In the Scriptures,
we are instructed in how we should be "handling accurately the word of truth"
(2 Tim. 2:15). This is most essential when studying the judgments. Do not endeavor
to make all the judgments conform to the theory of one "general judgment." The
"general judgment" theory is the invention of religion, and is not taught in
the Word of GOD. There are five separate judgments revealed in the BIBLE, and
they differ as to time, place, and purpose. Yet, they all have one thing in
common: the LORD JESUS CHRIST is the Judge (John 5:22).
from Adam to the last man to be born on this earth... will stand before the
LORD JESUS CHRIST to be judged.
In the first
judgment, the sins of the believers have already been judged in CHRIST on the
In the second
judgment, the believer is to judge self, or be judged by the LORD JESUS CHRIST
In the third
judgment, all believers must appear at the "judgment seat of CHRIST" where their
works are to be judged.
In the fourth
judgment, all nations are to be judged at the Second Coming of CHRIST.
In the fifth
judgment, the wicked dead are to be judged at the great white throne.
OF THE BELIEVER'S SINS
I say to you, he who hears MY word, and believes HIM who sent ME, has eternal
life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."
In this verse,
our LORD tells us that the believer "does not come into judgment." Our sins
were judged in CHRIST on Calvary and every believer "has passed out of death
into life." This is present salvation. CHRIST paid for out sins. HE was judged
in the believer's stead. The believer will not come into judgment because:
- JESUS CHRIST paid the
penalty, and on the grounds of HIS substitutional death, the believer is
separated from his sins forever (Ps. 103:12).
- The sins of the believer
have been wiped out and GOD has promised that HE "will not remember your
sins" (Is. 43:25).
- Our LORD suffered for
our sins, "the just for the unjust," that we might be saved and never come
into judgment as sinners (1 Peter 3:18).
- The believer will never
be condemned with the world, because CHRIST was condemned in his place.
"HE made HIM... to be sin on our behalf" (2 Cor. 5:21). CHRIST was made
a curse for us on the cross, and on our behalf redeemed us from the curse
of the law (Gal. 3:13). "HE has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice
of HIMSELF" (Heb. 9:26). The believer will not come into judgment because
his sins have been purified (Heb. 1:3).
OF THE BELIEVER'S SELF
"But if we
judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged"
of the believer's self is more than judging things in the believer's life. When
the believer judges self, the good and the bad in his life come to light; and
he will confess the bad (1 John 1:9) and forsake it (Is. 55:7). However, it
is not enough just to judge sin in the believer; he must judge self.
- To judge self is to practice
self-abnegation (ab-ni-gay-shun, to deny to oneself; renounce), for when
the believer sees self as GOD sees him, he will renounce self. It is replacing
the self-life with the CHRIST-life (Col. 3:4). CHRIST is the believer's
- To judge self is to deny
self. This is more than self-denial. Self-denial is denying one's self of
the gratifications of the flesh. If we practice self-denial only, it is
treating the symptom and not the cause. But when we deny self, we are attacking
the cause, for in self (that is, in flesh) "nothing good dwells" (Rom. 7:18).
To deny self is to take up our cross and follow CHRIST (Gal. 2:20).
- To judge self is to lose
the self-life, and find the CHRIST-life (Gal. 2:20).
- To judge self is to no
longer be self-conscious, but become CHRIST-conscious (Matt. 28:20).
- To judge self is to no
longer be self-controlled, but to become CHRIST-controlled (Acts 9:6).
- To judge self is to no
longer practice self-esteem, but to esteem others better than self (Phil.
2:3). To judge self is to become selfless.
THE JUDGMENT OF THE BELIEVER'S
"For we must
all appear before the judgment seat of CHRIST, that each one may be recompensed
for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
The believer's works will be
judged at the "judgment seat of CHRIST," which is referred to many times in
the BIBLE. A careful reading of 2 Cor. 5:10 with the context reveals that only
believers will appear at the "judgment seat of CHRIST." Their works will be
judged, not their sins, for we have already seen that all sins of the believer
have been judged in CHRIST on Calvary, and "There is now no condemnation for
those who are in CHRIST JESUS" (Rom. 8:1).
