By Elyah, Aug 11 2015 07:28AM
It has been said by some in the Christian Church that the Day of Judgement will only be for those who are destined to burn in the lake of fire. The rationale for such a belief is due to the fact that 1) Christians will be exempt from Judgement by participating in the first resurrection at the coming of Christ (Revelation 20:4-6) and 2) all those who will be judged on that day will be judged according to their WORKS (see Revelation 20:12); and because no man can boast of his works before God or work his way into the Kingdom of Heaven, he will as a result be condemned who is not found to be with faith in Christ. Consequently, scriptures such as Acts 24:15, which speak of a resurrection of the just and of the unjust, are interpreted within this context to mean that the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6) will be of the just (Christians), while the second resurrection will be that of the unjust (ex., unbelieving, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, liars, etc.). However, this interpretation of scripture is not correct. Instead, the Day of Judgement will be both for the Just and the Unjust who did not participate in the first resurrection at the coming of Christ. This truth is evident by the following:
1) In the Day of Judgement, the Book of Life will be opened, and a search will be made of the names contained within it to determine what souls enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and what souls are to be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). If the only ones being judged are the damned, then the Book of Life would be opened in futility. However, the opening of the Book of Life will not be an exercise of futility, but will be opened to identify non-Christians whose works were acceptable enough for them to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Revelation 20:11-15).
2) Christ, in scriptures such as Matthew 25:31-46, revealed to us a glimpse into the workings of the Day of Judgement. On that day, all nations (who don't participate in the first resurrection) will be gathered before Messiah. "And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep (the righteous) from the goats (the wicked)." Now, if the first resurrection is for all just persons and the second resurrection for the damned, wouldn't the Just already be separated from the Unjust by the arrival of the Day of Judgement? The truth is that on the Day of Judgement, a separation will be made of the righteous that did not participate in the first resurrection from the wicked destined to be cast into the lake of fire. The criteria in which the nations will be judged will be based upon whether or not they performed works of the following nature during their lifetime: a) giving food to the hungry b) giving drink to the thirsty c) giving shelter to the homeless d) giving clothes to the naked e) visiting the sick and f) visiting those in prison. Anyone found to be oriented toward such works we are told will be surprisingly justified by Christ Jesus--One whom they did not know as Christians know him during their lifetime.
3) The fact that justification will take place on Judgement Day can also be derived at by analyzing Matthew 12:41-42 where Christ points out that the righteous men of Nineveh and the righteous Queen of the South (Saba) will resurrect along with the unjust in the Judgement and condemn the wicked generation of Christ's day who believed not in him. This is a clear and specific example of individuals who will not partake of the first resurrection at the coming of Christ but who will rise in the Day of Judgement and be justified.
Let us conclude this matter by keeping in mind the words of the Apostle Paul, who said that it is "not the hearers of the law who are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Romans 2:13). However, let us also keep in mind that blessed and Holy is he who is faithful in Christ Jesus and is a doer of the good, for on such the second death has no power and he shall be exempt from the Judgement. Amen.
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