The Last Judgment
The Last Judgment is necessary to acquit God’s character and justice (Psalms 51:4; Romans 2:5; 3:26). In this world, the righteous is often persecuted, while the unrighteous may flourish (Psalms 37:35–39; Revelation 6:9–11). Therefore, it is vital to the character of God that the righteous will be rewarded with blessings, and the unrighteous will receive their due punishment. This justice does not now exist, and there must be a day when the bad deeds of people are judged.
Also, the Last Judgment is necessary in order that Christ may have victory over Satan and his followers (Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:10, 11; Philippians 2:10). And Christ needs to honor His faithful, whom He has bought with His own blood (Hebrews 2:11–13; John 14:1–3).
On the day of the Last Judgment, humans will not only stand at the bar of justice, but will be exposed for who they really are. The hidden things of their lives will become public (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5). And all will have a just trial (Jude 15). No person will be judged in his absence, or by substitution (Romans 14:12; James 2:12, 13).
Christ is the judge
The Last Judgement was seen by John in a special vision (Revelation 20:11, 12). In that judgment, Christ will be the Judge (Matthew 11:27; John 5:22–27; Acts 17:31; 1 Peter 4:5). He is fully suited for this work. For His knowledge and wisdom are unlimited (Hebrews 4:13). He is the world’s Creator and Savior, who took upon Himself the nature of those who will come before His judgment seat (Philippians 2:6–8) and faced every temptation that they have faced (Hebrews 2:14–17; 4:15). Therefore, Christ will be the perfect judge because in Him, divine wisdom is united with man’s experience. The Father also will join the Son in the Last Judgement (Hebrews 12:23, 24).
The standard of the Last Judgment
Good or evil, people’s works are written in the books of heaven (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians. 3:25; 1 Timothy 6:19). Human probation is limited to man’s life in this present world and ends at death (2 Corinthians 5:1).
A person’s actions will be judged by God’s moral law. “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:10-12 also Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Romans 2:12, 13; James 1:25).
In the Last Judgment, there will be no unclear standard of righteousness, and thus no possibility to get away from a just punishment by a overdue plea for divine mercy. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:12).
Be ready today
To prepare for the Last Judgement, the Bible says, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15). People often delay their decision to follow God because they think the day of salvation will continue forever, that worldly matters need their first attention and that it will be easier to repent and believe in the future than it is today. But they forget that the only time a person has for justification and for triumph over sin is today.
There is a danger in delaying the decision to follow the Lord because when people keep on sinning, their hearts get hardened and the desire for salvation goes away. The Holy Spirit may cease to work in them. Therefore, Jesus pleaded, “So always be ready, because you don’t know the day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). Christians can be ready for the Last Judgment by daily studying the Scriptures, prayer, witnessing and overcoming sin by God’s grace (2 Corinthians 2:14).
In His service,