The Bible is clear: Judgment is coming. In fact, the “eternal judgment” is one of the foundational teachings of Christianity (Heb. 6:1-2). In both the Old and New Testaments, the reality and certainty of the final judgment is revealed. For the unrighteous, those who do not know God and have not been purchased by the blood of Jesus, this day will be permanently terrifying and horrible. For those who have been saved by grace through faith, this very same day will be one that is marked by eternal joy and praise.
Consider these two quotes from Bible scholars concerning the ultimate purpose of Judgment and how it will bring God glory:
“It will serve the purpose rather of displaying before all rational creatures the declarative glory of God in a formal, forensic act, which magnifies on the one hand His holiness and righteousness, and on the other hand, His grace and mercy. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that the judgment at the last day will differ from that at the death of each individual in more than one respect. It will not be secret, but public; it will not pertain to the soul only, but also to the body; it will not have reference to a single individual, but to all men.” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology)
“No one will be able to accuse God of being unfair, nor have any basis for complaint about his fate. Every- one will be “without excuse” (Rom 1:20; 2:1); every mouth will be closed (Rom 3:19). God will be glorified in his justice because it will be made clear that those who are lost are getting what they deserve, and he will be glorified in his grace because it will be made clear that those who are saved are getting the opposite of what they deserve.” (Jack Cottrell, The Faith Once for All)
Judgment Day facts:
There is only one day of judgment in the future (1 Jn. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:12; Matt. 7:22; Rev. 11:18).
Christ will be the Judge (John 5:22, 27; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 17:31; John 12:48).
All people will be there (2 Tim. 4:1; Rom. 3:6; Matt. 25:32).
Our actions will be judged (2 Cor. 5:10; Eccl. 12:14; Rom. 14:12).
God is kind and gracious (Heb. 8:12; 10:17; Jer. 31:34).
Let us long for His return and place our confident trust in Him as we wait for and watch His plan unfold. If we will live this way, we can join with Paul and say that we long for and love His appearing (2 Ti. 4:8)! J. I. Packer once wrote, “Run from Him now, and you will meet Him as Judge then – and without hope. Seek Him now, and you will find Him (for “he that seeketh findeth”), and you will then discover that you are looking forward to that future meeting with joy, knowing that there is now ‘no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 8:1).” (Knowing God)
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world 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 17:30-31)
If we know that judgment is certain and that it awaits each and every one of us, shouldn’t that compel us to examine our lives with honesty? (2 Peter 3:11-18)