Choose Your Judgment
By Dennis Huebshman
There are several Judgments that will be used at the end of our time here, and which one you wind up at is entirely up to you. No one will be able to blame circumstances or anyone else should they face a harsh Judgment, as all have had the opportunity to accept Jesus and receive a merciful Judgment. (Note: all emphasis throughout is mine.)
Starting with the first Judgment, Paul sets up the scene in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord, Himself, will come down from Heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead IN Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly (In the twinkling of an eye 1 Corinthians 15:52) caught up together with them (the resurrected dead) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will always be with the Lord.” This is absolutely describing the Rapture of believers which could take place at any moment.
Next is 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he/she has done in the body, whether good or evil.” To finish out Paul’s reasoning about this Judgment, we first go to 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not destine us for WRATH, but for gaining Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And then Romans 5:9, “Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from God’s WRATH.” (Interesting the chapter and verse are the same for both references).
The Judgment Seat of Christ is not a condemning action, but will be used as a measure of reward or loss thereof by believers who were Raptured from this earth. By saying “dead in Christ”, Paul is referring to all who died under the Covenant of the Cross where the repentant Thief who died with Jesus will be the first. We will be shown all that we did while on this earth, and realize just how important our decision to accept Jesus was.
Jesus will lovingly show us our sins and remind us His blood covered each and every one of them. He will then show our accomplishments we did starting with our acceptance of Him, and what we did to honor Him from there on, and rewards will be given for these. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, “For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid which is Christ Jesus. (12) If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood or hay or straw, (13) each builder’s work will be plainly seen; for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. (14) If what someone has built survives, he/she will receive a reward. (15) If someone’s work is burned up, he/she will suffer loss, but he/she will be saved, but only as through fire.”
It should be noted, all unbelievers in God the Father from the beginning of time to the Cross, and all who will have rejected Jesus from the Cross forward to the end of the millennium will stay in their graves until the final judgment, which I will give more information about this a bit further on.
There is a Judgment for all who will be martyred in the tribulation. Revelation 20:4-6, “Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus, and because of the Word of God. These had not worshipped the beast or his image, and refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (5) The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death (Lake of Fire) has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with Him a thousand years.”
It’s wonderful that the tribulation martyrs will be rewarded for their faithfulness, but how much better would it have been for them if they had just accepted Jesus before the Rapture, and would have been at the Judgment Seat of Christ? They would not have had to endure one minute of the tribulation period.
For all that are alive at the end of the millennium, Jesus will separate them as sheep and goats as given in Matthew 25. The sheep on His right will be the ones that have accepted Jesus and lived for Him. The goats on His left will have lived for themselves, and for what the world had to offer. Again, believers will be rewarded and enter into eternity with Jesus. Non-believers will be sent to the long line that will form at the end of the 1000 years which will have absolutely no rewards whatsoever.
For anyone who thinks the Lake of Fire (Final Hell) is already occupied, the first two residents will be the anti-christ and the false prophet (Revelation 19:20). All others who are destined to go there from the earth are in “hades”, “sheol”, or whatever other name has been given to these “holding places”, and at the moment they died, they started to receive some of the punishment that is waiting them at the White Throne. A good example of this is Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16.
The third occupant of the Lake of Fire will be satan who will be cast in there at the end of the millennium as seen in Revelation 20:10. He will be followed by his demons and then everyone who rejected God and Jesus from the beginning of time to that very moment. They will personally face the Father who will righteously judge them to determine their individual degree of punishment. There are no rewards here, except some will suffer more than others depending on their evil deeds. After they receive their sentence, they will be cast into utter darkness in the Lake of Fire forever. (Revelation 20:11-15) This is the second death Jesus spoke of and contrary to what some false prophets are saying today, it is forever, and it’s no party as some would joke about!
As I stated in the very first paragraph, whichever Judgment you and I end up at is entirely our choice. Our Heavenly Father has set no traps to trip us up so that we would end up in Hell. He is righteous and just and will accept any and all who accepts Jesus as their Savior, and would love it if there weren’t anyone expect satan and his group that gets the eternal punishment. It is plainly stated in 2 Peter 3:9 that our Father is patiently waiting for us to come to repentance, but verse 10 says the Day of the Lord will come like a thief and all deeds will be laid bare.
Right now, there are some who are saying a “Loving God” would not send anyone to Hell, but when the time comes, all who are entering Heaven or all who are entering Hell will understand His Judgments are fair and just. God doesn’t send anyone to Hell that did not choose it for themselves. His covenants are pure and for Him to not fulfill His word as given would make Him a liar, and God does not lie.
He loves us so much He sent a very special part of Himself – His Precious Son Jesus – to take our deserved punishment and die on a cross for us. He also loves us so much that He will not force His will upon us and make us accept this free gift of eternal life with Him, and will allow us to separate ourselves from Him forever. This is not an uncaring or unfeeling God – it is a perfectly righteous God. Jesus said we come to the Father through Him (John 14:6), because there are none righteous to be able to do so on our own (Romans 3:10).
Time is growing short, and as 2 Peter 3:10 says it will be on us like a thief. The old Boy Scout motto says it all, “Be Prepared”. Those who are in Christ Jesus are secure in the knowledge we will not face the WRATH of the Father. Be a part of the “few” of the Straight and Narrow (Matthew 7), and accept Jesus today. When you are at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you will have extra joy because you did. He is waiting for you call, but He won’t wait forever.