Judgment is a scary thing, especially when you know that you’re guilty. That is what makes the final judgment spoken of in the Bible such a sobering event.
The Bible is clear that one day your life on this earth will end, but you will not. It says that there is a day coming in which Jesus will return and every man and woman will stand before him to give an account of how they lived their lives and how they responded to Jesus. Because God is holy and just, he must punish sin and those who have chosen to reject Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. On the day of Judgment, only those who have placed their trust and faith in Jesus, who have loved him, and treasured him in this life will be given the joy of spending eternity with him. Those who rejected, ignored, and refused to repent and come to Jesus to have their sins forgiven will get what they want—an eternity separated from Christ.
There are many today who try and soften this truth in the Bible. They try and make it sound like hell is not real or that it is only for a short period of time. The Bible, however, says that hell and heaven are both eternal places where real people will live. There is no second chance after death or crossing over from one place to the other. Your choice about following Jesus today has eternal consequences.
The reason hell is so bad is because the God who we sin against is so great. For hell to be an appropriate response to our sin, it must be equal in severity to the infinite dishonor we show God when we reject His authority and providence in our lives. The reason heaven is so amazing is because the God we worship is greater and sweeter than we could ever fathom—and we will spend eternity with Him!
There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who love and treasure Jesus and those who don’t. John puts it this way in John 3:36 when he writes, “Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus) has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
So the reality of a final judgment should cause us to ask, “Am I ready to stand before God and give an account for my life?”
- If you were to die today, what would you say to God about how you lived your life?
- How does the existence of heaven and hell impact how you see your life today?
- What would it look like if God was greater and sweeter than anything else in your life? Are you training your heart for eternity?
Doctrine of the Final Judgment
Everyone will one day have to stand before Jesus and face judgment. At this judgment all of mankind will be separated into two groups, those that Jesus knows and has a relationship with, and those he does not. True believers will be ushered into eternity with Christ, forever to enjoy fellowship with God. Those who reject Jesus will be cast into hell, forever separated from the God they rejected.
Key Scripture: Matthew 25: 31-46; John 3:16-21; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15