What Happens at the Final Judgment?

There is coming a day when Jesus will declare the eternal state for every person. What Jesus will do with us then depends on what we do with Him now.

The Final Judgment 

For we must all appear before the judgment 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 Cor. 5:10).

What Scripture Teaches

  • God brought us into this world and will take us out of it one day.
    • And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Heb. 9:27).
  • Every person who has died before Christ’s return, and everyone living at that time, will face the judgment seat of Christ.
    • I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak (Matt. 12:36).
  • We are not saved by good works but for good works.
  • Scripture teaches that we will each be judged by our good works.
    • 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 
    • 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 
    • 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matt. 7:15-20).
  • If we are truly saved, our lives will prove it.

The Eternal State 

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Matt. 25:46).

What Scripture Teaches

  • If we don’t think we deserve punishment, it’s because we think God is too strict or we are too innocent.
  • Only pride could convince us that we don’t deserve God’s wrath.
    • And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
  • Beside Jesus, God has never punished an innocent person.
  • Christians will receive reward; non-Christians will receive punishment.
  • We will either get what we deserve or what Christ earned.
  • Either Christ has suffered for your sins sacrificially, or you will suffer for them eternally.
  • Don’t seem mortified that people spend eternity in hell if you aren’t willing to take a moment to share the gospel with them.
  • We shouldn’t be surprised that God would allow anyone to go to hell; we should be surprised that any of us could go to heaven.
    • He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury (Rom. 2:6-8).

The New Heaven and the New Earth 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more (Rev. 21:1).

What Scripture Teaches

  • Revelations teaches that there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
  • The absence of the sea symbolizes the removal of all conflict.
  • Jesus has prepared a place for those who belong to Him.
    • In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going (John 14:2-4).
  • We will finally be like Him once we finally see Him.
    • Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
  • Pain, tears, and regret are not allowed in heaven.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Rev. 21:4).

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