The Final Judgment 

Introduction:

What thoughts or feelings does the final judgment arouse within you? Fear? Apprehension, an uneasiness of mind? Sorrow? Expectation? Joy? Adoration?

How do you picture the final judgment? What do you think it will be like? Long and drawn out? Short and quickly finished? Chaotic with people wondering where they should go, wandering about, screaming, or chattering noisily? Organized and disciplined?

How should we feel and what should we expect with regards to Judgment Day? We do not have to wonder. Unlike the rest in this world who do not have the Scriptures, we Christians can be well informed about the final judgment, because we have the Word of God to inform us what will take place.

Focus:

Our aim in this lesson is to discover what the Scriptures teach us about the final judgment, what meaning this has for us, and what hope the final judgment holds out to us.

Searching the Scriptures:

1. In this first section of this study we will discover who will do the judging.

The following verses tell us God will do the judging.

Psalm 50:6 And the heavens declare his righteousness, Because God himself is judge.

Psalm 94:1 O Lord, God of vengeance, God of vengeance shine forth.
Psalm 94:2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Repay the deeds upon the proud.
Psalm 94:3 How long will the wicked, O Lord, How long will the wicked exult?

The following verses state that Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, will do the judging.

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all the things which he did both in the countryside of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they even murdered by hanging him upon a cross.
Acts 10:40 God raised this very one up on the third day and granted him to become visible,
Acts 10:41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, namely to us, we who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
Acts 10:42 And he gave orders to us to preach to the people and to testify solemnly that he is the one who has been designated by God judge of the living and the dead.
Acts 10:43 To this very one all the prophets bear witness – every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

John 5:22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but has given all judgment to the Son, . . .
John 5:27 and he has given him authority to judge, because he is the Son of Man.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory;
Matthew 25:32 and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, . . .

To summarize what we have learned in this first section of this Bible study, the Lord God will do the judging, and particularly the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, to whom God has entrusted all judgment.

2. In this second section of this study we will discover when the final judgment will take place.

Matthew 25:31,32 inform us the final judgment will occur in connection with, and when, Christ returns.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory;
Matthew 25:32 and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, . . .

The following verses tell us the final judgment will occur in connection with the resurrection of the dead at the last day.

John 5:28 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear his voice
John 5:29 and will come out – those who have done good deeds to a resurrection of life, but those who have committed evil deeds to a resurrection of damnation.

John 6:40: For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I, I will raise him up on the last day.

To summarize what we have learned in this second section of this Bible study, the final judgment will occur in connection with Christ’s return in glory and the resurrection of the dead on the last day.

3. In this third section of this study we will discover what the standard will be by which all people will be judged.

John 12:48 clarifies the standard of judgment will be the Word of God which Christ spoke.

John 12:48: He who rejects me and does not receive my words has one who judges him: the word that I spoke, it will judge him on the last day.

Romans 2:16 makes it clear that the standard of judgment will particularly be according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans 2:16: . . . on the day when God judges the secrets of men through Christ Jesus according to my gospel.

The following verses teach us that those who believed the gospel of forgiveness and salvation in Christ will be saved; those who did not believe the gospel will be condemned.

Mark 16:16: The one who believed and was baptized will be saved; but the one who did not believe will be condemned.

Romans 10:9 . . . that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved;
Romans 10:10 for with the heart a person believes resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation.
Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.”

Acts 16:31: And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the house of God; and if it begins first with us, what is the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:18 AND IF THE RIGHTEOUS IS HARDLY SAVED, AT WHICH PLACE WILL THE UNGODLY MAN AND SINNER APPEAR?

To summarize what we have learned in this third section of this Bible study, the standard by which all people will be judged is the Word of God, particularly the gospel. Those who believed in Christ will be saved; those who did not believe will be condemned.

4. In this fourth section of this study we will discover according to what the people of this world will be judged.

Revelation 20:12,13 inform us people will be judged out of books according to their deeds.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged in accordance with the things which were written in the books according to their deeds.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, each one according to their deeds.