- This judgment will take place "in the
air," following the first resurrection. "The dead in CHRIST shall rise first"
(1 Thess. 4:14-18). There will be a thousand years between the saved and
the unsaved (Rev. 20:4,5), and there will be a thousand years between the
""judgment seat of CHRIST" where only the saved will appear and the "great
white throne judgment" where only the unsaved will appear.
- At the judgment sear of CHRIST, the believer
will give account of himself to GOD. Therefore, we should look to our own
works, and not judge the works of others (Rom. 14:10-13). (Motivation)
- It is a most humbling thought to know
that some day the believer will face all of his works... "good or bad."
Some will be ashamed (1 John 2:28) and some "suffer loss" -not the loss
of salvation, but the loss of rewards (1 Cor. 3:11-15). So whatever you
do, do it to the glory of GOD (Col. 3:17).
OF THE NATIONS
"But when the SON of Man
comes in HIS glory, and all the angels with HIM, then HE will sit on HIS glorious
throne. And all the nations will be gathered before HIM; and HE will separate
them form one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."
This judgment is not the judgment
of the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). A careful comparison of the two judgments
will establish the following facts:
- The judgment of the nations will take
place "When the SON of MAN comes in HIS glory... then HE will sit on HIS
glorious throne." The great white throne is never called "the Throne of
HIS Glory" (Rev. 20:11-15).
- At this judgment, HE will judge the living
nations (Joel 3:11-16). At the white throne judgment, HE will judge the
- At this judgment, there will be no resurrection
of the dead. At the great white throne all the wicked dead are raised: "The
sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades (the grave) gave
up the dead which were in them..."(Rev. 20:13).
- At this judgment, the judge is GOD "the
King" judging the living nations in HIS earthly kingdom. At the great white
throne, the judge is GOD, judging only the wicked dead.
- At this judgment, there are no books opened.
At the great white throne, the "books were opened."
- At this judgment, there are three classes
judged: "sheep... the saved (Rev: 7:9_17); the "goats" the unsaved (2 Thess.
1:7-10); "tribes" the elect of Israel (Rev. 7:1-8; also Rom. 11:25-28).
At the great white throne, there is only one class: "the dead."
- At this judgment, the King gives the kingdom
to those who have eternal life. At the great white throne, there are no
saved and kingdom; they are all "thrown into the lake of fire."
THE JUDGMENT OF THE
"And I saw a great white throne
and HIM who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and
no place was found for them."
The great whit throne judgment
will follow the thousand-year reign of CHRIST. This is the final judgment, and
only the wicked dead are to be judged. According to Revelation 20:5, the believers
were resurrected a thousand years before this judgment, and their works were
judged at the "judgment seat of CHRIST" (2 Cor. 5:10).
- At this judgment, the wicked dead will
seek a hiding place from the face of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, the judge. But
there is no hiding place.
- At this judgment, the "dead, the great
and the small" will stand before GOD. But the greatness of the great will
be of no value. "There is none whose does good, there is not even one" (Rom.
- At this judgment, the "book of life" will
be opened. Why the "book of life" if there are no saved at this judgment?
The wicked will be shown that GOD in HIS mercy provided space for them in
the "book of life," so that they are without excuse (Rom. 1:18-20).
- At this judgment, the dead will be judged
"according to their deeds." GOD is a just GOD; and since there are degrees
of punishment in hell, some will be punished more than others will (Luke
- At this judgment, there will be no acquittal,
no higher court to which the lost may appeal. It is lost, and lost forever;
it is damned to all eternity, and that without hope. There is a Hades (Luke
16:19-31), and in Hades, there is no hope, no sympathy, no love; even the
love of GOD does not extend beyond the portals of Hades.