Does Revelation 20 Support Judgment According to Works?

I received a great question recently from a friend of mine, on judgment according to works. He had heard me teach that although we are justified by faith, we are also judged according to our works, and he basically agreed. But he wanted to know how that idea cohered with the fact that there are two sets of books in Revelation 20:11-15–the books of works, and the book of life–and that entry into the new creation was dependent only on our names being in the latter. In other words, he was saying, doesn’t Revelation deny that final judgment is according to works? And if so, how does that cohere with Matthew 25 and Romans 2, which seem to affirm it?

Here’s how I replied.

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