It is common knowledge that the God of the Bible judges. Everybody who acknowledges his existence has questions about this. Who does he judge? When does he judge? Why does he judge?
My question became, if you are saved (see blog entry The Gospel Truth), do you have further judgement coming? Or have you bypassed that part of human fate?
The answer I have found is yes, you have judgement coming. If you are right with God, this is not a concern. You will still end up in “eternal paradise”, but we must be judged first.
I am not referring to purgatory or anything like that (I do not hold the belief that purgatory exists), I am referring to the day of final judgement. The Son of Man (Jesus Christ) will come back to earth. And on this day he will judge all people. This Bible passage describes how he will do it.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
So we see that he will separate us, believers from unbelievers. The reason we know that he is referring to those who surrendered to him and those who did not is because we know despite what we do, we cannot earn our way to Heaven. We cannot actually get there by feeding the poor. (For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9).
My thought progression began when readinga book called The Christian Faith by Colin E. Gunton. He suggested that the reason Christians/good people suffer as well as those people who repeatedly make life hard for others, is because the good people are not exempt from judgement. Good things can come from a judgement. If you are judged to have done well, you will get a reward. However if you are judged to have done wrong, you are punished.
My mind travelled to the previously quoted Bible passage. And then Gunton brought up an excellent verse.
13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.~1 Corinthians 3:13-15
Once a person realizes they are a sinner and they ask for forgiveness and salvation from Jesus Christ/God, they are saved. We do not need to worry that every time we sin we are risking the fires of Hell. We are covered. Christ has forgiven us. However on the day we are judged, God will judge our works.The things we have done in life.
Based on the verses from 1 Corinthians and Matthew, we can say that the works that will be judged will be the way we treat people.
I for one want the reward