The Judgements of Mankind

There appears to be at least four end time judgements according to Scripture. These can be described as: (1) The Judgement of Believers, (2) The Judgement of the Antichrist and the False Prophet , (3) The Judgement of the Nations, (4) The Judgement of the Wicked.

The Judgement of Believers
The Bible teaches that every believer will have to give an account of himself before the Judgement Seat of Christ, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Because we will one day stand before this Judgement Throne everyone of us will, as Paul says, “give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).

This Judgement will occur when Christ returns for His Church. It will take place somewhere between the Rapture when we meet the Lord in the “air” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17) and Heaven. Whatever the actually location we know it will be before the Throne of Christ (Bema Seat), for it is He that will sit in judgement, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son … Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (John 5:22, 2 Timothy 4:8).

At this judgement we will be required to account for our lives, motives, character, works, and weaknesses. There will be rewards for obedience but loss for disobedience. Paul describes it this way, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). This judgement is not for condemnation or damnation. Since only believers will appear before Christ’s Judgement Throne it will not be to see if we are saved or not. The very fact that we have been caught up in the Rapture of the Church is guarantee of this. Yet it must be said that it will still be a terrifying experience, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men….” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

The Judgement of the Antichrist and the False Prophet
These two men will be judged by Jesus immediately when He comes to earth to reign for 1,000 years. They will be cast, it seems without standing before any actual judgement seat, into the Lake of Fire. It is obvious that they are so wicked that their opposition to Christ goes before them. They are sent to the Lake of fire one thousand years before Satan and those who of the second resurrection, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).

The Judgement of the Nations
This judgement will take place when Christ comes to establish His millennial reign. All nations of the world will be gathered before Him, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).

This will probably happen in a single day as Jesus gathers the leaders of the nations before Him at Jerusalem, “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). It is likely that those who were not saved before the Rapture but who did come to Christ afterwards will be judged at the same time, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).

There is no resurrection of the dead mentioned regarding this Judgement. From this we understand that it cannot refer to either the Judgement of Believers or the Final Judgement (of the wicked). Added to this we find that no books are opened concerning individual lives. It is possible that this judgement relates to the nations attitude towards Israel prior to the Second Coming of Christ.

The Judgement of the Wicked
The Final Judgement, sometimes called “The Great White Throne Judgement” will involve all the wicked from the beginning of time, including those whom the Devil deceives after he is loosed from the Bottomless Pit for a short time, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death … to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished” (Revelation 20:12-13, 2 Peter 2:9). This Judgement will take place after the Millennial Reign of Christ, “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

The Judgement of Believers takes place in the “air”, the Judgement of Nations takes place on earth, but this Final Judgement takes place before God’s Throne in Heaven, “And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne … And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” Revelation 4:2, 20:11-12).

Whoever appears before this Throne is already damned to eternal fire and punishment: there is no salvation for any of these people. They will be resurrected from the grave (reunited with their (recreated) bodies. Many of these have already been in Hell, but now they will be sent to the Lake of Fire for all eternity. Revelation calls this, “the second death”. They will be judged out of their individual life-stories, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works … I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgement was set, and the books were opened” (Revelation 20:12, Daniel 7:9-19). These people did not have their names entered into the Book of Life, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

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