The following verses teach us that people will be judged by whether they did good or evil deeds, and by their sins of omission--that is the good they had failed to do.

John 5:29: . . . and will come out – those who have done good deeds to a resurrection of life, but those who have committed evil deeds to a resurrection of damnation.

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, in order that each one may receive the things according to which he had done in the body, whether good or bad.

Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that every useless word which people will speak, they will give an account for it on the day of judgment;
Matthew 12:37 for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come! you who are the blessed ones of my Father, inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you from the beginning of the world.
Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
Matthew 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ . . .
Matthew 25:41
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire that has been kept in readiness for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:42 For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you did not give me a drink,
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I was naked and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

To summarize what we have learned in this fourth section of this Bible study, people will be judged according to their deeds which are recorded in books. Those who did good will be saved; those who did evil will be condemned.

5. In this fifth section of this study we will discover why people will be judged according to their deeds when the standard of judgment is faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

James 2:14-18 states people’s deeds are a proof of their faith in the gospel of Christ or their lack of such faith.

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Such faith cannot save him, can it?
James 2:15 If a brother or a sister is naked and in need of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat your fill,” but does not give them what is necessary for the body, what good is it?
James 2:17 And so faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:18 But some will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Matthew 7:16-23 teaches us that believers are good trees who produce good works as the fruits of their faith; unbelievers are bad, decayed trees who produce evil works contrary to God’s will as the fruits of their unbelief.

Matthew 7:16 By their fruits you will know them; surely people do not gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do they?
Matthew 7:17 In this manner every good tree produces good fruit, but the decayed tree produces bad fruit.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a decayed tree cannot produce good fruit.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:20 Consequently, by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?
Matthew 7:23 And then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you! Depart from me, you who perform lawlessness!’ ”

1 John 3:5-10 informs us that the Christian believer lives in Christ and does not intentionally keep on sinning. He lives righteously as Christ and God are righteous, which proves he is a child of God. The unconverted unbeliever, however, keeps on sinning and his sins prove he is a child of the devil.

1 John 3:5 And you know that he appeared in order that he may take away our sins, and in him there is no sin.
1 John 3:6 Everyone who remains in him does not keep on sinning; everyone who keeps on sinning has not seen him or known him.
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you: he who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous.
1 John 3:8 He who continues to sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed, that he should destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:9 Everyone who is born of God does not continue to sin, because his seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1 John 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are plainly seen; everyone who does not practice righteousness is not a child of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

To summarize what we have learned in this fifth section of this Bible study, people’s deeds, or works, are proof that they are a believing child of God or an unbelieving child of the devil. Their deeds are the fruits of their faith or unbelief. Their deeds show that either they are a believer who is saved by faith in the gospel of Christ or an unbeliever who is condemned for his unbelief.

6. In this sixth section of this study we will discover why God will judge Christian believers as having done good and grant them salvation, when in fact they remained sinners who committed many sins during their lives.

Psalm 103:8-12 reveals the Lord is gracious and does not accuse the Christians of their sins nor harbor his anger against them. The reason being, in Christ God has removed the Christians’ transgressions from them.

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious; Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
Psalm 103:9 He will not always contend with us; Nor will he keep his anger forever.
Psalm 103:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins; Nor has he repaid us according to our perversities.
Psalm 103:11 For like the height of the heavens over the earth, His lovingkindness prevails over those who fear him.

Jeremiah 31:34 declares that because of the covenant of the gospel that God has established in Christ, he forgives the believers their wickedness and does not remember their sins.

Jeremiah 31:34: “And they will not repeatedly teach, each man his friend and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all will know me from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their perversity and their sin I will remember no more.”

Micah 7:19 states the Lord in his mercy treads the believers’ sins under his feet and has thrown them into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:19: He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our perversities under foot; And you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Acts 22:16 informs us that through baptism the Lord has washed away the believers’ sins.

