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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: On What Basis Will People Be Judged?

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Don Stewart
The Bible speaks of the fact that all humanity will be judged, and they will be judged by God the Son, Jesus Christ. The judgment in the next life will be based upon the deeds done in this life. Therefore our eternal destiny is determined here on earth, not after we die. The standard of judgment is as follows.

1. According To The Truth They Have Received

Each will be judged according to the information they have received. Jesus said.

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty deeds done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you (Matthew 11:21-24).

The Scriptural truth is that to whom much has been given, much will be required.

But the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more (Luke 12:48).

2. Judgment Will Be Fair

We must note that judgment will be fair. The psalmist wrote.

They will sing before the LORD, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth (Psalm 96:13).

The Apostle Paul also emphasized this truth.

Because He 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 assurance to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).

Jeremiah quoted God as saying.

I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve (Jeremiah 17:10).

3. According To One's Works

The Bible says that each of us will be judged according to our works. Paul wrote.

For He will repay according to each one's deeds: but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:6,10,11).

In the Book of Revelation we read.

I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds (Revelation 2:23).

Lest we might think that God will weigh our good deeds against our bad deeds, He has told us what the work of God consists.

Then they said to Him [Jesus], "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent" (John 6:28,29).

The work of God is to believe in Him whom He has sent - Jesus Christ.

4. According To God's Standards - Jesus Christ

Humanity will be judged according to God's standards, not ours. We will be measured against Christ, not compared with one another. Jesus said.

And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges Me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies Me before others will be denied before the angels of God (Luke 12:8,9).

Those who reject Jesus Christ will be judged.

The one who rejects Me and does not receive My word has a judge; on the last day the Word that I have spoken will serve as judge (John 12:48).

Relationship To Christ

The basis of God's judgment will be their relationship to Christ.

Those who believe in Him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil (John 3:18,19).

Grace Though Faith

Salvation, therefore, is not a matter of our good deeds, it is based upon what Christ has done for us. Paul wrote.

For by grace you have are saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).

He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).


The Bible is clear on this issue. Where a person spends eternity depends upon how they view Jesus Christ. Those who receive Him as Savior will not be condemned. However those who reject His free gift of salvation will be condemned for all eternity. Scripture also emphasizes that God's judgment will be fair - there will be no partiality.
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