are opened, here they are. No "Book of Life" is mentioned there, here there is. That Judgment was before the Millennium, when Christ shall sit on the "Throne of His Glory," and is to find out what Nations shall have a right to enter into the "Millennial Kingdom," this is after the Millennium when Christ shall sit on the "Great White Throne." The two Judgments are entirely separate as to time, place, basis of judgment and result. See Chart of the Resurrections and Judgments.
In this Judgment "Death" and "Hell" are personified. By "Death" we are to understand the "Grave" which holds the "body" until the Resurrection; by "Hell," the Compartment of the "Underworld" or "HADES," where the "souls" of the Wicked Dead remain until the Resurrection of the Wicked. That both "Death" and "Hell" are cast into the "LAKE OF FIRE" signifies that Death and Sin will not be found on the New Earth.
The "Great White Throne" will not be on the earth, for the "Great White Throne Judgment" will take place during the "Renovation of the Earth By Fire," for the "Renovation of the Earth" is reserved or kept until the time of that Judgment, which Peter calls "The Day of Judgment and Perdition of Ungodly Men" (2. Pet. 3:7),
because the Judgment of the "Great White Throne" is the Judgment of the WICKED DEAD. All the Righteous dead arose at the "First Resurrection." If any Righteous die between the "First Resurrection" and the "Resurrection of the Wicked," or "Second Resurrection," they will rise with the Wicked dead at that Resurrection. The words--"Whosoever was not found written in the 'Book of Life'," implies that there will be some, probably very few in comparison, Righteous at the "Second Resurrection." At the close of the Millennium, and just before the "Renovation of the Earth By Fire," the living Righteous will probably be translated, and the living Wicked or Ungodly will be destroyed in the flames that will consume the Earth's atmosphere and exterior surface.
The Wicked or Ungodly will not be judged to see whether they are entitled to "Eternal Life," but to ascertain the "degree" of their punishment. The sad feature of this Judgment will be that there will be many kind and lovable people there who were not saved, and who will be classed among the "ungodly" because they rejected Christ as a Saviour. The "Books" will be opened in which the "Recording Angel" has kept a record of every person's life, and they will be Judged every man according to his "Works." Some will be sentenced to a more severe punishment than others, but none will escape. The worst of all is, that those who were not so bad must spend Eternity with the ungodly, and that in the "Lake of Fire." Their punishment includes the "Second Death," which means, as we have seen, that they shall lose their resurrection body, in which they were Judged and become "disembodied spirits" again, and so exist in the "Lake of Fire" FOREVER.
What a Judgment Scene that will be. There will be Cain and the wicked Antediluvians; the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah; Pharoah, Ahab, Jezebel, Judas and all those Scribes' and Pharisees and Chief Priests who caused the Crucifixion of our Lord, and did not repent, and Ananias and Sapphira, and the great host of the wicked and rejectors of Christ of all nations and ages.
The "Fallen Angels" (not the Devil's angels) who are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness," will be Judged at this time, which Jude calls the "Judgment of the GREAT DAY." Jude 6. When this Judgment is over the Devil and his angels, and all the ungodly, will have been consigned to the "Lake of Fire," and the Universe purged of all evil, and righteousness shall reign supreme on the New Earth.