Question:

What will the judgement be like for everyone ? Will it be just between God and the person or a public event where everyone will be able to see or hear the account of things the person did, every secret and sins in his or her life? What's the difference between what the saved and unsaved are judged by? I read one person say, God has forgiven our sins but we will still have to stand before God after this life. We should pray God has mercy on our souls for our sins when standing before God when He judges us. Our sins will affect us during judgment time. What does it mean to receive the things done in the body? Is it talking about rewards or what?


Answer:

"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books" (Revelation 20:12).

We are judged according to the things that we have done in this life. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10). God isn't going to only look at the good things we've done, or only look at the bad things we have done. All our deeds will be considered.

"But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God" (Romans 2:5-11).

God will not only look at what we have done, but He will also consider our motives. "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God" (I Corinthians 4:5). Or as Solomon said, "For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

It isn't just the evil who will be judged. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29). As Peter pointed out, "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17). Jesus' parable about the sheep and the goats illustrates this judgment of both the good and the evil (Matthew 25:31-46).

The standard by which we will all be judged is God's Word. "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). It is the same Gospel taught by the apostles: "in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel" (Romans 2:16). God is impartial and the standard applied is the same for all men. That is why God pointed out in Ezekiel:

"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"" (Ezekiel 18:21-32).

The time to pray for forgiveness of sins that we have done is before we leave this world (I John 1:9). "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Waiting to the last moment to handle problems is too late.