How will I be judged when I die?
Contrary to what many people think, God has not made this topic ambiguous in his word.
The believer will be judged at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” (Rom 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10) and the unbeliever will be judged at the “Great White Throne Judgment” (Rev 20:11). The believer will be judged sometime between the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and Christ’s Second coming on the Mount of Olives (with the saints). Believers will be judged in Heaven during the 7 year time period of the tribulation, whilst simultaneously, the world is enduring tribulation on earth. We do not believe that the Bride of Christ will have to endure the tribulation and we are thereby considered, ‘Pre-Tribulation’ in our eschalatogical viewpoint. This pattern has been established in scripture (see later discourse on this topic).
The verdict for both categories is based on whether or not you received the Son of God as your personal Lord and Savior during your time on earth. It is not sufficient to believe in ‘God’ alone, as there are many gods, with many names on this earth. The crux of the matter is belief in the Son (Jesus Christ) and the one true God, Yahweh (1 John 5:11-12, Rom 10:8-10, John 3:3).
How will the believer be judged when they die?
If you received Christ by Faith, then you will be judged not on your salvation (as that is already established) but your works on earth that you performed in the name of Jesus. As a believer’s salvation is secure (by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9)), their works will be tested with fire to see if their motives were pure. That which is ‘wood’, ‘hay’ and ‘stubble’ will burn up (impure motives for self-gain) and that which survives the fire (Gold, silver, jewels etc.) represents works that will endure. These works stem from a pure heart, that seeks to glorify Christ (1 Cor 3:10-14).
In addition, there are also several crowns available for reward and these require certain qualifications to attain them. They are:
- The Incorruptible Crown (1 Cor 9:24-25)
- The Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess 2:19-20 ,Dan 12:3)
- The Crown of Life (James 1:12)
- The Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim 4:8)
- The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1-4)
We believe we have eternal life through faith in Christ (John 3:14-16, 36); and that Christ has prepared a place for His own in Heaven (John 14:1-3). This is a portion of the reward of the righteous. Jesus said he has gone to prepare a place for us and there are many mansions or rooms in the Fathers House (John 14:2). He promised he would return again to receive us into this preparation (John 14:3).
How will the unbeliever be judged when they die?
We believe in a literal hell, as it was never allegorical. Man made it allegorical for his convenience; God’s opinion has never changed. Hell or “Hades” is a holding place for the unrighteous dead until the end of the Millennial Reign. They will then be brought out of Hell and judged, only to be cast into the eternal lake of fire with the devil and demon forces (Rev 20:15, Rev 19:20). Only dreadful as this truth may seem, we believe, and must so believe because of the consistent teaching of God’s Word, that “everlasting banishment from the presence of the Lord and unending torture (or punishment) in hell is the wages of the persistently wicked” (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:22, 29,30; 18:9; 23:33; 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:23-25). Think of hell as the jail and the eternal lake of fire, the penitentiary.