The judgment is referred to several hundred times in the Bible. God does not inspire His prophets and apostles to emphasize things that are unimportant. The emphasis given to the judgment in the Bible shows us that this is a subject that we should all become familiar with and understand. The judgment is far more important than whether or not you should die, because for the Christian, death is simply a temporary separation. However, the judgment will either unite or separate people for eternity.
Following are five facts about the judgment:
- God’s judgment of mankind includes every single person who has lived on this earth. II Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; Jude 15. For some people, it will be as though they had not been. Obadiah 16.
- The first phase of any judgment is an investigation. If the person being judged is acquitted, that is the end of the judgment, but if he is convicted, two more phases of judgment follow—the sentencing and finally the execution of the sentence when the convicted person must pay the penalty imposed by the sentence.
In God’s judgment, there is first an investigation. The Bible speaks repeatedly about this, often in symbolic language. For example, in Zephaniah 1:12, the prophet makes note of a search. (A search is an investigation.) Notice also that this search or investigation of God’s professed people comes when the day of the Lord is at hand (Zephaniah 1:7).
A court battle with Satan as the prosecuting attorney and Jesus Christ as the advocate of God’s people is described in Zechariah 3. In this judgment scene the salvation of God’s professed people is dependent on their walking in God’s ways—keeping His commandments (verse 7) and having their iniquity removed.
- No judgment can take place without a standard for making a decision of guilt or innocence. The standard for God’s judgment is the law of God, the Ten Commandments. James 2:10–12; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.
- Every action and word and thought and feeling of every person who has ever lived is reviewed in the judgment. See Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Matthew 12:36, 37; Isaiah 66:18; Psalm 139; I Corinthians 4:5.
- If you are to be acquitted in God’s judgment, your name must be entered and remain in the Book of Life. Revelation 20:15; Revelation 13:8; Luke 10:17, 18; Revelation 3:5; Daniel 12:1, 2; Philippians 4:3; The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Great Controversy, 480. Exodus 32:33; Ezekiel 18:24; Acts 3:19–21; Matthew 10:32, 33.
If you are a professed Christian, your name has been registered in the book. How does your page in that book look today?