Outline Six: Judgments
1) In the Scriptures, we are instructed to “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 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)
Everyone – 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 cross.
- In the second judgment, the believer is to judge self, or be judged and disciplined by the Lord Jesus.
- In the Third judgment, all believers must appear at the “judgment seat of Christ” where their works are to be judged.
- In the forth 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.
2) Judgment of the Believers Sin (John 5:24): “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
In the above verse, our Lord tells us that the believer “shall not come into judgment.” (Matthew 10:15) 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 our 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 (Psalm 103:12)
- The sins of believer have been “blotted out” and God has promised that He “will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 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. “For He has made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ was made a curse for us on the cross and “has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:26). The believer will not come into judgment because his sins have been purged (Hebrews 1:3).
3) Judgment of the Believers Self (1 Corinthians 11:31-32): 31) For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32) But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
The judgment 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 (Isaiah 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, for when the believer sees self as God sees him, he will renounce self. It is replacing the self life with the Christ life (Colossians 3:4). Christ is the believer’s life.
- 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 the flesh) “nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18 ). To deny self is to take up our cross and follow Christ (Mark 8:34-38 ).
- To judge self is to lose the self life and find the Christ life (Galatians 2:20)
- To judge self is to no longer be self-conscious, but become Christ-Conscious (Matthew 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 (Philippians 2:3). To judge self is to become selfless.
4) Judgment of the Believers Works (2 Corinthians 5:10): For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done 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.” The term, “judgment seat of Christ” is found only twice in the Bible; but it is referred to many times. It is found in the above verse; also Romans 14:10. A careful reading of both verses 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 the sins of the believer were judged in Christ on Calvary, and “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)
- This judgment will take place “in the air,” following the first resurrection. “The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 ). There will be a thousand years between the resurrection of the saved and the unsaved (Revelation 20:4-5), and there will be a thousand years between the “judgment seat of Christ” where only saved will appear and the “great white throne judgment” where only the unsaved will appear.
- At the judgment seat of Christ, the believer will give an account of himself to God. Therefore we should look to our own works, and not judge the works of others (Romans 14:10-13).
- 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 “suffer loss” – not the loss of salvation, but the loss of rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). So whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. (Colossians 3:17)
5) Judgment of Nations (Matthew 25:31-46) 31) “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32) “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep form the goats. 33) “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34) “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35) “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36) ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink? 38) “When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39)‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40) “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly , I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41) Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42) ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43) ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44) “Then they also will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45) “Then He will answer them, saying ;Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did not do it to one of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46) “And these things will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
This judgment is not the judgment of the great white throne (Revelation 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 the throne of His glory.” The great white throne is never called “the throne of his glory” (Revelation 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 wicked dead.
- At this judgment, there will be no resurrection of the dead. At the great white throne, the entire wicked are raised: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them……..” (Revelation 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 (Revelation 7:9-17); “goats” – The unsaved (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10); “tribes” – the elect of Israel (Revelation 7:1-8, Romans 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 no kingdom; they are all “cast into the lake of fire.
6) Outline 6.5: Judgment of the Wicked (Revelation 20:11-15): 11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13) The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14) Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
The great white 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 Corinthians 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, great and small” will stand before God. But the greatness of the great will be of no value. “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12)
- 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. (Romans 1:18-20)
- At this judgment, the dead will be judged “according to their works.” God is a just God; and since there are degrees of punishment in hell, some will be punished more than others (Luke 12:42 , 48 )
- 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.