D204 - All men will be judged
There is such a thing as a ‘day of judgement’. It is in the Bible. It is a very serious day.
2 Cor 5:10 says,
‘For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.’
2 Peter 3:7 says that
‘Heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.’
Heb 9:27 says,
‘It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement.’
Hence, see D14, God is to be feared.
D205 - The words of Jesus will be our judge
With the arrival of Jesus, the Father had entrusted all judgement to the Son. John 5:22 says
‘For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the Son.’
Acts 10:42 says,
‘… to testify that he (Jesus) is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.’
Jesus then handed his judgement to the words which he had spoke while on earth which is recorded in our Bible.
John 12:48 says,
‘The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.’
Hence, we will be judged by the words of Jesus.
D206 - For believers, our salvation is secured but our works will be evaluated
The consistent message of the New Testament is for all to
‘believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31).
Please see D184 and D185 – Repentance (and Faith toward God) are the two-part salvation package for a thorough explanation.
On our own, we are unrighteous but when we become Christians, we are made righteous since ‘in him (Christ) we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Cor 5:21).
Please see D48 – Faith in Jesus Christ makes us righteous before God
But our Christian lives do not stop there; otherwise, it might be better to cease from living after we have acknowledged Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
We are told in John 6:27 to
‘work for the food that endures to eternal life.’
And we are told in 1 Cor 3:13-15 that at the end of times, our works will be tested with fire to evaluate their quality.
‘If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, you so as through fire.’
That ‘fire’ is to indicate our rewards.
In 1 Cor 4:5, it explains that on judgement day, the Lord will
‘bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart (that is, our motives). Then each one will receive his commendation from God.’
Rev 22:12 says,
‘Behold, I am coming soon, bring my recompense (reward) with me, to repay each one for what he has done.’
What ’works’ are believers expected to do? Please see
- B234 – Seek for the knowledge of God’s will,
- B345 – Accumulate heavenly treasures rather than earthly ones
- B235 – Stay focus on our calling, and
- B236 – Labor for that which endures forever.
In addition, we will also be commended based on our motives (1Cor 4:5).
D207 - Non-Christians will be judged according to their words and works as written in the books
Rev 20:12 says,
‘And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.’
These souls do not seem to come from the group of believers who were resurrected as well as those who were raptured at the return of our Lord.
Please see D203 – There appears to be stages in resurrection.
It appears that this group consists of souls who had chosen to reject Jesus and also those who did not have the chance to hear the gospel.
See D210 – Hell is a real place of eternal damnation.
How will these souls be judged on?
- They will have to give an account ‘for every careless word they speak’ (Matt 12:36),
- They will be judged according to what they have ‘done in the body, whether good or evil’ (2 Cor 5:10, Matt 25:35-37) and according to their conscience (Rom 2:14-15),
- For those who have been given the chance to receive Jesus, they will be asked whether they have received Jesus or listen to his words (Matt 10:14, 2 Thes 1:8),
- They will be judged according to the words of Jesus. John 12:48 says,
‘There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day’.
D208 - Only those whose names are in the Book of Life will live with God
The Book of Life is the only book that matters. If we don’t live forever, then this book is meaningless. For those who do not believe in Jesus, this is your warning.
Rev 20:15 says,
‘And if anyone’s name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire’.
In Luke 10:1-20, Luke related the story of Jesus sending out seventy-two of his disciples to perform miracles across the land. They had just returned and were on a spiritual high because the power that they saw in Jesus were vested in them; Luke 10:17 –
‘Even the demons are subject to us in your name!’
Yet, amazingly, Jesus reminded them what was more important – that their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:20) or the Book of Life.
- D14, God is to be feared, and
- D180 – Our salvation is our greatest gift
D209 - Rewards are waiting for faithful believers
Christians are not judged but rewarded.
1 Cor 3:14-15 explains that our works will be subject to fire and
‘if it is burned up, he (a believer) will suffer loss. He himself will be saved but only as if through the flames.’
