Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“HE hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom
he hath ordained” – “Jesus Christ the righteous.” “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath
committed all judgment unto the Son” (Acts 17: 31) (1 John 2: 1) (John 5: 22).
The view generally accepted in regard to the day of judgment is that Christ will come back to
earth seated upon a great white throne. He will gather both saints and sinners before Himself to
be judged, amidst earthquakes, opening graves, rending rocks and falling mountains. The sinners
brought back from a fiery hell will hear their sins rehearsed, and then return to their merciless
doom. The saints will be brought from heaven to witness the misery and despair of the
condemned, to hear their own favorable judgment and then return to heaven. According to this
theory, all receive their sentence and reward at death, but this is by contrast called the general
judgment, which is merely a repetition of their first judgment. This work of judging billions is
supposed to take a literal twenty-four-hour day.
This picture is out of harmony with God’s inspired Word, and is drawn from a too literal
interpretation of our Lord’s parable of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25: 31-46). A parable,
however, is never an exact statement, but merely an illustration of a truth by something which is
in many respects like it. If this parable was literal, it would apply to a judgment of literal sheep
and goats, and not to mankind.
Let us look at a more Scriptural and reasonable view of the work and result of the Judgment
Day. The term judgment signifies more than the rendering of a verdict, but includes the idea of a
trial, as well as the decision based upon that trial.
The word day, in both Scriptures and common usage, although usually referring to a period of
twelve or twenty-four hours, really signifies any definite or special period of time. For instance,
we speak of Noah’s day or Lincoln’s day. In fact, the entire time of creation in the Bible is called
a day, where we read of “the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”
(Genesis 2: 4) – a long, definite period. We also read of the “day of Christ,” the “day of
judgment” and “his day” – terms applicable to the Millennial Age, in which Messiah will reign
over, rule and judge the world in righteousness, granting a trial as well as rendering sentence
(Acts 17: 31) (1 Timothy 6: 15).
Besides the great judgment or trial day for the world, yet future, the Scriptures teach that there
have been other judgment days. The first one was in Eden, when the whole human race,
represented in Adam, its head, stood trial before God. The verdict of that trial was Guilty – the
penalty was death (Genesis 2: 17) – and the decision of the Judge has ever since been enforced.
But God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world, not that He considers His
decision in the first judgment unjust, but that He has provided a redemption from the penalty of
the first judgment. That way He may grant another judgment (trial) under more favorable
circumstances to the entire race – all then having had experience with sin and its results. The
world at that time will be under the New Covenant (Romans 14: 9) (Hebrews 10: 16)
(Jeremiah 31: 31).
God has appointed Christ to be the Judge when He gives the world its trial. The fact that Jesus
who so loved the world as to give His life as its ransom-sacrifice, guarantees that the judgment
will be just and merciful. He will take into consideration the infirmities of all, until the willing
and obedient are brought back to the original perfection lost in Eden.
The coming judgment will be based on the same principles as the first: with the law of
obedience, and its reward of life and its penalty of death. Though unlike the first trial, in the
second every individual will stand the test for himself alone. Under the reign of Christ, mankind
will be gradually educated, trained and disciplined until they reach perfection. And when they
have reached perfection, perfect harmony with God will be required, and any who fall short of
perfect obedience will be judged unworthy of life. None will be permitted to have everlasting
life who then in the slightest degree fall short of perfection.
All will be granted at least a hundred years of trial, but those who refuse to make any progress
during that time will be cut off and go into the second death (Isaiah 65: 20).
The conclusion of the world’s coming judgment is shown in the parable of the sheep and goats
(Matthew 25: 31-46). At its close the two classes will have been completely separated – the
obedient, who will enter into everlasting life, and the disobedient, who will be remanded to
death, extinction, the “second death.”
During the six thousand years between the world’s first and second judgment days, God has been
selecting two special classes from among men, specially trying, disciplining and training them to
be His honored instruments during the period of the world’s judgment. These two classes are
designated as the house of sons and the house of servants (Hebrews 3: 5, 6). The former class is
composed of those faithful overcomers during the Christian dispensation, and the latter of the
faithful overcomers who preceded the Christian dispensation. Those found worthy of being in
either of these two classes will not come into judgment with the world, but will receive their
reward when the world is coming into judgment.
The individuals of these specially selected classes first became justified by faith in God’s
promises, and those who fulfilled the conditions of their respective callings, will be highly
exalted to stations of honor and authority in God’s coming Kingdom. They will be God’s agents
in the blessing of the world – giving men the instruction and training necessary for their final
testing and judgment.
The trial of both these classes has been much more severe than the trial of the world will be.
These have had to withstand Satan, whereas in the world’s judgment day, Satan will be bound.
These have suffered persecution for righteousness’ sake, while then men will be rewarded for
righteousness, and punished for unrighteousness. But though the trial of these two special
companies has been much more severe than the trial of the world will be, the rewards will be
Because of Satan’s deceptions many fear and dread the Judgment Day, having no idea of the
blessings in store for the world under the glorious reign of Christ. But how differently have the
prophets and apostles regarded that promised day of judgment! Note the blessed utterances of
1 Chronicles 16: 31-34 and Romans 8: 21, 22. That will indeed be a glorious and desirable day,
when the great Judge will deliver and bless the world.
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