What is God’s final judgment of man?

Question: “What is God’s final judgment of man? What will be the outcome and what will the judgment be based on?”

Bible Answers

We have heard in the movies the statement, “The judgment is coming, the judgment is coming!  Repent now or you will go to hell!”  What is the judgment, who is the judge, who will go to heaven or hell!  These are very important considerations.  No action is required of us to go to hell, but action is required of us if we want to go to heaven?  Some of those who believe that they are going to heaven may be very disappointed.

The Bible explains that the Judgment is a serious event for all of humanity, as Jesus’ words declare:  I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned  (Matthew 12:36-37).

Final Judgment

Jesus summarized the Judgment to come in terms of the fate of the righteous and the wicked:  Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned  (John 5:29).

What is sin

Sin is the breaking of God's law.  If God says, "Do not lie" and we lie, then we have broken His law and sinned.  The reason God says not to lie, is because these laws reflect the moral purity of His nature.  When we lie, the sin of lying separates us from our Holy God.  It is wrong to lie because God cannot lie, we are to be like God, and His Word says we are not to lie.  It is wrong to steal because God cannot steal, etc. The moral law is not arbitrary.  It is based on God's holiness.

Will all those that claim to be Christians go to heaven

Christ makes it clear that there are only two classifications for all mankind, the righteous that are walking with Christ and those who are walking in sin. Sadly, there is a subgroup. Those who believe they are Christians but are not following or obeying Jesus and will not be going to heaven.

There appears a clean line between the saved and the unsaved, but what of the saved that are neglecting their salvation. A person may say, “I go to church, I tithed, I am not wicked, I am called a Christian, but they neglect God. They do not have a relationship with God. God is not the Lord of their life.

You gave no earnest heed to the things which you heard (Hebrews 2:1).  How do you hope to escape, seeing you have neglected so great a salvation, which was so clearly revealed and confirmed to you (Hebrews 2:3)?

Most Christians do not intentionally turn from Christ, but Satan is very deceptive, and over times makes the things of the world appear to be so necessary that we are drawn to them and away from God until God is no longer the Lord of our life.  Our love of God slowly becomes a love of the world.  We do not realize it, but we slowly end up following the world and its god and no longer love God.

What sorrow there will be when the slothful servant's book is opened! The Judge will show the world how he really spent his lifetime; accumulating money, houses, cars, furnishings, boats, clothes, jewelry, and stocks while ignoring family, forgetting God and forsaking the assembly of believers.  Demonstrating to all that he really had no heart for God!

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Rev 3:15-17).

The Bible says, For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged (I Corinthians 11:31). Are you willing to take the test and judge yourself?  Ask yourself, “What is the most important thing in my life.” If your answer is not God, then you need to confess, repent, and start serving God.

Jesus symbolically tells of the last Judgment. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, … and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left (Matthew 25:31-33).

The sheep on His right hand are told take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world, verse 34. The goats on the left are told, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, verse 41.  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:9).

God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence do good, seeking God’s glory, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

A number of passages in the New Testament speak of the "last Judgment" as a time and situation that no person can escape. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Hebrews 9:27).

Will all those who claim to be Christians go to heaven? No. God is not interested in what a person claims, but rather, who is the Lord of their life.

Who will be judged

The whole human race, every man, woman, and child, along with the fallen angels will be judged (Matt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:51,52; Rev. 20:11-15, 2 Pet. 2:4).

Who will be the judge

The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).

What can we say about the final judgment

It will be certain (Eccl. 11:9), universal (2 Cor. 5:10), righteous (Rom. 2:5), decisive (1 Cor. 15:52), and eternal (Hebrews 6:2). We know that God will be perfectly just and fair (Acts 10:34; Galatians 3:28), that God cannot be deceived (Galatians 6:7), and that God cannot be swayed (Luke 14:16-24).

The final judgment cannot be avoided. We are told it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

What happens at the final judgment

And I saw a great white throne, and Him sitting on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And a place was not found for them. And I saw the dead, the small and the great, stand before God. And books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead in it. And death and hell delivered up the dead in them. And each one of them was judged according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And if anyone was not found having been written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

Christ will judge all unbelievers at the “great white throne,” and they will be punished according to the works they have done. The Bible is very clear that unbelievers are storing up wrath against themselves (Romans 2:5) and that God will …give to each person according to what he has done (Romans 2:6). Believers will be judged at the “judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10), but as Christians, our names are written in the Book of Life, and our judgment will be to determine our rewards, according to our deeds.

Jesus said, …those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned (John 5:29).  Now we can see the pivotal point of this question about salvation.  The Christian sins and repents and God sees him as good and invites him into heaven. The non-Christian and the Christian who has turned away from God and does not repent, but is still carrying his sins, is seen by God as evil and God will not let him into heaven with his sins, so the only option for him is hell.


Our final fate will be either eternal heaven or eternal hell (Matthew 25:46). It is our choice if we go to heaven or hell; it is our choice if we accept or rejecting what Christ did for us on the cross.  If God is the most important thing in our life and we strive to please Him, we know we are going to heaven.  At the judgment, God declares that He will give to each person according to what he has done (Romans 2:6).

Next Section - Can a loving God send anyone to hell?

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