Acts 22:16: And now why are you delaying? Get up! Be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

Since the Lord in Christ has graciously removed the believers’ transgressions, thrown them into the depths of the sea, washed away their sins, and does not remember them any longer, in the final judgment the Lord will not charge any sins against the believers. The believers in Jesus look holy, perfect, and righteous to the Lord at the time of the final judgment. The following verses clarify the believers are holy and righteous in God’s sight.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Ephesians 5:26
in order that he may make her holy, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
Ephesians 5:27
that he may present the church to himself glorious, not having a stain or a wrinkle or any such defect, but that she may be holy and blameless.

1 Corinthians 1:2: . . . to the church of God which is in Corinth, sanctified in Christ Jesus, called as saints (literally holy ones), with all in every place who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours;

Philippians 1:1: Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus; To all the saints (literally holy ones) in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Revelation 7:14: “These are the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Having been justified through faith in Christ, that is declared righteous and forgiven, in the final judgment the evil deeds of the believers will never be mentioned or brought up. The Lord will see only the believers’ good fruits of faith. The following verses reveal this.

In Jeremiah 31:34 the Lord declares that he forgives the believers’ sins and remembers them no more. Certainly, then, the Lord will not bring up or mention the believers’ sins in the final judgment.

Jeremiah 31:34: I will forgive their perversity and their sin I will remember no more.

The devil will not be able to bring up the believers’ sins and accuse them of their sins, because the devil was defeated and, as Revelation 12:10 states, he was hurled out of heaven when Christ Jesus died for the sins of the world. In the final judgment the devil cannot accuse what God for the sake of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross has already forgiven.

Revelation 12:10: And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers was thrown down, the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

Matthew 25:34-40 reveals that in the final judgment when Jesus, the King, judges the believers who are righteous through faith in him, he will not see any of their sins and evil deeds but only the good things they did as the fruits of their faith.

Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come! you who are the blessed ones of my Father, inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you from the beginning of the world.
Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
Matthew 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Matthew 25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and we fed you, or thirsty and we gave you a drink?
Matthew 25:38 And when did we see you a stranger and we invited you in, or naked and we clothed you?
Matthew 25:39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and we came to you?’
Matthew 25:40 And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, as much as you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

The standard by which the believers will be judged is the gospel of God’s grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ, not the law that threatens punishment. The law must be separated from the gospel when considering the believers’ final judgment. Christ is the end of the law for all believers, as stated in Romans 10:4 below, because Christ has fulfilled all the law’s demands. In the final judgment, then, the law, which threatens eternal punishment, does not apply to the believers. Only the gospel of God’s forgiveness and imputed righteousness through faith in Jesus applies to them. So in their final judgment, as during their lives, they are under grace, not law, as stated in Romans 6:14. Not being under the law, they are not subject to condemnation, as stated in John 5:24 and Romans 8:1 below.

Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Romans 6:14: For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

John 5:24: “Truly, truly I say to you that he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and he does not come into condemnation but has passed over from death into life.”

Romans 8:1: Consequently, there is no condemnation now for those in Christ Jesus.

To summarize what we have learned in this sixth section of the Bible study, in the final judgment Christians will be judged as having done good even though they were sinners guilty of evil deeds. This will be so because they are not under law but grace, and through their faith in Jesus they are justified. All their sins are forgiven. Their sins will therefore not be mentioned. God will see only their fruits of faith, the good deeds they have done by faith.

7. In this seventh section of this study we will discover what the Scriptures mean when they speak of the believers’ being judged in the final judgment.

The following verses clarify that the believers’ judgment is not a condemnatory judgment.

Genesis 18:23,25: 23 Then Abraham drew near (to the Lord) and said, “Will you also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Genesis 18:25
Far be it from you to do according to this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous will be like the wicked. Far be it from you! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do that which is just?

Romans 8:1,34: 1 Consequently, there is no condemnation now for those in Christ Jesus. . .
Romans 8:34
Who is he who condemns? Christ Jesus, who died, no, rather who was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Note: The answer to the question in verse 34 is that no one condemns the believer in Christ Jesus. The reason being, Jesus will be the judge. He certainly will not condemn those who believe in him, because he is the very one who died for their sins to save them, was raised to life as the proof of their forgiveness, and is now at the right hand of God pleading their case as their defense attorney.

