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The Bible teaches there are multiple judgments, not just one general judgment at the end of the Ages. There are separate judgments for believers, unbelievers, and angels, including Satan. All personal beings are morally responsible to God, their Creator, and Redeemer; Jesus is our only Shield.
When people die, they either go to Paradise or to a place of torment. In the Bible, there were two compartments in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man went to torment, and Lazarus went to Paradise. The rich man asked Lazarus, who was in ‘Abraham’s Bosom’ to soothe his agony by bringing him water:
“The beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s presence. The rich man also died and was … In Hades. Being in torment, he … saw Abraham from a distance and Lazarus…. So he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. For I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:22-24).
These compartments have a barrier fixed so no one can cross from one to the other. These rooms temporarily hold places where people exist while waiting for God’s judgment. However, when God judges, He will confirm that no mistake was made; everyone was put in their proper chamber.
Christians, all who’ve believed in Jesus’ Name since His resurrection, will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, a.k.a. the Bema Seat Judgment.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his recompense in the body, according to what he has done, whether it was good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Unbelievers won’t be resurrected until the end of the age. Jesus judges the believers’ works. The Apostle Paul explains:
“For we (believers) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his recompense in the body, according to what he has done, whether it was good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
This judgment will happen after the church is raptured and taken to heaven before the seven-year tribulation period.
While over half the world’s population dies during the tribulation time, some people will live through it. Jesus will judge the survivors to determine whether they’ll go into the Kingdom or the place of torment:
“Before Him (King Jesus) will be gathered all nations (people), and He will separate them one from another…. He will set the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left” (Matthew 25:32-33; see also Joel 3:1-3).
Old Testament Jewish believers (and probably all other Old Testament believers) will be resurrected when Jesus returns to earth after the tribulation:
“And at that time … of (unmatched) trouble, your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book…. Some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:1-2).
Everyone who appears at this judgment is an unbeliever. They are judged according to their works, and no one’s works are good enough to go to heaven. Without Christ as a shield, they stand condemned.
When people of any age believe, God writes their names of believers in a Book of Life. God checks to ensure none of these people have their names written in that book—and they don’t. So, apart from Jesus, they stand condemned.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it…. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. Books were opened…. The dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books…. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
The Bible doesn’t tell us what happens with them. It seems they most likely go into God’s eternal Kingdom either in their natural bodies or resurrected bodies.
Note: In eternity, God brings His heavenly home to earth, a New Earth, where He lives with His people:
“I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, “Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).
What is The Great Tribulation in the Bible? | Revelation 12-16. What a great question. Let’s see what the Bible has to say. In these