God is the ultimate judge of all creation.
GOD created all things in accordance with His will. GOD determined how His creation was supposed to function. And it is GOD that determines what to do with each person or being after death.
The Scriptures are clear that GOD will judge every person’s work after their death.
After pondering life’s vanities and meaningless pursuits, King Solomon ultimately concluded:
13 Hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear GodEcclesiastes 12:13-14 OSB
And keep His commandments,
For this is the whole man.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including everything that has been overlooked,
Whether it be good or evil.
Solomon’s father, King David, said, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (see Psalm 14:1; 53:1)
Daniel (see Daniel 12), Jesus (see Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21), and the apostles all described a great judgment day, when humans and heavenly creatures would be judged and rewarded for their actions.
Scripture informs us that GOD keeps multiple books whereby our actions are recorded. Those who are judged as righteous have their names written in the Book of Life.
David described this process in Psalm 139:
15 My bone you made in secret was not hidden from You.Psalm 138 :15-16 OSB
And my substance was in the lowest parts of the earth;
16 Your eyes saw me when I was unformed,
And all men shall be written in Your book;
They shall be formed day by day,
When as yet there were none among them.
When Israel sinned by making the golden calf at Mt. Sinai, Moses pleaded with GOD to forgive the people, saying:
30 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You committed a great sin. So now I will go up to God to make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “I pray, O Lord, these people have committed a great sin and have made for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin, forgive it—but if not, blot me out of the book You have written.” 33 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever sins against Me, I will blot him out of My book.Exodus 32:30-33 OSB
Fast forwarding to the first century A.D., Jesus described the separation which existed for the righteous and wicked in the interim state of Hades prior to the resurrection of the dead. Note the distinction which existed between the realms:
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’Luke 16:19-26 NIV
Jesus instructed His disciples to rejoice because their names were written in heaven (see Luke 10:20). Likewise, Jesus warned the church in Sardis through the apostle John:
4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.Revelation 3:4-5 NIV
At the end of our life, we will individually stand before the judgment seat of Jesus:
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV
The apostle Paul left no room for doubt when he wrote:
10 … at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,Philippians 2:10b NIV
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
- GOD has all the power.
- GOD has determined how life is supposed to be lived.
- GOD has given us the opportunity to choose whether to submit our will to His or go our own way.
- GOD has warned us that we will each give an account for how we live.
- You can’t escape GOD’s judgment. If you think otherwise, you’re a fool.