What is Judgment Day?
Judgment Day. Also known as the Final Judgment. It is the very last thing that happens before God destroys the old heaven and the old earth, which are corrupt because of sin. Before He creates His new heaven and new earth, He has to remove anything that could bring sin into the new creation.
The devil has just been thrown into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet (Antichrist) have been since they were defeated (when Jesus returned before the beginning of the Millennium). This will be the eternal punishment for their sin and rebellion against God. Now the time has come for God to judge who is to join them in the lake of fire, and who is worthy of a place on the new earth.
“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NLT).
Who will not be judged here?
But those who are in the bride of Christ, will not be judged on Judgment Day. They have already stood before Christ to be judged when they were in the situations of their daily lives. They have allowed God’s light to shine in their hearts, showing them their sin and unrighteousness. They have, of their own free will, admitted their sin, taken up a battle against it and have been washed and made clean by the blood of Jesus. They didn’t just receive forgiveness for their sins, they have used the power available in the Spirit to overcome it.
“But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 (NRS).
The martyrs will also not be judged on Judgment Day – those who went through the Great Tribulation, resisted the beast, did not take the mark of the beast and were killed because of their faithfulness. (Revelation 13:15-17.) They have already been before God to be judged and are found faithful and have ruled with Jesus in the Millennium. (Revelation 20:4.)
Read more here about those who judge themselves: When judging is a fundamental part of Christian
The opening of the books
“Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. Earth and sky ran away from him and disappeared. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And the book of life was opened. There were also other books opened. The dead were judged by what they had done, which was written in the books.” Revelation 20:11-15 (ICB).
Jesus said that we must give account for every idle or careless word. Each of us writes a book with our life. Everything we do is written there. Just think what it will be like when God begins to read through our memories on Judgment Day. If we have sinned, we can now, in this life, repent and get forgiveness. Then God wipes it away, and it will never be remembered again. Then when the books are opened, we will only have to give account for good works.
“Then I will forget about their sins and no longer remember their evil deeds.” Hebrews 10:17 -(CEV).
“The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” Matthew 25:31-46 -(CEV).
Everyone will be called to stand before the great white throne on Judgment Day, even the millions of people who didn’t know the law and the gospel. But God created each and every person with something very important – a conscience. The laws of good and evil are written in a person’s heart, and his conscience should control his actions. Therefore, they too have something to explain and give account for on the day when God will judge the secrets of men. But if there are things that they didn’t understand to be wrong, they will not be judged for them. (Read Romans 2,12-16.)
Then Jesus will say, “When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me. Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink?” Matthew 25:35-37 -(CEV).
Even if they didn’t know that they were serving Jesus by their works He will say to them, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created.” Matthew 25:34 -(CEV). This was their reward for following their conscience and being obedient to the laws that are written in the hearts of men.
“But he will give glory, honour, and peace to everyone who does good—to the Jews first and also to those who are not Jews. For God judges all people in the same way.” Romans 2:10-11 (NCV).
To all those who hardened their hearts to the good (against what their conscience said) and did what was evil (even though they knew it was wrong), Jesus will say, “Go away from me. You will be punished. Go into the fire that burns forever that was prepared for the devil and his angels..” Matthew 25:41 (NCV).
Everything is put in its rightful place
“Afterwards, death and its kingdom were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Anyone whose name wasn't written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15 -(CEV). It is no wonder Jesus said that we should be happy because our names are written in the Book of Life!
Then everything is put in its rightful place. Sin and death are finally gone forever. Through all the difficulties and suffering, and even though Satan tried his best to slow down or hinder God’s work, God has finished His work in the bride, the martyrs, and the sheep who have been brought together at Jesus’ right hand. These are the ones who are written in the Book of Life and will live eternally with the Father and the Son in the new heaven and the new earth.