The Judgment




Dr. John Hoole – May 11, 2014




Last week, I said “God is moving in human history – and He is, whether we believe it or not.”  One thing that can be clearly seen today is the fact that the world scene appears to be lining up for the kingdom of the Antichrist. The stage seems to be already set, and at some point the Rapture will occur and the devil will be free to bring to power his antichrist.


Another situation is also becoming very apparent.  God is getting ready to judge the world.  With what we, in our generation, are seeing in the world today – and even in America – it must be only God’s grace that is staying His hand of judgment upon us.


The idea that somehow we are accountable to God for what we do in this life is met with a number of reactions.


         1.      This idea is fervently believed by some,


         2.      It is intuitively felt by others, but unaware of what it all means,


but    3.      Most people simply disregard it.


Perhaps how we joke about the judgment reveals that most people do not take seriously the idea of the judgment of God.  One of the more familiar pictures of judgment, some of which are humorous, other more serious, speaks about those who die and immediately arrive at the pearly gates where they are met by either Saint Peter or Jesus.  The existence of the pearly gates is scriptural as a part of our eternal home, but someone standing at the gate to make judgment of whether a person should be allowed entry is not biblical.


While there are many questions concerning the judgment that we cannot answer, there are many issues related to God’s judgment that have, in fact, been made known to us.


Ecclesiastes 12:14 NKJV


14     For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. 


2 Peter 2:9 NKJV


9 …the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,


Ecclesiastes 11:9 NKJV


9       Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.


The youth with quick and almost carefree movement, are striding to judgment. The elderly, with a slow and steady pace, and heading to judgment.  The rich, in lavish surroundings, are driving to judgment.  Yes, “we must all appear before God, where we will give an account of our lives” (Romans 14:12).


The subject of “judgment” is given a paramount place in Scripture.  Over a thousand times this subject is addressed in the Bible.  There are very few subjects about which you can say every Bible writer addresses it.  But that is the case here – every Bible writer mentions judgment.


In fact, it may surprise you that the subject of judgment is mentioned far more than the subject of salvation.  Christ, Himself, talks about salvation only twice.


Once, when He said to Zacchaeus, “this day is salvation come to your house.” (Luke 19:9)


And then again in John 4:22, He says to the Samaritan woman, “….“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”


While Christ only mentions the subject of salvation on two occasions, He addressed “judgment” many times.


Listen to John 9:39 NIV


39     Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world…….”


Daniel Webster, one of the greatest orators of his day, had just delivered a thrilling after-dinner speech and had resumed his seat amid a thunder of applause.  The toastmaster, in thanking the speaker, said in a half-apologetic tone, “I wonder, Mr. Webster, if you could tell us what is the greatest question that has every crossed your mind.”


I wonder how I would have answered such a question.  How about you?  Hesitating only a moment, Daniel Webster arose and with solemnity replied:  “Gentlemen, the greatest question that has ever crossed my mind is my personal accountability to God.”


That, indeed, is a huge question.  And how you answer that issue in your own life, will determine whether or not you will seek God for salvation.  If you do not believe in a God to Whom we are accountable, then you will not see the need for salvation.


A few minutes ago, I mentioned that the Bible addresses the subject of Judgment much more than the subject of salvation.  For me, this is easy to understand.  If there is no judgment of, or penalty for, sin, then there is no need for a Savior.


Throughout the Bible, it is accepted that people are accountable to God.  Good deeds are commended and evil deeds bring their consequences.  When God judges, nothing will be excepted.  Every secret thing, good or bad, will be brought into judgment, as we read in Ecclesiastes 12:14 a moment ago.


Sometimes, judgment is seen as a present day activity, as in Ezekiel 7:7-8, where we read one of many times God judges Israel.  But there is also a strong emphasis on “final judgment .”


There are many descriptions of the judgments  of God.


         •  He will judge the world in righteousness, and judge the people in his truth (Psalm 96:13.


         •  There will be judgment on Israel (Psalm 50:4).


         •  There will also be a judgment on the whole Gentile world (Psalm 9:8).


Judgment day may be referred to in any one of a number of ways.


         •  It may be spoken of strictly as “the day of judgment”Matthew 10:15.


         •  It can be referenced with a reference to its chronological place, as the “last day”John 6:39.


John also tells us Christ said that the word that He spoke would on the last day judge anyone who despised him and refused to hear his words – John 12:48.


         •  The most common way of referring to it appears to be simply “that day”Luke 21:34.


In another sense, for the impenitent, the Day of Judgment is called “the great day of His wrath” (Revelation 6:17)Romans 2:5 echoes this tone, speaking of: “The day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”


There are other ways of putting it – the list is not exhaustive.  The point of it all is that the day in question is the decisive day.  A judgment will take place from which there is no appeal.




That was asked by Job (14:14).  Yes, most assuredly !!




2 Corinthian 4:14 NIV


14     …..we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.


The certainty of our resurrection is predicated on the surety of Christ’s resurrection.


1 Cor 6:14 NIV


14     By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.


God has raised Jesus Christ as a guarantee that He will do the same for us.  The same power that raised Christ from the dead, will also be used to raise us from the dead.


Many people have been taught that there is going to be one resurrection and one judgment.  According to this view, everyone who has ever lived would be resurrected at one time.  All of us – the just and the unjust – would be judge at the same time.  We would all stand before God, and He would at this time separate the sheep from the goats.


The question that naturally arises is this:




I believe we can show from Scripture that there will be more than one resurrection, and there will be more than one judgment.


In John 5:28-29  (NKJV), Jesus clearly taught that there would be more than one resurrection.


28     Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice

29     and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.


