Judgment Day

“So it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:40–44, NIV 1984).

The Scriptures speaks of two separate and distinct end times’ judgments for two separate groups of people.

The first is The Judgment Seat of Christ and is for believers only. Christians will “give an account” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. “For we [believers] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV 1984). At this time, God “will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart” (1 Corinthians 4:5, NIV 1984). Believers will be rewarded for the things they have done in their earthly lives, the good, the bad and the ugly, and “fire will test the quality of each person’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:15, NIV 1984).

Loss of salvation is not the issue here. A believer’s eternal destiny (Heaven) will not be determined at the Judgment Seat of Christ, because salvation is forever secured when one places their faith in Christ. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28–30, NIV 1984).

However good deeds are a result of our faith in Christ. “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2:17–18, NIV 1984). These are what will be evaluated for rewards or loss of rewards.

The Second is the Great White Throne Judgment and is for non-believers only. Non-believers will be evaluated at the Great White Throne Judgment. The throne is called white because it represents the unchanging holiness of God against which all will be measured. It is called great because all of the lost sinners of history (small and great, rich and poor, living and dead) will stand before the throne of God.

Death and Hades will give up the bodies and souls of the unredeemed dead and they will receive their judgment along with the lost that are still alive at the end. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:11–13, NIV 1984).

It has been said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In reality, neither good intentions nor actual good works are sufficient to pave the way to Heaven. In the end, even power, prestige and privilege will be pointless before The Judge (Jesus Christ) sitting on the throne. “The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22, NIV 1984). There will be no place for the lost sinner to hide and no place to escape. “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrew 9:27, NIV 1984).

Various books will be opened as this judgment unfolds. But what are these books?

The Bible will undoubtedly be there. “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:48, NIV 1984). The very Word that sinners hear and reject today will come back to haunt and condemn them on the last day.

The Book of Life, which contains the names of the saints, will also be opened. If a person’s name is not found in the Book of Life, he or she will be cast into hell. “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14–15, NIV 1984).

A record (Book of Deeds) of all that people did, good and bad, while living will be reviewed. God, the Righteous Judge, keeps an exacting record of deeds and will judge each one justly. Hell will have degrees of punishment in the same way that heaven has degrees of reward. “I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:24, NIV 1984). Good works cannot save a sinner, but God will judge the works of each lost person fairly, sentencing them to a just punishment in hell. There will be no opportunity for sinners to plead their case. God will pronounce every lost sinner condemned. There is no higher authority to appeal. All those who share in the second resurrection must face the second death—eternal hell.

My Advice – Do not count on the things you did in this world to get you to the Judgment Seat of Christ and avoid the Great White Throne Judgment. Only one thing will make the difference. Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.


Lowery, D. K. (1985). 2 Corinthians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 566). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (pp. 854–855). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Author: thebrewisamusing

I was raised in a Christian family and my earliest childhood memories include regular Sunday school and Church attendance as a family. I was taught that our Judeo-Christian values were not just a part of our Sunday routine they should be part of our character and influence all aspects of our lives. I was also taught that as important as these values were they could not save us. We must also be “born again” by accepting Christ.

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