Introduction: Why do we have trials and judgments on earth?
There are at least three reasons. First, to discover what is
the truth in a dispute. Second, to assign fault. And third
to impose a remedy to make things right. Is that how you
view God’s judgment? If so, you have not fully considered
the matter. God knows everything. Nothing you do is hidden
from Him. In God’s judgment there is no discovery of the
truth. Thus, the assignment of fault and remedy would be
greatly simplified. So, why does the Bible speak so much
about a final judgment? Why do people speak of an
investigative judgment when there is nothing that God needs
to investigate? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible to
learn more about God’s judgment!

I. Judgment Confusion

A. Read Daniel 7:9-10. Is the judgment real? (This
text is very clear about a judgment in heaven.)

B. Read Matthew 25:31-32, Matthew 25:41, and Matthew
25:46. What does Jesus say about a final judgment?
(Jesus confirms a final judgment.)

C. Read John 5:21-22. How does Jesus clarify the
nature of the coming judgment? (Jesus says that
His Father does not judge, but it is He who will

D. Read John 5:24. Does Jesus tell us that some are
not subject to the final judgment?

1. If you answered, “yes,” then on what basis
does a person pass from death to life? (This
context suggests to us that “judgment” really
means “condemnation.” Jesus is making a
determination about who “believes Him.”)

E. Read John 5:28-29. Just a few verses after Jesus
tells us that the righteous do not “come into
judgment” He talks about an evaluation of “those
who have done good” and “those who have done
evil.” Can this evaluation be anything other than
a judgment?

1. Notice the last phrase of verse 29, “the
resurrection of judgment.” Is judgment being
used here to mean condemnation? (Yes. This
helps us understand the prior statement about
the righteous not coming “into judgment.”
Jesus is speaking of condemnation and not

II. The Standard for Judgment

A. If we agree that the righteous have some sort of
“evaluation” what is it about? Re-read John 5:24.
On what are the righteous evaluated? (Whether we
believe in God.)

1. Compare Matthew 25:34-36. This is a much
different standard. Can you reconcile them?

B. Read Matthew 22:1-3. Is this story about the final
judgment? (The answer must be “yes,” for Jesus
compares this to the Kingdom of Heaven.)

1. Verse 3 says “they would not come.” How would
you compare this to John 5:24? (Passing the
evaluation requires first that you respond

C. Read Matthew 22:4-7. What is the standard for
judgment for the wicked? (They range from paying
no attention to deadly hostility.)

D. Read Matthew 22:8-10. What conclusion should we
draw from the fact that “bad” people came to the
wedding? And why are they mentioned before the
good? I would normally say, “good and bad,” not
“bad and good.”

E. Read Matthew 22:11-12. Why was the man without the
wedding garment “speechless?” (He had no excuse.
If this were something difficult or complicated he
would have had an excuse.)

F. Read Matthew 22:13. How are the saved in this
parable evaluated? What did they have to do to be
saved? (Both bad and good came. It required
accepting the invitation and wearing the wedding
garment. Recall that they were “gathered.”)

G. Read Matthew 22:14. Doesn’t that seem to be the
wrong conclusion? The King did not “choose” the
guests, the guests chose to come. What does Jesus

H. Think back to Matthew 25 and separating the sheep
from the goats. Do we have a different standard of
judgment for each story? (That seems true on the
surface. But consider that in the parable of the
wedding feast the largest group of the lost were
too busy with their own life to come. The saved
group in Matthew 25 are paying attention to the
needs of others. The two standards are reconciled
by looking at the focus of the life. In both cases
they are focused on the call of God.)

III. Making Sense of the Judgment

A. Read 2 Peter 2:5. Let’s go back to the question
raised in the Introduction about God knowing all –
and therefore why a judgment? What does the
judgment of the wicked at the time of the Flood
teach us about the “Why?” of the judgment? (God
wants to end evil. He wants to give everyone the
opportunity to “get on the boat.” At the Flood the
standard for the judgment was simple: enter the
Ark. The standard for the judgment that we have
discussed so far has been choosing to come and
choosing to wear the robe.)

1. Since it is obvious that the standard of
judgment for the righteous is uncomplicated,
what does this teach us about the subject of
the judgment? (This suggests that the judgment
is really only about the wicked.)

B. Read 2 Peter 2:9. What additional reason do we
find for the judgment? (That it rescues the
righteous from the wicked.)

C. Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-3. We previously learned
that Jesus was the Judge. What is this about? How
can we judge the world and angels?

1. Would this explain a slow judgment?

D. Read Revelation 20:4-6. Who is this judgment for?
(Those raised in the first resurrection are
involved in a judgment that takes place before the
resurrection of the wicked.)

1. Is this the judgment written about in 1
Corinthians 6:2? (This makes complete sense.
The righteous judge the wicked.)

2. Wait a minute! How did the sheep get sorted
from the goats at the first resurrection?
Didn’t we previously read that Jesus is the
Judge? (Jesus made the first judgment, but
this judgment is different.)

E. Read Revelation 20:11-12. What kinds of books are
opened during the judgment? (Books recording what
individuals did, and something called the “Book of

1. When does this take place? (Verse 11 starts
with the word “then.” Revelation 20:7 tells us
that this a after the “thousand years.” Thus,
it appears to be after the righteous have
judged the wicked.)

F. Re-read Revelation 20:4. What do you think is the
purpose of the righteous passing judgment on the
wicked? (So that the righteous will be satisfied
with the judgment made by Jesus. This aspect of
judgment is to vindicate the justice of God.)

G. Read Revelation 20:13-15. What does this teach us
about the books recording deeds and the Book of
Life? (If your name and deeds are written in the
books of deeds, you are lost. If your name is
written in the Book of Life, you are saved.)

H. Read Revelation 17:8. Let’s further discuss the
Book of Life. Jesus evaluates the righteous before
His Second Coming – nothing else makes any logical
sense. We have previously discussed the standard
for salvation. How does this evaluation operate?
How are the righteous named in the Book of Life?
(It appears that all of us have our names written
in the Book of Life, and that we take our names
out. Thus, it is not our deeds that get our names
recorded in the Book of Life.)

I. Let’s explore a couple of other texts on this
subject. Read Revelation 13:8, Revelation 3:5, and
Revelation 21:27. Those whose names are written in
the Book of Life worship God, as opposed to
anything else, they “conquered” by choosing
righteousness by faith, and their lives reflect
what is positive.)

J. Are you marveling at the idea that you must “opt
out” of the Book of Life, out of Heaven? Some
argue to me that you must be sincere in your
choice, and therefore your deeds are at issue in
remaining in the Book of Life. The discussion of
judgment and works in 2 Peter 2 is instructive.
Read 2 Peter 2:5-8. Both Noah and Lot were saved
from judgment by choosing God. Were these perfect
men? (No. Genesis 9 records that Noah became drunk
and one of his sons (Ham), who was also saved on
the Ark, disrespected Noah. Genesis 19 records
that after Lot was saved, he got drunk twice and
had sex with his daughters.)

1. What does this suggest is the correct view of
your name being written in the Book of Life?
Do you need to be perfect in deeds?

K. Friend, have you answered the call of Jesus and
chosen to have your name remain in the Book of
Life? If not, why not choose Jesus right now?

IV. Next week: All Things New.

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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