In the Scriptures, we are instructed to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). This is most essential when studying the judgments. Do not endeavor to make all the judgments conform to the theory of one “general judgment.” The “general judgment” theory is the invention of early medieval religion and is not taught in the Word of God.
There are at least five separate judgments revealed in the Bible, and they differ as to time, place, and purpose. Yet, they all have one thing in common: the Lord Jesus Christ is the Judge (John 5:22).
Everyone, from Adam to the last man to be born on this earth, will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to be judged. In the first judgment, the sins of the believer have already been judged in Christ on the cross. In the second judgment, the believer is to judge self or be judged and disciplined by the Lord Jesus Christ. In the third judgment, all believers must appear at the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10) where their works are to be judged. In the fourth judgment, all nations are to be judged at the second coming of Christ. In the fifth judgment, the wicked dead are to be judged at the Great White Throne.
18-1 The Judgment of the Believer’s Sins
In the above verse, our Lord tells us that a believer “shall not come into judgment.” Our sins were judged in Christ on Calvary, and every believer “has passed from death into life” (v. 24). This is present salvation. Christ paid for our sins. He was judged in the believer’s stead. The believer will not come into judgment because:
1) Jesus Christ paid the penalty. On the grounds of His substitutionary death, the believer is separated from his sins forever (Psalm 103:12).
2) The sins of the believer have been blotted out, and God has promised that He “will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
3) Our Lord suffered for our sins, “the just for the unjust,” that we might be saved and never come into judgment as sinners (1 Peter 3:18).
4) The believer will never be condemned with the world, because Christ was condemned in his place. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ was made a curse for us on the cross, and “has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13). “He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). The believer will not come into judgment, because his sins have been purged (Hebrews 1:3).
18-2 The Judgment of the Believer’s Self
(1 Corinthians 11:31 32)
The believer’s self judgment means more than judging things in the believer’s life. When the believer judges his life, the good and the bad in his life come to light; he confesses the bad (1 John 1:9) and forsakes it (Isaiah 55:7). However, it is not enough just to judge sin in the believer; he must judge self.
1) To judge self is to practice self abnegation; for when the believer sees self as God sees him, he will renounce self. It is replacing the self life with the Christ life (Colossians 3:4). Christ is the believer’s life.
2) To judge self is to deny self. This is more than self denial. Self denial is denying one’s self of fleshly gratifications. If we practice self denial only, it is treating the symptom and not the illness. But when we deny self, we are attacking the root problem, for in self (i.e., in the flesh) “nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). To deny self is to take up our cross and follow Christ (Mark 8:34 38), to lose the self life, and find the Christ life (Galatians 2:20).
3) To judge self is to become less and less self conscious, and more and more Christ conscious (Matthew 28:20).
4) To judge self is to become Christ controlled (Acts 9:6).
5) To judge self is to esteem others better than self (Philippians 2:3), to become selfless.
18-3 The Judgment of the Believer’s Works
(2 Corinthians 5:10)
The believer’s works will be judged at the “judgment seat of Christ” (v. 10). The term “judgment seat of Christ” is found only twice in the Bible, but it is referred to many times. It is found in the above verse, and also in Romans 14:10. A careful reading of both verses in context reveals that only believers will appear at the judgment seat of Christ. Their works will be judged, not their sins; for we have already seen that the sins of the believer were judged in Christ on Calvary, and “there is therefore now no condemnation [judgment] to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
1) This judgment will take place “in the air” following the first resurrection. “And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:14 18) after the resurrection of the saved, a thousand years will pass before the resurrection of the unsaved (Revelation 20:4, 5), and so there will be a thousand years between the judgment seat of Christ, where only saved will appear, and the judgment at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11), where only the unsaved will appear.
2) At the judgment seat of Christ, the believer will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, we should look at our own works, and not judge the works of others (Romans 14:10 13).
3) It is a most humbling thought to know that someday the believer will face all his works—good or bad. Some believers will be ashamed (1 John 2:28) and “suffer loss”—not the loss of salvation, but the loss of rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11 15). So whatever you do, do it to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17).
18-4 The Judgment of the Nations
(Matthew 25:31 46)
This judgment is not that of the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11 15). A careful comparison of the two judgments will establish the following facts:
1) The judgment of the nations will take place “when the Son of Man comes in His glory… [and] then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (v. 31). The Great White Throne is never called “the throne of His glory.”
2) At this judgment, He will judge the living nations (Joel 3:11 16). At the Great White Throne, He will judge the wicked dead.
3) At this judgment, there will be no resurrection of the dead. At the Great White Throne, all the wicked dead are raised: “the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them” (Revelation 20:13).
4) At this judgment, the judge is specifically Christ “the King” (v. 34) judging the nations in His earthly kingdom. At the Great White Throne, the kingdom is no longer in view—indeed, the earth itself has “fled away” (Revelation 20:11).
5) At this judgment, no books will be opened. At the Great White Throne, there will be books opened (Revelation 20:12).
6) At this judgment, there are three classes judged:
a) “Sheep”—the saved (v. 33; Revelation 7:9 17).
b) “Goats”—the unsaved (v. 33; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 10).
c) “Brethren”—the elect of Israel (v. 40; Revelation 7:1 8; Romans 11:25 28). At the Great White Throne, there is only one class, “the dead” (Revelation 20:12).
7) At this judgment, the King will give the kingdom to those who have eternal life. At the Great White Throne, there will be no saved and no kingdom; all those judged will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
18-5 The Judgment of the Wicked
(Revelation 20:11 15)
The Great White Throne judgment will follow the thousand year reign of Christ. This is the final judgment, and only the wicked dead are to be judged. According to Revelation 20:5, believers were resurrected a thousand years before this judgment, and their works were judged at the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
1) At this judgment the wicked dead will seek a hiding place from the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Judge. But there is no hiding place.
2) At this judgment the “dead, small and great” (v. 12), will stand before God. But the greatness of the great will be of no value. “There is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12).
3) At this judgment the “Book of Life” (v. 12) will be opened to show conclusively that these people are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
4) At this judgment the dead will be judged “each one according to his works” (v. 13). God is a just God, and since there are degrees of punishment in hell, some will be punished more than others (Luke 12:42 48).
5) At this judgment there will be no acquittal, no higher court to which the lost may appeal. They are lost, and lost forever; they are damned to all eternity, without hope. In hell there is no hope, no sympathy, no love. Even the love of God does not extend into the portals of hell.
Master Outline 18 – The Judgments
 Do not endeavor to make all the ________________________ conform to the theory of one
 Where did the theory of one general judgment come from?
 There are at least ________________________ Judgments revealed in the Bible and the
Lord Jesus is the ________________________.
 List five (5) judgments that are present and what is judged?
 Why will the believer not come into the Great White Throne Judgment? (List 4 items)
 Explain the statement, “It is not enough just to judge sin in the believer, he must judge self.” (List 5 items)
 When will the believers’ works be judged?
 Will the unsaved appear at the “Judgment Seat of Christ?” YES or NO. Explain.
 Where will this judgment take place?
 What will the believer be Judged on at the judgment seat of Christ?
 If a believer suffers loss what will he lose at this judgment?
 Explain the difference between the Judgment of Nations and the Great White Throne Judgment. (List 4 items)
 What are three (3) classes represented at the Judgment of the nations?
 The Great White Throne Judgment will follow what?
 Who are the only ones judged at the Great White Throne Judgment?
 Will there any acquittals or places to appeal at the Great White Throne Judgment?