John 5:24:  “Truly, truly I say to you that he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and he does not come into condemnation but has passed over from death into life.”

The following verses reveal that the believers’ judgment is a judgment of being acknowledged as belonging to Christ as a believing child of God and being received into heaven and eternal glory.

Matthew 10:32: “Every one who will confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 25:34: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come! you who are the blessed ones of my Father, inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

Matthew 25:31-33 gives additional evidence that the believers’ judgment is not a condemnatory one but one of being acknowledged as a child of God. For Jesus, the King, will separate his believing sheep from the wicked, unbelieving goats before the judgment of condemnation begins. Then after he has separated his sheep from the goats, he will welcome his sheep into heaven but will condemn the goats to hell. The judgment of condemnation does not apply to his sheep.

Matthew 25:31-33: 31 “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory;
Matthew 25:32 and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
Matthew 25:33 and he will put the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.

Martin Luther is quoted as having stated: “The Judgment pertains to the believers as little as it does to the holy angels. All believers enter out of this life into the kingdom of heaven without judgment and are even the judges of others.” (John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1934, p.631)

To summarize what we have learned in this seventh section of this Bible study, the Scriptures speak of the Christians being judged, not in the sense of a condemnatory judgment, but in the sense of being acknowledged as a believing child of God through faith in Jesus Christ and being received into heavenly life and glory.

8. In this eighth section of this study we will discover that having faith in Jesus is essential for being prepared for the final judgment.

John 3:16,18: 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that all who believe in him should not perish but have eternal life. . .
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 5:24: “Truly, truly I say to you that he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and he does not come into condemnation but has passed over from death into life.”

John 11:25,26: 25 And Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even if he dies,
John 11:26 and all who live and believe in me shall absolutely never die.  Do you believe this?”

Mark 16:16: “The one who believed and was baptized will be saved; but the one who did not believe will be condemned.”

Romans 3:28: For we conclude a man is justified by faith without works of law.

Romans 8:1: Consequently, there is no condemnation now for those in Christ Jesus.

To summarize what we have learned in this section from the preceding passages, faith in Jesus is essential for the final judgment. It is not sin but unbelief that brings condemnation.

9. In this ninth section of this study we will discover that we speak of a final judgment because there are three times of judgment.

John 3:18 reveals the first judgment takes place already during one’s life on earth.

John 3:18: Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

The following verses reveal there is a second judgment at the time of a person’s death. If he was a believer his soul is carried by the holy angels into heaven. If he was an unbeliever his soul is condemned into hell.

Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is reserved for men to die once, and after this to face judgment, . . .

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Luke 23:43: And he (Jesus) said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

1 Peter 3:19,20: 19 . . . in which he went and preached to those in prison, (hell)
1 Peter 3:20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God waited eagerly in the days of Noah while the ark was being constructed,

Luke 16:22,23: 22 Now it came to pass the beggar died, and he was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; then the rich man died also and was buried.
Luke 16:23 And in hell when he lifted up his eyes, while being in torments, he saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.

The following verses speak of the third judgment. It is the final judgment. When Christ returns in glory and the dead are raised on the last day, there will be the final judgment of all people, at which time body and soul they are received into heaven or condemned to hell.

Matthew 25:31-33: 31 “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory;
Matthew 25:32 and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
Matthew 25:33 and he will put the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.”

John 5:28,29: 29 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear his voice
John 5:29 and will come out – those who have done good deeds to a resurrection of life, but those who have committed evil deeds to a resurrection of damnation.

The final judgment on the last day will be a public proclamation before all nations. At that time the judgment that had applied to the soul upon death will also be applied to the body upon its resurrection from the dead.

To summarize what we have learned in this ninth section of this Bible study, we speak of a final judgment because there are three times of judgment. The first is during one’s life on earth. The second at death. The third and final judgment will be at the last day when all people are judged. Then the judgment meted out to the soul at death will also be applied to the body forever.

