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. And 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 20:11-12)
The Small And Great
Death is the great equalizer. The world is filled with the young and old, rich and poor, masters and slaves, righteous and wicked, leaders and followers, despots and tyrants, and all the human families of the small and great. Conditions of life separate humanity from one another through birth, privilege, economics, fear, love, wisdom, and a host of traits that elevate some and oppress others. Life is often unfair in the measure of blessings given to some and withheld from others. It is a man that creates the disparity among the peoples of the earth because the small and great come into the world in the same manner, and the small and great leave this world exactly the same.
The first equalizer is birth. Everyone is born in the same manner. Through God’s creative power, a child comes from a woman’s womb. Rich women give birth to children in the same way a poor woman gives birth. The circumstances and surroundings may be different, but birth remains the same. Life is what makes a person great or small. Human wisdom creates inequality with perceptions of greatness personified through pride. All men come from Adam and share the same biological seed created when Eve was brought to the man. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did not pen a new doctrine when they stylized the phrase of all men being equal, endowed by God with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Bible established the equality of all men when Moses wrote that God created man in His image. All men are equal because all men share in the image of their Creator.
Equality in life is a tenuous pursuit. Men will spend a lifetime seeking fame, fortune, wisdom, and power. The irony is the amount of effort put into making a name for oneself only to face the chasm of death where names are forgotten. Riches amassed in life are left behind. The greatest wisdom a man can achieve will not extend his life one moment. Great men rise to rule their worlds only to find that death easily comes into their fortified citadels. No man escapes death, whether great or small. Death is the final equalizer because all men die the same way. The door of death is the same reality for every man who has lived. Methuselah lived for 969 years and he died. The poorest man living today will live a certain amount of years and, like Methuselah, die. Equality.
What makes death the great equalizer is the knowledge of how death changes the station of a person’s place in the eternal scheme. In life, there are the small and the great, but in death, there are the saved and the lost. What makes a man different in life ends in death. How a man faces eternity is the manner of life he lives before death. The time on earth is very short, but on that slim vapor of life, eternity depends. All men will stand before the great white throne as equals, whether small or great. What separates men in eternity is written in the Book of Life. The dead are judged according to their works and the things written in the book by the Finger of God. Whether a man is small or great in life matters not in the mind of God. What matters in the mind of God is whether that small or great man has his name in the book.
The devil’s great lie in mortals’ hearts is to seek greatness and power in this life. There is no consciousness of the eternal, and most men seek greatness in wealth, fame, pleasure, and wisdom. Death takes all that away and bares the soul before a just and wrathful God. What matters in life is what matters in eternity. The great and the small will stand on the same parcel of eternity and be judged by one book and one book alone. Every heart will know the answer of the eternal ages when they die. All the dead, small and great, stand before God.