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Three different judgments

Many people think of only one judgment: the great white throne judgment where the saved will go to heaven and the lost will go to hell. When these three judgments are mingled up, we end up with heresies.

The sequence of the judgments are as the following:

The judgment seat of Christ

Saved Christians will not go through any other judgment apart from this one. Christians have to be saved by faith alone and without works.

2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. “

“We” in the above verse applies to Christians. God has to judge for every good or bad we have done. Does that mean our sins are not cleared because God has to judge our sins?

Hyper-dispensationalists teach that one does not need to confess sins because Jesus’ blood has paid for all our sins, past and future. Bible believers teach that we do need to confess sins because God judges every good and bad done in the body. Ecclesiastes 12:14 also supports this notion “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Jesus Christ has fully cleansed the sins in the soul. After one dies, their souls go to heaven or hell. Jesus saves the soul and does not see the sins done in the soul. God has performed a spiritual circumcision that divides our soul and body. Therefore, the bad done in our body is judged separately from our soul which has already been cleansed through the blood of Christ.

Refer to the doctrine of spiritual circumcision.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15: “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

“Every man” here refers to Christians. The day shall declare it and shall be revealed by fire. However, if the man’s work is bad and shall be burned, the man shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved. All the bad works in the body will be burned, but the soul is saved. This is a verse for eternal security.

This doctrine is so important to debunk hyper-dispensationalists, post-tribulation rapture, Calvinism, and to assure a Christian of eternal security. 

Revelation 19:7-8: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

The wife of Christ had to be made ready. They had white linen of their righteousness, not the one of Jesus Christ. The reason is that the Christian’s righteousness does not have anything to do with their souls, but it has to do with the works done in their bodies.

Revelations 19:14-15 :“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” 

The Christians are with Jesus Christ in heaven, and then they came down to earth together with Jesus Christ, dressed in fine linen. They also had to go through the Judgment seat of Christ to get cleaned up while tribulation was going on earth.

2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. “

Ecclesiastes 12:14 also supports this notion “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

The judgment of nations

The period is during the millennium where Jesus Christ comes on the earth. 

Matthew 25:31-32: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

The other mention of the judgment of nations is found in “he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:25) which is after the marriage supper of the Lamb, and He comes down to rule the earth.

The condition for salvation was to do good works to the brethren, such as giving a drink, food, or visit people in prison.

Matthew 25:40-46: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

Who are the brethren? According to Matthew 23:8, the brethren is referred as the Jews. A Jew needs to do good works to their brethren at that time because, in Daniel 9 and Matthew 24, the Antichrist persecutes the Jews. The prisons are there because when the Antichrist is in power, he will throw many people into prison. During the tribulation, the Jews will refuse to take the mark of the beast, which will remove any economic power to buy or sell food and water. They will starve and thirst.

The Great White Throne judgment

This is the judgment that every religion that claims to be Christian will say that if one does not produce good works, they cannot go to heaven. 

Revelation 20:11-15: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The person gets judged for their works in the great white throne judgment, and they go to hell. This is contrasted with the judgment seat of Christ, where a person is still saved despite the bad works. There is also a book of life at the great white throne.

The context for the judgment seat of Christ was saved Christians. But in the great white throne judgment, there are people from hell, and the dead are the ones who are being judged.

The first ten verses in Revelation 20 also show that this judgment takes place after the 1,000-year millennium reign. 

The judgment seat of Christ The judgment of nations Great white throne judgment
After the rapture, during the tribulation in heaven During the millennium At the end of the millennium
Saved Christians Nations for their treatment of Jews Lost people
Saved by faith Saved by works (helping the Jews) Saved by works
Cannot go to hell Can go to hell Can go to hell