10. In this tenth section of this study we will discover who will be judged.

The following verses clarify that all must stand before the judgment seat of God.

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, in order that each one may receive the things according to which he had done in the body, whether good or bad.

Romans 14:10-12: 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you also, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
Romans 14:11 For it is written, “ ’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.’ ”
Romans 14:12 Consequently each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Matthew 25:31,32: 31 “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

The following verses reveal the living and the dead will be judged.

Acts 10:42: And he gave orders to us to preach to the people and to testify solemnly that he is the one who has been designated by God judge of the living and the dead.

2 Timothy 4:1: 1 I charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom; . . .

Revelation 20:11-13: 11 And I saw a great white throne and him who was sitting upon it, from whose presence the earth and the heaven fled away, and a place was not found for them.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged in accordance with the things which were written in the books according to their deeds.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, each one according to their deeds.

1 Peter 4:17 states that the judgment begins with the household of God.

1 Peter 4:17: For it is time for judgment to begin with the house of God; and if it begins first with us, what is the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

The following verses reveal the evil angels will also be judged.

2 Peter 2:4: For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but handed them over for judgment, holding them in chains of darkness in hell; . . .

Jude 6: . . . and angels, who did not keep their sphere of authority but deserted their own habitation, he has kept in everlasting bonds under the darkness of hell for judgment on the great Day.

1 Corinthians 6:3: Do you not know that we will judge angels?

So it will be that people can ignore the Lord’s call to faith, but they cannot ignore his call to judgment.

To summarize what we have learned in this tenth section of this Bible study, everyone will be judged, the living and the dead, even the evil angels. We Christians will also be judged.

11. In this eleventh section of this study we will discover how the judgment will proceed.

Christ will return.

Matthew 25:31: “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory;

All the dead will be raised, both the believers and the unbelievers, at the last day. The people of the earth will mourn, for they will know their judgment is at hand.

Acts 24:15: . . . having a hope in God, which even these men themselves embrace, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

John 6:40: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I, I will raise him up on the last day.”

Revelation 1:7: BEHOLD! HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see him, even every one who pierced him, and all the nations of the earth will mourn because of him. So indeed it will be. Amen.

All people will be gathered before Christ Jesus by the holy angels.

Matthew 25:32: . . . and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, . . .

Matthew 24:31: “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.”

Before the judgment begins the believers and unbelievers, the righteous and the wicked, will be separated by the Lord’s holy angels.

Matthew 25:33: . . . and he will put the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.

Matthew 13:39,49,50: 39 . . . now the harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. . .
Matthew 13:49
So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
Matthew 13:50
and cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 24:31: “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.”

All will then be judged by their deeds, both the living and the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, in order that each one may receive the things according to which he had done in the body, whether good or bad.

Revelation 20:11-13: 11 And I saw a great white throne and him who was sitting upon it, from whose presence the earth and the heaven fled away, and a place was not found for them.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged in accordance with the things which were written in the books according to their deeds.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, each one according to their deeds.

John 5:28-30: 28 Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear his voice
John 5:29 and will come out – those who have done good deeds to a resurrection of life, but those who have committed evil deeds to a resurrection of damnation.
John 5:30 Indeed I can do nothing by myself; just as I hear, I judge; and my own judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

The believers’ judgment will consist of being acknowledged as the Lord’s people and being gathered by the angels to join him in glory for eternal life in heaven.

Matthew 24:31: “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17: 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a cried out command, with a voice of an archangel, and with a trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are living, who are remaining, will be carried away into the clouds at the same time with them to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will always be with the Lord.

Matthew 25:46: “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The unbelievers will be gathered by the holy angels, who will be the Lord’s executioners to carry out his judgment and wrath. They will cast the unbelievers into hell to be tormented forever.

Matthew 13:49,50: 49 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
Matthew 13:50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

2 Thessalonians 1:9,10: 9 . . . who will undergo the punishment of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power,
2 Thessalonians 1:10 whenever he shall come to be glorified among his saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed – because our testimony to you was believed.

