Will faithful Christians face judgment on Judgment Day?

Question:

Hello,

I am a member of the church of Christ.

Will faithful Christians face judgment on Judgment Day? If yes, is giving an account and being judged the same thing?


Answer:

Judgment is based on both the good and the bad that we have done. "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). The Christian is not exempt from judgment. "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). God is impartial and treats all people alike:

"But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 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 2:2-11).

Giving an account is you explaining what you did and why. Being judged is what God does to decided your fate.

Thank you so much for the quick response.

OK, I am really trying to connect all of this. If there is no condemnation (judgment) for those who walk according to the Spirit according to Romans 8:1, and those who have obeyed have received grace, then why are we being judged? What assurance and hope do we really have? Or are there different judgments?

I attended a lectureship last year and was so comforted by this. But recently in our Sunday class there was a lesson presented stating we will be judged. Now I feel we do not have the assurance that we will one day make Heaven our home!

I am not trying to be argumentative. It sometimes take me a while to fully understand things.

Thank you for being loving enough to offer this service. God bless you!

Where you are running into problems is that you are starting with a preconceived notion, and even though you are running into passages that clearly state that your notion is incorrect, you have a hard time letting it go.

The passage I quoted from Romans 2 states that there is a judgment that determines the outcome of lives lived on earth -- both the wicked and the righteous. Add to that the judgment scene described by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46. It states that "all the nations" will appear before Jesus and the outcome is that "these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46).

The basis of that judgment is what we have done in this life. Thus, "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). The qualifier, "those who are in Christ Jesus," doesn't just mean "a member of the church." It refers to those who are doing the will of Jesus. Paul continues to describe these people as those "who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4) and whose mind is on "the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5). He concludes "So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh -- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Romans 8:12-13). It is at the judgment where Jesus examines each of us to see whether we did live to this standard. Those who have done so have nothing to fear. "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love" (I John 4:17-18). Why is there no fear? "Because as He is, so are we in this world."

Obedience is not a one time event when you become a Christian. Obedience is a way of life for each Christian. That is why the New Testament contains repeated warnings that we must remain faithful to the end. "If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end" (Hebrews 3:6).

"Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him" (I John 2:28-29).

"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord -- for we walk by faith, not by sight -- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men" (II Corinthians 5:6-11).

Got it! Thank you so much! I have a clear understanding now!