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Tuesday
Jul242012

Theological Term of the Week

final judgment
The judgment of all people by Jesus Christ at the end of this world order when the eternal destiny of each person will be declared; also called last judgment.

  • From scripture
  • Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15 ESV)

  • From The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 33:
  • Of the Last Judgment.

    I. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons, that have lived upon earth, shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.

    II. The end of God’s appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of his justice in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

    III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.

  • From Biblical Doctrine: An Overview in the ESV Study Bible:
  • Believers, as well as unbelievers, will be judged by Christ. As the apostle Paul writes to the Christians at Corinth, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Rom. 2:6–11; 14:10–12Rev. 20:12, 15). The judgment of believers will test the worth of the way they lived. It will reveal some tragic lack of true good works in the sanctification process and will show that some were saved “but only as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15). Here the testing (“fire”) of God’s judgment at the return of Christ will reveal the quality of a believer’s works, and some will have little to show for their salvation. On the other hand, what was done to glorify God will be rewarded (1 Cor. 4:5Col. 3:23–24). Although God seeks to motivate his people to holy living by the rewards they will receive, ultimately, believers can stand before God only because of Christ’s finished work on their behalf. The basis for justification is only the perfect righteousness imputed to believers and the diverting of sin’s penalty from them to Christ, and never the false security of self-righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21Phil. 3:8–9). There is no fear of the final judgment for those who have trusted Christ for salvation because there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1), which means they “have confidence for the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17).

Learn more:
  1. Tim Challies: The Essential: Judgment
  2. Leon Morris: Day of Judgment
  3. Louis Berkhof: The Resurrection, The Last Judgment, and the Final State
  4. Brian Schwertley: The Final Judgment
  5. William Webster: Judgment and Hell
  6. John Piper: What Will the Final Judgment Mean for You?
  7. Jonathan Edwards: The Final Judgment
  8. Joel Beeke: The Final Judgment (audio)
Related term:

Filed under Last Things

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Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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