The believers will join the Lord in judging the fallen angels and the unbelievers, who persecuted them, agreeing with the Lord’s judgment and supporting it.

1 Corinthians 6:2,3: 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you incompetent for serving as trivial courts of law?
1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels, not to speak of matters of daily life?

To summarize what we have learned in this eleventh section of this Bible study: In connection with Christ’s return and the resurrection of the dead, both the living and the dead will be gathered before the Lord and separated by his holy angels before the judgment begins and any sentence is pronounced. The believers will be gathered into heaven by the angels to be with the Lord. The unbelievers will be gathered by the holy angels and thrown into hell with the evil angels to be tormented forever. The believers will participate in the judgment by agreeing and supporting the Lord’s decision to punish the wicked.

12. In this twelfth section of this study we will discover how long the judgment will take.

The verses below reveal the Lord knows who his believers are. This being true, the length of time necessary to carry out the judgment will be relatively short.

John 6:64: “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who it was who would betray him.

2 Timothy 2:19: Nevertheless the foundation of the Lord stands firm, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” . . .

Matthew 25:31,32, which we have read before, clarifies that the believers and unbelievers will be separated even before the actual judgment begins. This is another reason the length of time necessary to carry out the judgment will be relatively short.

Matthew 25:31,32: 31 “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory;
Matthew 25:32 and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,” . . .

The dead must be raised and the living changed before the judgment begins. 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 reveals this will be done instantaneously, literally in the twinkling, or the blinking, of an eye.

1 Corinthians 15:51,52: 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we indeed will be changed.

All people must be gathered up from all over the world by the angels in preparation for the judgment. In the judgment the believers will be taken to heaven; the evil and wicked will be cast into hell. According to the following verses the holy angels number in the millions and they move like the lightning. So the time needed for the millions of angels to gather up all people and to take the believers to heaven and to cast the unbelievers into hell will be relatively short.

Revelation 5:11: Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and their number was thousands upon thousands and thousands times thousands.

Ezekiel 1:14: And the living creatures (angels) ran back and forth like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

To summarize what we have learned in this twelfth section of this Bible study, the judgment will not be a long, drawn out, lingering trial and process. Instead it will be over rather quickly.

13. In this thirteenth section of this study we will discover what the people of the earth will desire to do when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead.

The following verses of Revelation state that when Christ returns, the people of the earth will mourn because the time of their judgment has come. They will then desire to escape from it, because they are afraid of the Lord’s wrath against their sins and his punishment.

Revelation 1:7: BEHOLD! HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see him, even every one who pierced him, and all the nations of the earth will mourn because of him. So indeed it will be. Amen.

Revelation 6:15-17: 15 And the kings of the earth and the great men and the military commanders and the rich and the mighty and every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,
Revelation 6:16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb,
Revelation 6:17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

14. In this last section of this study we will discover what the final judgment glorifies.

Based on the following verses it is clear the final judgment will glorify God’s righteous justice.

Job 8:3: Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?

Genesis 18:25: “Far be it from you to do according to this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous will be like the wicked. Far be it from you! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do that which is just?

Psalm 7:9,11: 9 O let, now, the wickedness of the wicked be ended, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God searches the hearts and minds. . .
Psalm 7:11 God is a righteous judge, And a God who pours out anger every day.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10: 5 This is a plain indication of the righteous judgment of God, so as a result you are considered worthy of the kingdom of God, in behalf of which you also are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:6 For indeed it is righteous in the judgment of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you
2 Thessalonians 1:7 and give relief to you who are afflicted, and to us as well, in the coming revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his mighty angels
2 Thessalonians 1:8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus,
2 Thessalonians 1:9 who will undergo the punishment of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power,
2 Thessalonians 1:10 whenever he shall come to be glorified among his saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed – because our testimony to you was believed.

Romans 12:19: Do not take your own revenge, beloved, but give an opportunity for God’s wrath, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL INDEED REPAY,” says the Lord.

