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Don Stewart :: Will the Human Race Be Judged in the Future?

Don Stewart
The Bible makes it clear that God has already judged the human race in the past. He often appears in the Old Testament as the judge of all the earth. Abraham said to the Lord.

Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just? (Genesis 18:25).

He is known as the God of justice.

You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, "How have we wearied Him?" By saying, "All who do evil are good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them." Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?" (Malachi 2:17).

Many examples can be found in Scripture when God judged both people and nations. This type of judgment is not what is under consideration here. We want to look at God's judgment of humanity with respect to the future life. Is there really going to be a final judgment of the human race? Who will be the judge? On what basis will people be judged?

The Fact Of Judgment

One of the clearest teachings in Scripture is that God will judge humanity. As God has judged people here on earth, He will likewise judge people in the afterlife. All people will be judged according to what they have done in this life. As it has been in time, so will it be in eternity. The Bible says.

You are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment (Ecclesiastes 11:9).

This Life And The Next

The same principles of judgment and rewards in this life will also be found in the next life. In the Book of Ruth we read.

May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge (Ruth 2:12).

God rewards His people, both in this life and in the next.

Everyone Judged

Judgment is universal. Each person will be judged. The psalmist wrote.

And that You, O Lord, are loving. Surely You will reward each person according to what he has done (Psalm 62:12).

Not Matter The Status

Rich or poor, slave or free, each will be judged.

Knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free (Ephesians 6:8).

At The Proper Time

Judgment will occur in God's proper time.

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God (1 Corinthians 4:5).

Jesus

Judgment is found in the teachings of the Lord Jesus. He spoke of a day of judgment for the people who lived in His day.

But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you (Matthew 11:22).

In another place, Jesus spoke of a final judgment for all humanity.

[Jesus said] Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment (John 5:27-29).

Parables

The teaching of Jesus concerning judgment can be found in His parables. These include the parables of the wheat and the weeds, the talents, the dragnet, and the ten maidens.

Nations To Be Judged

Jesus also spoke of a future judgment of the nations.

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

Undoubtedly, Jesus taught there is going to be a future judgment of all humanity.

Paul

A recurring theme in the ministry of the Apostle Paul is that God will judge humanity. In Athens, he said.

because He [God] has fixed a day on which He will have the world judged in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed, and of this He has given proof to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).

God has appointed a special time of judgment.

Essentials Of The Faith

When Paul spoke to Felix about the essentials of the Christian faith, he assured this ruler there would be a judgment to come.

Some days later when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak concerning faith in Christ Jesus. And as he discussed justice, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present; when I have an opportunity, I will send for you" (Acts 24:24,25).

We find the coming judgment part of Paul's discussion about the basics of the Christian faith. Felix, like many people, did not want to hear of any such thing.

Paul's Letters

In the letters of Paul, the fact of the coming judgment is unmistakable.

Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? (Romans 2:3).

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Romans 2:5).

The Apostle Paul emphasized the judgment would be through Jesus Christ.

On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of humans through Christ Jesus (Romans 2:16).

Clearly the Apostle Paul taught that God was going to judge humanity in the future.

Peter

We also find the Apostle Peter talking about God's future judgment.

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42).

Wrote About Judgment

In his letters, Peter wrote about judgment day.

But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5).

Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:9).

James

James gives allusions to future judgments.

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:12,13).

Jude

Jude also speaks of God's judgment on humanity.

And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. . . . And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him" (Jude 6,14,15).

Hebrews

The writer to the Hebrews also teaches the fact of God judging the human race.

And just as it is appointed for humans to die once, and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

John

The beloved disciple, John, also taught the future judgment of God.

And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming (1 John 2:28).

Judgment day is coming.

Book Of Revelation

Many places in the Book of Revelation we find John speaking of the coming judgment. For example, we find these references.

for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand? (Revelation 6:17).

Final Judgment

There will be a final judgment.

And I saw a Great White Throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds (Revelation 20:11,12).

Judgment Involves Memory

God's judgment will involve remembering things done on the earth. Jesus said.

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken (Matthew 12:36).

God will remember every deed done.

Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' (Matthew 25:44).

In the Book of Revelation we read.

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8).

Babylon Remembered

The sins of Babylon will be remembered by the Lord.

for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities (Revelation 18:5).

Conclusion On Judgments

From these passages that we have considered, we can make the following observations.

1. As God has judged humanity in the past with both rewards and condemnation, so also will He judge in the future. Everyone will be judged for what they have done here on earth.

2. The judgments will come after the death and the resurrection of each individual.

3. Judgment will be a definite event. It will not be an endless process.

4. Judgment will involve God remembering all the deeds that humans have done.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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