The apostle Paul confirmed this concept in his defense before Felix.  He stated that he believed the teaching of the prophets “that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” (Acts 24:15)


If these were the only biblical passages that separate the two groups, it could be argued that the two resurrections referred to could still occur at the same time.  The separation between these two groups might occurs after a common resurrection.


Fortunately, these are not the only Scriptures speaking about this concept.  The Bible established the fact that the resurrection of the godly and the wicked occur at different times.  It also teaches that the resurrection of the just occurs in stages.


I do not believe the Bible teaches of a GENERAL RESURRECTION, where everyone is resurrected and all stand before the judge at the same time.  The Bible does not teach one resurrection or even two resurrections in number.  Rather, it teaches that there will be two resurrections in type which will occur in stages.


One passage that makes this easy to see is in Revelation 20


Revelation 20:6 NKJV


6       Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power,…..


Notice the words, the first resurrection.  Those words establish the fact of at least a two-fold resurrection.  Of necessity, if there is a first resurrection, it logically follows that there must be a second.  Otherwise, it would be absolutely meaningless to employ the term “the first.”


If we peruse the preceding verses in Rev. 20, it should be apparent that there are at least two resurrections, separated by 1,000 years or more.


In verse 5, it refers to “the rest of the dead”.  He is referring to those who did not have a part in the first resurrection, and will not reign with Christ for a thousand years.  These, it says, “lived not again until the thousand years were completed.”  Verse 14 identifies these as having experienced the “second death.”


Here, we have a definite separation between the resurrection of the just and the unjust a separation of at least 1000 years.


Let us first look at the resurrection of the just.  The idea that the resurrection of the righteous will occur in stages is clearly taught in 1 Cor. 15.


1 Corinthians 15:20-23 NKJV


20     But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

21     For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

22     For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

23     But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.


The word, “firstfruits,” is mentioned twice in this passage.  This word speaks of a harvest yet to occur.  In this context, Christ’s resurrection is the “firstfruit,” but more is yet to occur.  Firstfruit was to be the “best” of what is to be offered.


From this Passage, we learn not only that the resurrection of the just will occur in stages, but also that the first stage has already occurred.


Verse 20 says that “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the first stage of the resurrection of the righteous.  Verses 22 & 23 go on to explain that all who have died in Christ will be made alive, “but each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits, and after that those who are Christ’s at his coming.”


The NIV renders the first phrase, “but each in his own turn…..”  This phrase is speaking of a sequence of events – or, as I called it earlier, stages.  And the last phrase of this verse indicates that the stages involve only Christ’s people.  Paul, in this passage, is only talking about the resurrection of the righteous.


Another passage clearly teaching multiple resurrections with different timing is Phil 3:10-11.


Philippians 3:10-11 NKJV


10     That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

11     If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from among the dead.


Someone might ask, "Where are two resurrections mentioned in these verses?"  And if they are somehow mentioned, where is the difference in timing?  Look at those last four words.  It doesn’t say “resurrection of the dead” but “resurrection from among the dead.”


The phrase “from among the dead” is translated from the Greek “Ek Nekron.”  In Greek the word “EK” means…… “out of” or “out from.”  “NEKRON” means “the dead.”  Putting the two together, we have a resurrection “out from the dead”.  The inference is that some of the dead will be resurrected out from among the rest of the dead, who are not yet being resurrected.


Paul wanted to be part of the “first resurrection”, which would separate him from among the wicked dead.  The righteous would be taken out, leaving the ungodly remainder still waiting their resurrection.


Some theologians refer to the resurrection of the godly as the “Out Resurrection” -- a resurrection out from among the dead.  Again, the inference here is that there is a resurrection of the godly that is different in timing from the resurrection of the ungodly.


Let’s consider just a few more Scriptures that emphasize a resurrection of the godly, which is separate and apart from the resurrection of the ungodly.


Matthew 24:31 NIV


31     And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.


Notice that this speaks of gathering only the elect.


Luke 14:14 NKJV (Speaks of helping the poor, maimed, lame and blind - vs. 13)


14     And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."


Nothing here is said about the resurrection of the unjust – only the just.


Luke makes no mention in this verse or its surrounding context about a resurrection of the unsaved.  Indeed, the unsaved will be raised, but not for a considerable length of time after that of the saved.


Luke 20:35-36 NKJV


35     But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead [Again: EK NEKRON], neither marry nor are given in marriage;

36     nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.


This verse addresses those who arecounted worthy” as having part in this resurrection.


Hebrews 11 speaks of many in the hall of faith.  Each person mentioned had individual and varied experiences they went through, but remained faithful.


Verse 35 (NKJV) says:

         And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.


If there is a “better resurrection,” it follows that there must also be a “not so good” resurrection.


Note the striking characteristics in these references.  “His elect, the just, those accounted worthy, and a better resurrection.”


No, there is no general resurrection, where we find all, both saved and unsaved, raised from the dead at the same moment.  Yes, there is a resurrection that is unique for those who have been godly.  And Yes, we will immediately be taken into the presence of our Lord.


So, what we have learned thus far is that, just as there are going to be several resurrection, there are also going to be several judgments.  The resurrections and the judgment of the righteous occur in stages.  The resurrection and judgment of the unrighteous occur at a different time from all the rest.


Understanding the concept of separate judgments should not be too difficult for us to understand, since these two groups of people are not even traveling the same road.  Some have chosen the wide or broad path leading to destruction.  Others have taken the narrow road leading to life everlasting.


Each of us make the choice on which road – wide or narrow – that we will travel.  But no matter which road, we will face God to give an account of our lives.  Nothing in your entire life could be more important than to be ready for that day.  It will determine whether you will spend eternity in heaven or hell.