Hebrews 10:26-31: 26 For if we continue sinning intentionally after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 but only a certain frightful expectation of judgment and a fierceness of fire that is about to devour the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected Moses’ law dies without pity in the presence of two or three witnesses.
Hebrews 10:29 To how much worse punishment do you think he will be considered worthy who trampled the Son of God under foot, and regarded the blood of the covenant unholy by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Hebrews 10:30 For we know him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY;” and again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
Hebrews 10:31 It is a frightful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Psalm 1:5: Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Based on the following verses it is clear the final judgment will glorify God’s truthfulness and faithfulness to his Word.

Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall absolutely not pass away.”

John 17:17: Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Revelation 21:5-8: 5 And he who sits upon the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And he said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”
Revelation 21:6 And he said to me, “They have taken place! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give without charge to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life.
Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Revelation 21:8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral and those who practice magical arts and idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

Based on the following verses it is clear the final judgment will glorify God’s power.

Psalm 21:1,8-13: 1 O Lord, in your strength the king will rejoice, And in your salvation how greatly he will shout with joy!
Psalm 21:8 Your hand will find your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate you.
Psalm 21:9 You will make them as a fiery furnace at the time of your anger; The Lord in his anger will devour them, And fire will consume them.
Psalm 21:10 Their offspring you will destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men.
Psalm 21:11 For they unfolded evil against you, They plotted an evil plan: They will not prevail.
Psalm 21:12 For you will make them turn their backs; You will take aim with your bow strings against their faces.
Psalm 21:13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; We will sing and praise your power.

Psalm 66:7: He who rules by his power forever; His eyes observe the nations attentively; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves.

2 Thessalonians 1:9: . . . who will undergo the punishment of eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, . . .

To summarize what we have learned in this last section of this Bible study, the final judgment will glorify God’s righteous judgment, truthfulness and faithfulness to his Word, and his power.

Applying the Scriptures:

1. Why will those who are condemned perish in hell?

a. Because Jesus did not die to save them? See 2 Peter 2:1 & 1 John 2:2 for a clue.
b. Because they did not believe the gospel? See Mark 16:16.

2. Evaluate the belief of the universalists, who believe everyone will be saved. Is their belief true or false? Why or why not? See Mark 16:16 again.

3. There are two possible attitudes or desires when Christ comes to carry out the final judgment. What are they? Who will have one desire and who will have the other? Why? See Revelation 1:7, 6:15-17, and Luke 21:27,28.

4. The doctrine of the final judgment is a teaching of hope for us believers in Jesus. Consider why.

a. Now we see and suffer injustice and the ravages of evil in many ways. 1) From ungodly governments, the affluent, and the wicked who pervert justice to serve their own ends. 2) In the legalized abortion, which murders unborn children in their mother’s wombs which should be their haven of safety and protection. 3) In the treatment of the elderly who are taken advantage of, robbed, beaten, raped, and slain. 4) In the racial and ethnic hatreds. 5) In the persecution of Christians for their faith.

When will these wrongs be righted? When will justice finally prevail? Our question can be that of the martyrs. See Revelation 6:9-11. What is the answer to these questions? Why is the final judgment a teaching of our last, only great hope?

b. Though we are sinners ourselves who deserve to be condemned for our many sins, yet, because Christ Jesus paid for our sins, what do we know and hope regarding our verdict in the final judgment?

5. Applying the doctrine of the final judgment as the law to ourselves, how would we live if we knew this were our last day and then came the judgment? See 2 Peter 3:11,12; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-11; 2 Corinthians 5:9,10.



Unpublished work. Copyright © 2004 JCS of Christian Inconnect. All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be reproduced for distribution or publication without prior permission from Christian Inconnect.

All Scripture verses on this web page, unless otherwise indicated, are a translation of the pastor of Christian Inconnect and are a part of the Christian Inconnect Version (CIV), on which he is working. He reserves all rights to his translated verses and to their copyright ©. They may not be quoted without his prior permission.

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