The Bible teaches us that God is love but also justice; this means that He will host a judgement day. God’s love does not exclude His justice. God’s justice is the basis of the judgment that will take place on the last day. God is often spoken of as full of love and benevolence, but it is a mistake to forget that he is also a consuming fire. A Corinthian image of God involves putting together divine love, justice, and mercy in a coherent and unitary formulation of the understanding of God. Next, we will deepen the biblical teaching about what is Judgment Day.
According to Scripture, Judgment Day is part of God’s plan for this world. The Bible speaks of a day of judgment for all mankind. The teaching of judgment is one of the fundamental teachings of the Bible and one of the distinguishing elements of God’s plan for the world.
Judgment is inevitable. No one can escape God’s judgment. With absolute certainty, every man on earth will end up before the judgment seat of God. God decreed that every man should be brought to justice. During our earthly existence, we move irreversibly towards death, and after death, judgment takes place. The Bible teaches us that judgment is unavoidable and inevitable. Paul writes: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive his reward according to the good or the bad he has done while living in the body.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Judgment of God
According to the Bible, the Judge of the last day will be God the Father (1 Peter 1:17; Hebrews 12:23), called “Judge of all”, who will judge through the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10) and which will be assisted by the saints, glorified with Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). What must be observed is that the one who is the Savior now will be the Judge on the last day: The one through whom the salvation was achieved will also be the one through whom the judgment will be brought; The one who is now our lawyer (mediator), then, will be the righteous judge.
At the Judgment of God, He will prevail, and, in the light of His righteousness, man will judge himself for his sins, his faults, and sinful falls and for all that has not been righted.
The truth about the fearful and compelling nature of judgement is also emphasised in Revelation 6:12-17; 20:11-15; Daniel 7:9-10. The finality of it will consist in rewarding everyone according to his deeds. The saved will be rewarded for their labours in the Lord, and the unsaved will be punished according to their deeds.
Representation of Judgement Day
At the Righteous Judgment, Christ will judge both men and angels, that is, devils and all the people of the world. When the Son of Man comes in His glory, He will put the sinners on His left and the righteous on His right and will reward each one according to his deeds.
The Bible describes how the righteous Judgement will take place. Putting together the information in several biblical passages on the subject of judgment, we can make the following observations: the Righteous Judgment will be universal. All people from all places and at all times will be gathered for judgment. Angels and saints will participate in the judgment.
It will be a gathering that will bring together all creatures invested by God with a sense of moral responsibility. The universal character of the last judgement is described in 1 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25:32, and Daniel 7:10.
What will happen before the Day of Judgment?
Before the Day of Judgment, it will be announced first by showing the sign of the Holy Cross in the sky. It says: And they shall see in the clouds of heaven the sign of the Son of Man, that is, the Cross of the Saviour, which shall come in the clouds and shine more brightly than the sun.
Before the Day of Judgement, seven biblical events will occur:
- Israel shall be in his land… Ezekiel 36:24, 37:21
- Jerusalem will be in the hands of the Jews… Luke 21:24
- A Muslim coalition, armed and led by Russia, will attack the Holy Land… Ezekiel 38:2-6
- The old Roman Empire will rise as a political force… Revelation 17:9-10
- The world will embrace one religion. Perhaps it is even Chrislam. Revelation 13:8
- The world will accept one government… Revelation 13:3
- Babylon will emerge as a prominent city in world affairs… Revelation 18:2-3
When all the heathen nations and those who do not worship the Holy Cross will see it coming before Christ on the clouds of heaven, and the angels will bring it, and it will light up all nations, then, as the Evangelist Matthew says: All the nations of the world will weep. Then they will know whose sign is the sign of the Cross, Who is coming after it, Who had the Cross, and Who was crucified on it, Christ the Saviour of the world.
What will happen on Judgment Day?
The judgement will be public. This day will not be made behind closed doors but with open doors. Everyone will be judged before everyone; everything that is hidden will be brought to light and spoken in the hearing of all (Luke 12,2-3). Judgement will be inevitable. With certainty, everyone will be judged. The future judgement is a promise of God and a derivative of his moral character. Judgement is inevitable.
On Judgment Day, a public event will occur. Every human being will attend this event. The Judgement will be according to the deeds of each one. On the day of judgment, the Lord will evaluate our deeds, thoughts, words, and gestures. In heaven, there is a book in which all our acts are written. Judgement will be done according to what is written in that book (Revelation 20:12). Judgement will be based on truth. The Lord will not judge according to incomplete and inaccurate information but to the truth (Revelation 16:7; John 8:16).
At the judgment, people will be accused by the saints. The saints will be with Christ, condemning those who had a revelation but did not repent. Jesus emphasises this truth: “The men of Nineveh will rise with this nation on the day of judgement and condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and here is One greater than Jonah. The queen of the south will rise with this nation in the day of judgement and condemn it because it came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom; behold, here is One greater than Solomon.” (Matthew 12:41-42).
