The Future Judgment of the Believer
The coming of Christ will be an occasion of jubilation for all saints. When the graves are opened and the dead in Christ shall rise first and the living saints shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, it will be a time such as attends the meeting of a bride with her bridegroom.
Believers never need fear a condemnatory judgment for sin. For every Christian this judgment is already past. When Jesus comes again He will have in His body the marks of crucifixion, and this will prove that the penalty for sin has been paid in full. Our Lord reassures us by His own word: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). To this the Apostle Paul adds: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Our souls rest forever upon these eternal words of our God.
All Men and Fallen Angels are to be Judged
Yet the Bible teaches clearly that all men, both living and dead, saved and unsaved, must give an account to Christ. The Apostle Peter, in his great sermon in the house of Cornelius, said “that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead” (Acts 10:42). Later, in his First Epistle, Peter wrote that the saints “shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick (the living) and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5). Those who were dead, those who have died since or will have died, and the living must give account to Jesus Christ who is ready to judge all men.
The Five Separate Future Judgments
Not all men will be judged at the same time and place. There are five future judgments.
One final word! “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). Ashamed at His coming! What a sorry closing chapter for any believer’s life! How ashamed we will be if we are engaged in dishonest business, unclean conversation, or unholy living. Let us, with singleness of purpose, abandon ourselves to His perfect will for our lives so that we may hear Him say to us: “Well done.”