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Seven Judgments of God
past, present, and future

There is no escaping the fact that all mankind will be judged. This will include Christians and all non Christians. Some claim there will be a general judgment for all mankind. This idea occurs frequently in religious literature, but does not appear in the Bible. Looking at the Bible and the following seven judgments of God, we can learn a lot about when these judgments take place, where they take place, and who is involved. Are these separate judgments, or are they one? Is there a general judgment of all, or a separate judgment for the lost and the saved? There are seven judgments of God that we need to look at closely. By examining these seven justments we will find the answer to many questions.

As a background study for the seven judgments, we can start with the Edenic judgments of Genesis 3. As a result of the fall of Adam and Eve, God placed curses, or judgments, upon Adam and Eve, as well as Satan and the earth, Genesis 3:14-17. Because of these things, Scripture states that after we die, then comes the judgment, Hebrews 9:27.

All mankind has been judged as being under sin, Galatians 3:22. So, if all mankind are judged as being under sin, how does one get into heaven where God allows no sin? This brings us to the first judgment, and as you look at these judgments, it is important that you note the time, place, subjects, and the result of each judgment is different.

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The judgment of Christ


Time: A.D. 33, Hebrews 9:25-28

Place: The Cross on Calvary,John 3:14; John 17:4; 1 Peter 2:24

Subjects: The perfect work of Christ, John 3:16; 5:24; Romans 6:8

Result: The death of Christ and justification for the believer, Romans 4:1-25; 5:1-11; 5:15-21; Romans 8:1-16.

Christ died for sin. He took the sinners place on the cross, and died for the sins of the world, 1 Peter 2:24. Jesus Christ took my place and your place on the Cross, and died as payment for our sins, to satisfy the demands of God's holiness, 1 John 2:2.

The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus was raised from the dead, because His death was sufficient to meet the judgment of every sin. The result of this judgment is the eternal justification of believers, Hebrews 10:10-14. Those that are sanctified in this passage are those that are born again. Immediately upon being born again, a person is sanctified. This passages says sanctified forever! This means we are perfect because God sees us as perfect when we are saved. But while here on earth, we are not perfect because we sin. Sanctification here on earth is a progressive sanctification, becoming more like Christ each day. When Christ appears at the catching away, the rapture, all believers receive an incorruptible body, a perfect body, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. A person can go to heaven for one reason, and one reason only (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16): they believe on Jesus Christ as their personal savior, and have accepted the fact that their sins have already been judged and atoned for by Christ. A believer in Christ is no longer under condemnation, Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21;

Christ died not only for the sins of the world, but He died so that sin would no longer reign in the lives of those that believed in Him. When Christ died on the Cross, the believer's sin nature was also judged and crucified with Christ, Romans 6:4-11. This is a judgment that also defeated Satan, Colossians 2:14-15; John 16:11. This judgment is already completed and will never be repeated.

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The Believer's Self Judgment

Time: Any time during our present life, Ephesians 4:22-32; Colossians 3:5-17

Place: Anywhere during this present life, Romans 8:1-16; Hebrews 12:5-11.

Subjects: Individual Believers that are walking in the light, 1 John 1:7

Result: God's approval or Chastisement, Hebrews 12:5-11.

The apostle Paul told of the excesses in the church at Corinth. In the Corinthian church, Christians were drunken and dissolute, 1 Corinthians 11:3-32. This passage tells us that believers should judge themselves when they sin otherwise God will judge and they will be chastened of the Lord, so that they should not be condemned with the world. Christians need to examine their own lives for sin, and then judge the sin and confess it to the Lord. If sin is confessed, it is forgiven and the sinner is restored to fellowship with God, and can again walk in the Spirit. 1 John 1:9. Having done this the believer can now produce fruit, which will bring them rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.

There is a judgment for the wicked, and a judgment for the righteous, Acts 24: 4-16. In this passage it can be seen there is a judgment for the believer and the non believer. The believer will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ. The non believer will be judged at the judgment of the wicked dead or the great white throne judgment. Believers are saved and justified by faith in Christ but they will battle with sin and will many times fail. Therefore, it is necessary for believers to judge their own sins to avoid the chastisement of God and to receive rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.

The believer must remember that chastisement from the Lord is not condemnation, 1 Corinthians 11:32. The Lord's chastening is always corrective, and not vindictive, Hebrews 12:10-11.

God does not chasten non Christians, He chastens only His children in order to bring them back from sin and into fellowship with Him, so that they would not be condemned with the world.

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The Judgment Seat of Christ

Subjects: Believers Only, 2 Corinthians 5:10. The word "we" is used 26 times in this chapter, and always refers to believers. Further, since no one at this judgment goes to hell, it has to be for believers only, 1 Corinthians 3:14-15; Galatians 6:8; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:24.