If our works survive through the fire, then we will be given a reward.
The irony for Christians is that we do not work toward our rewards but rather we are recognized for our faithfulness in going about doing that which we have been tasked by the Lord to do and in following the direction of the Holy Spirit.
In many generations and some places even now, there has been a heavy price to pay in following the Lord. The Lord acknowledged that in Matt 19:29 when he said,
‘Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for my name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.’
In Rom 8:17, it says that
‘we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.’
Many believers will be discouraged. Jesus mentioned that toward the end times, there will be an increase in wickedness, and ‘the love of many will grow cold’ (Matt 24:12).
To stay on as faithful believers, there are the elements of persistence and endurance.
We will be in the presence of God. We will rule and reign.
And the Lord promises us that –
- We will get a ‘crown of glory that will never fade away’ (1 Peter 5:4).
- We will ‘eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God’ (Rev 2:7).
- We will always be in the Book of Life (Rev 3:5) and in the temple of God (Rev 3:12).
- We will also have ‘authority over the nations’ and even judge angels (Rev 2:26, 1 Cor 6:2-3).
He promises that
‘he will dwell with them (us) and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God’ (Rev 21:3).
He also said that
‘they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads’ (Rev 22:4).
And because our God is a God who keeps promises, we know that his words are true. Hence, Rev 22:12 says,
‘Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense (reward) with me, to repay each one for what he has done.’
D210 - Hell is a real place of eternal damnation
Hell is a real place. Jesus confirmed it regularly and spoke about hell more than heaven. He mentioned it as a place of ‘eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matt 25:41).
He said that –
The Greek word is hades or the unseen world/ the abode of departed spirits. The other Greek word used is gehenna or a place underneath the earth/ a place of punishment for evil.
Here are the characteristics:
- There is a great gulf between heaven and hell so that souls cannot go across. (Luke 16:23-26).
- It is a place reserved for the unrighteous (Matt 25:46), and for those who are ‘self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness’ (Rom 2:8).
- It is a place of burning sulfur and great torment (Rev 20:10), and one which does not have rest, day or night (Rev 14:11).
- It is a very hot place of agony (Luke 16:23-26) where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:50), and
- It is also a place where the presence of the Lord and the glory of his might is missing (2 Thes 1:9).
D211 - Hell is reserved for the unrighteous
Rev 20:15 says that the lake of fire is reserved for those whose names are not found in the Book of Life.
Matt 25:46 implies that eternal punishment is reserved for the unrighteous. Please see D48 – Faith in Jesus Christ makes us righteous before God. Hence, Christians do not have to worry about going to hell.
We are all unrighteous when we don’t have Christ.
Rom 3:23 says that
‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’.
That is followed by Rom 6:23 which explains that
‘the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
But Christians are made righteous through the work of Christ.
John 1:12 says,
‘To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.’
Hence, to those who reject him, they will not be part of the family. See also Luke 10:16.
John 3:18 says,
‘Whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.’
People who choose to reject Jesus will be condemned.
Rev 21:8 details out the people who will end up in hell as
‘cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexual immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars.’
D212 - Hell was originally created for the devil and his angels
D213 - Death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire
Rev 20:14 says,
‘Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire.’
This is at the end of times, the end of the end. Death is forever removed from us. And so is Hades, an abode for departed spirits.
There is no more temporary stop, so to speak. The lake of fire is the final destination for the unrighteous.
D214 - God will dwell among us in the New Heaven
Rev 21:3 says that the dwelling place of God is with man.
‘He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.’
Rev 22:3-4 explains,
‘The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve him. They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads.’
How will it be? We honestly do not know. We record what is said in the Bible and accept it by faith.
D215 - There will be no death/ pain/ sorrow/ curse in the New Heaven
Rev 21:4 says that
‘he will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning or crying or pain; the first things have passed away.’
Rev 22:3 reports that there will
‘no longer will there be anything accursed.’
There will be no more curse.