The Five Judgments of God

There are five judgments that we know of. Here they are.

Judgment #1: Of the Believer and Sin

The first has to do with the believer and sin. Will he be condemned or not because of his sins? How will God judge the believer? Well, right from the start we must say that God has already made a judgment on this. He has already declared every believer innocent based on Christ’s finished work on the cross. In 1 peter 2:24 it says,

And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

Then in Romans 8:1 and 2 it says,

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Here is a third wonderful promise as to this judgment; in John 5:24 Jesus says to us,

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Judgment #2: Of the Believer and his Works

This second judgment is in regard to the believer and his works. This judgment, often called the BEMA judgment, will be conducted in heaven, just after the Rapture of the church. This judgment is described in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Hence, the result of this judgment is a reward or loss. All our bad works will be consumed by fire, and our good works shall remain and we will be rewarded for them.

Judgment #3: Of the Jews

This is a judgment of the Jews. While the church is being judged in heaven, the Jews will be judged on earth during the Tribulation. The basis of their judgment is their rejection of God and of their messiah. For their sin they have been scattered among the nations until the Time of the Gentiles are fulfilled—at the Rapture. At that time, they will be gathered back to the Holy Land and will suffer under the Antichrist and under God’s wrath upon the earth, which is called the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jer. 30:4-7). Many Jews will die, but a third will call upon the Lord and be saved (Ezek. 13:8-9).

Judgment #4: Of the Nations

This is the judgment of the nations, a judgment on all Gentiles who are still alive after Armageddon. This judgment is sometimes called the judgment of the sheep and goats. The sheep represent believers and the goats represent unbelievers. This judgment is well described for us in Matthew 25:31-46. Here it describes King Jesus as separating all the people as a shepherd would separate the sheep from the goats. And He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. Here is the passage from verse 34:

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 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 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to 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 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been 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; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’  44 “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’  45 “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Notice the basis of the judgment of these Gentile peoples. It hinges on how they will treat Christ’s brothers. Most scholars would say that these brothers refer to Jewish believers, mainly the 144,000 Jews who will be His witnesses.

As you remember, during the Tribulation no one will be able to buy or sell anything without the beast’s mark. But since believers were not to take the mark, they will have to get food and anything they needed by other means. Since the Jewish witnesses were to commit all of their time on preaching the gospel, they could not spend much time trying to provide for themselves.

Those who were believing Gentiles, they were the ones that will provide for them. Even though they will not take the mark either, they will make the time to somehow feed themselves as well as the believing Jews. And God will help them do it. He will give them the heart and the knowhow to feed themselves as well as others. Moreover, this good work will reveal that they in fact are believers—that they are His sheep.

Judgment #5: Of the Unbeliever

This fifth judgment is called the great white throne judgment. The time of this judgment is immediately after the end of the Satanic rebellion, when the devil is thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10), and just before the new heaven and earth comes into existence (Rev. 21:1). Hence, it will be during that time when there is nothing—when the old universe is “passed away” or “destroyed with intense heat” (2 Pt. 3:10), and when the new heaven and earth have not yet come (Rev. 21:1). There will be nothing but a “great white throne” with God sitting on it. This is the judgment of all unbelievers of all time. They will all be resurrected and will be brought here to be judged. The account of this judgment is in Revelation 20:11-15.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.