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Time: Between the rapture and the second coming of Christ, Luke 14:14.

Place: In heaven after the rapture, Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10.

Result: To the believer - rewards or loss of rewards - but he himself shall be saved, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

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This is a judgment that all believers of this age (Grace) will participate in, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. These passages are limited by context to believers, 2 Corinthians 5:5-8.

The language in these verses assures us that Paul is referring to believers. Therefore, it is believers that stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We can also see in Romans 14:10 that the words "we" and "brother" limit the passage to believers.

The judgment seat of Christ will be at the rapture, or the catching up of the body of Christ, the Church, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. First, there is the resurrection of those that are asleep, or have died in the Lord, and their soul and spirit are now reunited with their incorruptible body. Next, there is the resurrection of living believers, whose bodies are changed to incorruptible bodies. Both meet the Lord in the air, followed by an examination before the Judgment Seat of Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. As noted above, there will be no non believers at this judgment. Non believers will appear for judgment at the Judgment of the Wicked Dead, or the Great White Throne Judgment.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not for giving punishment for sins committed by the believers. The sins of the believers were judged at the Cross. This is a place where rewards will be given or lost, depending on how one has used their life for the Lord, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. It is a place where crowns are given. This judgment is not related to salvation since the subjects are all believers.

There are some groups that believe in a general judgment and a general resurrection. By saying this they mean that everyone, whether lost or saved, will be resurrected at the same time and would be judged at the same judgment. This general judgment, they say, is to determine whether they are saved or lost. By comparing the time, place, and the ones being judged at each of these judgments, we can begin to see that times, places, and the ones being judged are different and, therefore, the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne Judgment are two different judgments, with two different subjects, at two different times.

Whether we go to heaven or hell is determined solely on what one has done with Jesus Christ while alive on this earth, John 3:36. In this verse we seen a group that is believing on the Son, and another group that is not believing on the Son. Note also that the group that believes doesn't have to wait for a general judgment to know whether they have everlasting life. The verse clearly states that a believer "has", meaning right now, everlasting life. If a believer has everlasting life right now then, this everlasting life lasts forever.

Believers will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The believers sins were paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross, and when one believes, his sins are forever forgiven and forgotten and cast as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:12, Titus 2:14. When one believes, then their sins are blotted out, Isaiah 43:25. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, believers will be judged on their service to determine their rewards. None of those at the Judgment Seat of Christ will go to Hell. When one believes, they are no longer under the condemnation of God, and shall not come into condemnation again, John 5:24, Romans 8:1.

The second group, which is the unbelievers, will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and will be judged according to their works, Revelation 20:12. So, if one wants to be saved by doing good works, then one must have never violated any one of the Ten Commandments. The Bible says that all our works are as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6. None of those at the Great White Throne Judgment will go to heaven, Revelation 20:14-15.

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The Judgment of the Nations

Time: The glorious appearing of Christ, at the end of the great Tribulation and before the millennial reign

Subjects: The Gentile Nations - Matthew 25:31-46

Place: the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Joel 3:1-2.

Result: Some declared saved and some declared lost, Matthew 25:24; Matthew 25:41; Matthew 25:46; Matthew 13:41-50; Matthew 24:41.

The time: When Christ returns but before entering into the Millennium.Matthew 25:31-46.

The subjects of this judgment are described as being all nations. The word "nations" used in our Bible refers to all nations other than Israel. In this context, it is all the peoples living through the Tribulation on earth at the time of Christ's return, and is a separation of the saved and the lost at that time. Those that are saved enter the millennial kingdom, inheriting the kingdom of God. Those that are lost are sent away to everlasting punishment, Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 14:11.

In the Bible the word "nations" is used principally for people who are not Jewish. It does not have the same meaning as our English word, which refers to a political entity or a people from a specific geographic area. Therefore, this judgment is a judgment of the Gentile people living at this time, and does not include the Jewish people. Israel has a separate judgment which follows the judgment of the Gentiles. Once again, we see that not all are judged at the same judgment.

What is the Basis of this judgment of the Gentile people? It is the treatment of those whom Christ calls "my brethren", Matthew 25:40-46. Some confuse this judgment with the Great White Throne Judgment.

Compare the judgment of the nations in Matthew 25:31-46 to the great white throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15.

JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS

GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT

There are no resurrections
The resurrection of the wicked dead
Living nations judged
The dead judged
Place is on this earth
Heaven and earth has fled away
No books used
Books were opened
3 classes, sheep, goats, brethren
Only the dead
Time is at the appearing of Christ
After Christ reigned 1000 years
Some are saved
None are saved
Only Gentiles are involved
Jews and Gentiles are involved

It should also be noted that both judgments will have the same judge. However, the saints will be associated with Christ in the great white throne judgment, 1 Corinthians 6:2, Daniel 7:22, Jude 1:14-15. Since believers will be associated with Christ in the great white throne judgment they cannot be the subjects of that judgment.

