There are many passages, especially in the Old Testament Prophets, where God pronounces judgement over a specific region or people group, but that is different from the final judgement that is to come. There are a few different phases of God's final judgment on humanity. The term Judgement Day is often used to talk about the Great White Throne Judgement. This is the day that God pronounces final judgement on every person who has not put their faith in Him and when God brings destruction to Satan and his demons. It is the day that brings about the end of this world and the beginning of the new heavens and new earth.
The Great White Throne Judgement, or Judgment Day, is described in detail in Revelation: "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11–15).
The Bible gives us other facts about God's judgment apart from Revelation:
Everyone will face judgment: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Even the angels will be judged: "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment" (2 Peter 2:4).
Nothing will be hidden from God, but all will be revealed: "For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Jesus and New Testament writers warn believers not to be slack, but to be vigilant in serving the Lord and spreading the gospel in preparation for that day (1 Peter 4:7; Revelation 3:11; Hebrews 10:24–25).
Judgment Day is not just a day of wrath, it is also a day of rejoicing, a day of life and healing. Believers in Jesus Christ will not be judged in accordance to their sins, but based on the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed to them by God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:1–10; 2 Corinthians 5:16–21). Judgment for believers is a judgment of reward at the Bema Seat of Christ. After judgment comes new life in perfection for all who have given their lives to Christ. Right after witnessing Judgement Day, John says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:1–4).
Those who have received Christ can rejoice and hope in the coming judgement because it will bring justice and life in perfection and wholeness with God. Their pain and trials will be no more. Rejoicing and life will be theirs for eternity.
If you have not yet turned to Jesus for salvation, do not delay! You can be rescued from your sins today and assured that when judgment comes, you will be found righteous because of Christ's work on the cross on your behalf (Ephesians 2:1–10; 2 Corinthians 5:16–21; John 3:16–18). Please see our articles here to learn more: "What is salvation?" and "How can I be saved?".
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