Who will be judged on judgment day? Will it be only sinners or will the Christian be judged?
Thank you for your question! Actually, it depends on which judgment day you are talking about. In Scripture there are two great “judgment days,” one for unbelievers and one for believers. They are separated by the one thousand years of the Kingdom, which is sometimes called the Millenium. But even judgment for believers is a sobering prospect.
The judgment for unbelievers is called the Great White Throne Judgment based on Revelation 20:11-15. Here unbelievers will “stand before God” and will be judged in two ways. First, “the book of life” will determine conclusively who will be cast into “the lake of fire” due to their names not being written in that record. Second, people in this category will be judged “according to their works” based on “books.” This part of the judment is not to determine if one has a good enough record to go to Heaven, for salvation is by grace through faith, not works (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3;20, 28; Titus 3:5). It is to determine the degree of suffering for those being cast into the lake of fire (Rom. 2:5-6; Luke 20;46). While there is no “good” spot in Hell, God’s justice demands that Hell be worse for some than others.
The judgment of believers is known as the Judgment Seat of Christ based on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10-11. This judgment is to determine the nature of “every man’s work” to see “what sort it is.” It will be “revealed by fire.” That which consists of “wood, hay, stubble” will be “burned” and thus “manifest” that it was flesh-dependent works causing “loss” of “reward.” That which consists of “gold, silver, precious stones” passes through the fire and thus will “manifest” that it was Spirit-dependent and will “receive a reward.” While there is no “bad” spot in Heaven, God’s justice demands a reckoning of how much Christ was allowed by faith to shine through the believer’s life.
Only God meets the standard of God. This is why we need imputed righteousness in justification and imparted righteousness in sanctification. The gold, silver, and precious stones reveals that part of our lives lived by faith manifesting the “Not I, but Christ” reality. This is God in us meeting the standard of God for us. What an amazing God!
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