What will God judge on the last day?
The Judgment Day will be irrevocable and final. The sentence given the next day will be conclusive and final. Although some will try to appeal, basing their objection on the fact that they prophesied in the Name of the Lord, performed miracles and signs in his Name, performed miracles and signs in his Name, that they cast out devils in his Name, the appeal will be firmly rejected and irrevocable. Jesus will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, all you of you who are evil.” (Matthew 7:23).
On the last day, God will judge the kind of life each person had on earth. Four aspects related to life on earth will be brought to the attention of divine judgment:
- All works done, good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Revelation 20:12);
- Every word that was spoken (Matthew 12:36);
- The hidden thoughts of men (1 Corinthians 4:5). The hidden motivations of the heart, the feelings cherished towards someone, the goals and purposes not spoken publicly, and every other inner experience will be subject to future judgment;
- Communication is done through non-verbal language (Proverbs 6:13). Many evil deeds, untruths, insults, swearing, attitudes, positions, etc., are communicated through sign language ‒ all of these will be brought to justice on the next day.
Indeed, Judgement Day will be convincing and frightening. In the epistle of Jude, it is written: “Behold, the Lord has come with tens of thousands of His saints. To make justice against all and to convict all the wicked of all the wicked deeds that they have done in a wicked way and of all the words of reproach which these ungodly sinners have uttered against Him.” (Jude 1:14-15). According to this passage, justice will be compelling and terrifying.
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a. The Last Judgment in the Old Testament
Countless Old Testament biblical texts talk about judgement. The most important passages are found in Genesis 18:25; Psalm 1:5; Psalm 9:7-8; Psalm 50,4; Psalm 51:4; Ecclesiastes 12:14; 11:9; Daniel 7:9-10; Malachi 3:5. Putting together the truth discovered in these texts and other passages of the Old Testament, we affirm that according to the Old Testament, the teaching about the final judgment focuses on four major points:
- God has appointed a day of future judgment;
- Both Israel and the nations will be judged on the last day;
- God will be the judge and
- The following judgement will be.
b. The final judgment in the New Testament
The New Testament continues the Old Testament’s revelation about judgment. The New Testament concept of the final judgment is based on the Old Testament concept. Some of the most important texts of the New Testament regarding the day of judgment, we find them in: Matthew 16:27; 25:31; John 5:27; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:5-7; 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:14 and 1 John 4:17. The truths contained in these texts will be highlighted during our study. For the moment, we want to emphasise the biblical character of the teaching about the last judgment. We can confidently say that learning about judgment is biblical; there is no doubt about this truth.
The dimensions of divine judgment
Divine judgement has two fundamental dimensions. The first dimension refers to the divine judgment, which takes place in life on earth, and the second dimension refers to the after-judgment. The Bible clearly shows us that sometimes, God intervenes with His judgments already in life on earth, and other deeds are left to be evaluated at the final judgment. As for the last judgment, there are four moments of judgment:
a. The judgment God makes at the moment of each man’s death.
When a person dies, there is a judgement based on which the dead person’s soul will go to Heaven or the Home of the Dead. This judgment marks the decision regarding where the soul will spend its eternity. The criterion by which it will be judged is related to the respective man’s attitude toward Jesus. If he believed in Jesus, he would be saved; if he did not believe, the man would be condemned. Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My words and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and does not come to judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24).
b. The judgment of the saved after the rapture of the church.
Paul says that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. The judgment of the raptured church is not intended to answer the question of who will be saved. But the question related to the measure of reward given to each saved. Paul considers this moment of judgment in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Paul emphasises three characteristics of the judgment of believers:
- Judgment will be individual: “everyone will give an account…”;
- The deeds done in the body will be judged;
- The purpose of judgment is not condemnation but reward. This judgment aims to evaluate the nature and extent of the work of each saved believer. And determine the receipt of rewards. We must note that a believer is saved by the merits of Jesus, by faith in Jesus the Son of God, and will be rewarded according to his works. At this judgment, it will not be decided whether the judged will be saved or not, but what kind of reward they will receive.
c. The judgment will take place at the end of the great tribulation.
According to Revelation 19:19-21, at this judgment, the Antichrist, the false Prophet, and those who received the mark of the beast will be judged. So, all these will be cast into hell. Israel and the nations will be judged by entering the millennium. The criterion of judgement is emphasised in Matthew 25:31-46.
d. The final judgment – the judgment from the tremendous and white throne.
According to Revelation 20:11-15, after the millennium, the second resurrection and the final judgement will take place. The dead, great and small, were judged according to their deeds, and those who were not found in the book of life were cast into the lake that burned with fire and brimstone.
The Day of Judgement will be universal, public, particular, based on truth, just, without bias, irrevocable, convincing, and frightening. Considering all this, we must surrender ourselves entirely to Jesus Christ, live a life of pure faith, Jesus Christ, to live a life of pure faith, in sanctification, separated from sin, and full of good deeds.