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The Judgment of Israel

Subjects of this judgment is the remnant of Israel that survives the tribulation period, who are on earth and alive when Christ returns, the living Jews. This judgment follows the final regathering of Israel predicted in Ezekiel 20:34-35; Zechariah 12:10-15.

Time: Near the end of the tribulation after the glorious appearing of Christ, Matthew 24:15-22; Jeremiah 30:3-11; Daniel 9:27.

Place: Palestine, Moab, and Edom, Matthew 24:15-31; Hosea 2:14-17; Daniel 11:40-45; Ezekiel 20:33-34

Result: The conversion of the nation of Israel, Romans 11:25-29; Matthew 23:37-39; Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Jeremiah 30:3-11.

The issue here is who will enter the promised land for the kingdom blessings. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and savior will enter into the kingdom blessings. Those who have not put their trust in Jesus Christ will be gathered, judged and removed, with only believers entering the millennial kingdom, Ezekiel 20:33-38.

This judgment in Ezekiel results in the rebels being cut off and unable to enter into the land. This is a judgment of physical death, and they will be raised from the dead for judgment at the Great White Throne. Again, it can be seen that this is at a different time and place than the other judgments, so these cannot be judged at a general judgment of all peoples at one time and in one place.

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The Judgment of the Angels

Subjects: Judgment of the fallen angels by believer's, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Jude 1:6-7; 2 Peter 2:4.

Time: After the millennial reign, Revelation 20:7-15; Jude 1:6; .

Place: Not revealed.

Result : Eternal fire, Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10; .

Satan is confined during the millennial reign, Revelation 20:2-3, but after the 1000 year reign of Christ, Satan will be loosed for a little while. Satan will go out to deceive the nations but he will be destroyed, judged, and cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:7-10.

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The Great White Throne Judgment

Subjects: The lost, the wicked dead of all ages, Revelation 20:11-15.

Time: This judgment takes place shortly after the millennium, but before the eternal state of the new heavens and earth mentioned in Revelation 20:10-11; Revelation 21:1

Place: Before The Great White Throne, Revelation 20:11.

Result: Those not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:15.

The believers have already been resurrected and taken to heaven, so it is now the dead, the unsaved, that stand before the Great White Judgment Throne. God has already removed Satan and His angels, Revelation 20:10. Then the unbelieving dead are resurrected and stand before the throne, Revelation 20:12-13.

The unbelieving dead did not accept Christ's payment for their sins so now must be judged by their works. There will be many who did good works and claim they should get into heaven because of their works, Matthew 7:21. We also see in that verse they will claim they should be able to enter into heaven but Christ will not allow them to enter. Then in Matthew 7:22 we see that they claimed good works to get into heaven. Good works do not get us into heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. But if we are saved we are created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10.

Jesus paid the price for our sins by being judged for our sins. His righteousness is imputed to each one that accepts Christ. But those who do not accept Christ have only their works so then they will be judged out of the books of their works, and if they have violated even one commandment, they will be cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:12-15. There is no mention of even one person, at this judgment, having their name written in the book of life.

Therefore, they will be judged according to how their works stand up to the Ten Commandments, and if they have violated even one of these commandments, they are guilty of violating all of them, James 2:10. How many of all mankind have sinned? All of mankind has sinned, Romans 3:23. So what is the penalty for violating one of these commandments? Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. The death mentioned here refers to the second death, which is eternal separation from God in a lake of fire, Revelation 21:8; John 3:18.

Death comes first and then the judgment, Hebrews 9:27, so since the eternal destiny is fixed at death, the Great White Throne judgment is also for degrees of punishment. In Luke 12:47-48 Jesus tells us that the one that knew God's will and did not do it shall be beaten with many stripes. On the other hand, those that did not know God's will and did not do it shall be beaten with a few stripes. Thus indicating that there are degrees of punishment. We also see in Luke 20:46-47 that the scribes mentioned there would receive a greater condemnation, indicating there are degrees of punishment. Degrees of punishment can also be seen in Matthew 11:22-24 where Jesus tells the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida that it would be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for them. On down in verse 24 we see Jesus speaking of those in Capernaum saying that in the day of judgment it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom. Degrees of punishment are shown in many more places throughout the Bible.

At this final judgment no one will be able to say that God did not treat them fairly. All mankind will be able to see that God gave everyone a chance and that each of us made our own decision as to our eternal destiny, Romans 3:19; Colossians 3:22-25.


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