By Gary Ray Branscome


The lord Jesus Christ has told us that He will raise up believers, “On the last day” (John 6:40). And, that He “Will judge the living and the dead at his appearing” (2Timothy 4:1). For Christ “is the one whom God has appointed to be the Judge of the living and dead” (Acts 10:42). We are told that, “When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory, and all nations will be gathered before Him” (Matthew 25:31-32). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2Corinthians 2:10).

          However, even though “everyone” will “be judged according to their works,” // “judged according to what they have done” (Revelation 20:12-13) there will be “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). On the contrary, no sin will be imputed to those who trust in Christ. As it is written, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” // “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Psalm 32:1; Romans 4:8). For God has, “cast all our iniquities into the depths of the sea,” (Micah 7:19) and only takes into account the good we have done (Matthew 25:34-40). As it is written, “He who hears my word, and believes on Him who sent me, has everlasting life, and will not come into condemnation; but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). [See John 12:48; Revelation 12:11; Romans 2:16.]

Furthermore, the words, “God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness, until judgment,” and the words, “The angels who did not keep their first estate, but went outside their bounds, have been kept by Him in darkness bound with everlasting chains until the judgment of the great day,” tell us that on the Day of Judgment, God will not only judge men, but also all of the angels that sinned (2Peter 2;4; Jude 6).


When the Bible warns us that the day is coming when, “All who are in the graves will hear His voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation,” those words are Law, not Gospel (John 5:28-29). Because they are Law, their purpose is not to terrify believers, but to warn unbelievers of the coming judgment and call them to repentance. As it is written, “The law is not meant for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious” (1Timothy 1:9). In contrast, the same section of Scripture comforts those who trust in Christ with the words, “He who hears My word, and believes on Him who sent me, has everlasting life, and will not come into condemnation; but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). The first statement is Law, the second is Gospel. Furthermore, because believers have already “passed from death to life,” their future is already determined. At death, they will be with Christ in paradise, and that can never change (Luke 23:43).  In contrast, those who die without faith in Christ will be in hell, and that can never change (Matthew 9:46).


The words, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump… the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed,” tell us that our judgment will not be a long drawn out process (1Corinthians 15:52). On the contrary, the fact that believers are changed, “in the twinkling of an eye” tells us that our judgment is already determined. Furthermore, the words, “Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world Don’t you know that we will judge angels?” tell us that once Christ has raised us up, and separated the saved for the lost, we will join Him in judging not only the lost, but also the angels (1Corinthians 6:2-3).