What does the Bible say about judgment? Will God actually judge all of us one day? If so, what will that be like? After all, how can a loving God pass judgment on someone else? Isn't that a contradiction? Those are the kinds of questions that many people ask about Christianity. They are extremely important questions, because if all of us will be held accountable for our actions by God someday that has huge implications. If we are not ever going to be held accountable for our actions on earth, then there is not really anything keeping us from doing whatever we want - or at least whatever we can get away with. However, if the God of the universe is going to hold us accountable for what we do on earth, then that puts an entirely different spin on things. But would it be fair for God to judge us like that?
That is a good question. After all, why doesn't God just "accept" everyone just the way they are instead of judging them?
Let's explore that for a moment.
Imagine a society where the law enforcement authorities caught the criminals every single time. However, after apprehending the criminals, the justice system of that society never punished them and immediately released those criminals back into society.
What kind of society would that be?
Would that be a just society?
Would that be fair?
The truth is that it would be horribly unjust.
The rapists, the child molesters, the murderers and the thieves would run rampant in society not having to worry about any kind of punishment. After all, if they did get caught they would just be immediately released anyway.
Would you want to live in such a society?
What would you call a justice system that produced those kinds of results?
Of course you would say that such a justice system and such a society are unjust and do not deserve to continue.
But the sad thing is that a very large percentage of Christians believe that God is just like that justice system that never, ever punished the criminals.
It is a fact that many Christians today believe that God would never punish anyone for anything.
But they are completely and totally wrong according to the Bible.
The truth is that God is a God of perfect love AND of perfect justice, and according to the Bible the judgment of God is very real.
In 2 Timothy 4:1, the apostle Paul tells us that God will indeed judge us all....
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead
In 1 Peter 4:5, the apostle Peter also tells us that we will have to give an account of what we have done to God....
But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Romans 14:10 tells us that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God one day....
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.
Hebrews 13:4 explains that God will judge all those who have sinned sexually....
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
In Revelation 11:18 we are told that God will judge and destroy those who destroy the earth....
The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.
In Hebrews 9:27 we are instructed that we only get one life (no reincarnation) and after this life we will face the judgment of God....
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
At this point many would be tempted to argue that the message of Jesus was all about peace and love.
That is true.
Jesus loves all of us so much that He was willing to die on the cross for us.
But that does not make Him unjust.
The truth is that there was NOBODY in the Scriptures who talked about hell more than Jesus did. Just consider the following examples....
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
There is no getting around the fact that the Bible says that we will all face judgment someday.
Are you ready for that day?
In John 3:36 it tells us this....
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.
Without Jesus, you will be facing the judgment of God by yourself.
You will be fully accountable for your own unrighteous acts.
In fact, in 2 Peter 2:9, the Scriptures tells us that the unrighteous are experiencing punishment in hell right now as they continue to be held for the day of final judgment....
if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
The Bible says that without Jesus to pay for our sins, we remain under the wrath of God.
God loves us very much, but he is also completely and perfectly just.
Nothing is going to change that.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, we see both the perfect love and the perfect justice of God on display....
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
The truth is that most people do not want to hear about the justice of God.
Most people simply do not want to hear that judgment is coming.
In fact, most people today sound very much like the people that the apostle Paul was describing in Romans 2:5.....
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
But we will be held accountable.
If you go out and murder someone and the authorities catch you, what is going to happen?
They are going to hold you accountable.
What will happen if you break God's laws?
He will hold you accountable.
The people who foolishly think that God would never judge them are in for a very rude surprise according to the Bible.
At the very end of the Bible we read about the final judgment of humanity, and it is a very sobering message for us all....
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. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then 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.
That is a very heavy piece of Scripture, but it is the stone cold truth.
So is there any good news?
Yes - in fact there is some great news.
While it is very true that we have all broken God's laws, the truth is that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for OUR sins.
In 1 John 5:11-13, we read that whoever receives Jesus as Savior and Lord will not face an eternity away from God. God wants to give us eternal life, and it is free for whoever has the Son....
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
The article above does not have to be bad news for you.
Yes, we are all guilty before God, but the love of God is so great that He willingly paid for our lawbreaking.
Jesus paid for the sins of all mankind when He died on the cross.
Jesus made His sacrifice so that you could be forgiven and could have eternal life.
If you will ask Jesus into your life today, your sins will be forgiven and you will be given eternal life.
To learn much more about this good news, please read our article entitled "What Does The Bible Say About Salvation?"
That article will explain exactly what the Bible says about salvation.
If you ask Jesus into your life today, then when the day of judgment comes you can have confidence knowing that your sins are forgiven.
Those who do not have Jesus will be held accountable for their own sins. That is why we must get the message of the gospel to as many people as possible while there is still time.