Although we will experience a resurrection of life, those who did not believe in Jesus will experience judgment.
End time judgment is vastly different from what is commonly taught today. There is judgment that is to come, but whose judgment?
Firstly, we have to understand: God is no longer judging or punishing the world for their sins (their actions).
2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJV
…that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing [charging] their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
John 12:31-33 MKJV
Now is the judgment of this world… And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself. But He said this, signifying what kind of death He was about to die.
God has already judged the world’s sins. He judged the world’s sins at the cross. Therefore, Jesus called the death that He was about to die “the judgment of the world.”
And if the judgment of the world happened 2,000 years ago, we cannot rightly say that the world’s judgment is yet to come.
Now if God is not judging or counting the world’s sinful deeds against them, then why is there a coming judgment for people?
Here’s the Bible’s explanation of end time judgment:
The sin that we were born into, that is in this world today actually originated from Satan in the garden. That is why, after Adam sinned, human beings are called sons of their father the Devil (John 8:44). We became like Satan in his sin and in his nature. That is why Jesus said “The desires of your father you want to do.”
Now Paul states as a general principle that if one is a son (like another – John 5:18) then he is an heir of that person.
Romans 8:17 NKJV
…and if children, then heirs…
For instance, we are sons of God (made righteous like God), which then qualifies us for all that God has.
Jesus is coming back to deal judgment to the devil and his angels, not to people (God dealt with the judgment of people at the cross). But since the unbelieving share in Satan’s sin, they are actually now subject to receive whatever condemnation Satan receives also. They inherit judgment.
Isaiah 14:21 NKJV
Prepare slaughter for his [Satan’s] children Because of the iniquity of their fathers, Lest they rise up and possess the land, And fill the face of the world with cities.”
John 16:8-11 NKJV
And when He has come, He will convict the world… of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Revelation 20:10, 15 NKJV
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire [preceding the world] and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
(15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire [following Satan].
Revelation 18:4 NKJV
Come out of her [Babylon, Satan’s kingdom – Isaiah 14:4, 12], my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Matthew 25:41 NKJV
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…
Everlasting fire was prepared as punishment for the devil and his angels. It was never prepared for human beings. One death is all that was appointed for human beings (Genesis 2:17). And that one death was fulfilled at the cross.
If we believe that Jesus was bearing judgment for the world’s sins then why did He not bear everlasting fire? Why did He only die one death? Because Jesus came to take the judgment of the world, and the world was only appointed one death.
Hebrews 9:27-28 NKJV
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once…
Notice that this verse does not say that coming judgment was appointed to men, but only one death. Therefore Christ died once to fulfill it.
People are not going to be judged on the last day for their sins, or because they deserve it. Those that reject Jesus will be judged on the last day because Satan deserves it, and they will inherit what Satan (their father) deserves.
EXAMPLES OF JUDGMENT:
We should therefore not be surprised that the main examples of judgment that Peter, Jude, and Jesus give are all before the law of Moses, in a time when God was not imputing sins to people (Romans 5:13).
The two main examples of coming judgment in the Bible are:
1) Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s time
2) The ancient world in Noah’s time
(2 Peter 2:4-6, Jude 1:6-7, Luke 17:26-30, Matthew 24:37-39)
Luke 17:26-30 NKJV
And as it was in the days of Noah… as it was also in the days of Lot… Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
These are great examples of coming judgment because they were not being judged for their own conduct. How could they be? It was before the law in a time when sin was not being imputed.
So then why were they judged?
There were angels that came down and did was not natural, having sexual relations with human woman. As Jude says “they left their proper abode.” Sodom, Gomorrah and the world in Noah’s time are said to have mimicked the sin of angels (Gen 6:2, 13, Jude 1:6-7). They became like the angels (sons).
Those angels were judged and because Sodom, Gomorrah, and the ancient world in the time of Noah shared in the angels’ sin they were also judged with those angels (2 Peter 2:4-6). They inherited judgment that wasn’t theirs.
The world of those who refuse Christ’s sacrifice, will inherit the judgment that their fathers deserves—like Sodom, Gomorrah, and the ancient world.
Even as the unbelieving are going into judgment, God will always love them, is not angry with their sin and has already fulfilled their condemnation in His beloved Son.