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THEOLOGY > Future > The Final Judgment > Basis for Judgment 


For judgment to be just and without partiality there must be a standard, a basis for the judgment. The basis itself must be just and fixed, unchanging because it is absolute. And there is only one fixed and sure basis—God and His Word/Law.

God and His Revelation is the basis for judgment. These are not two, but one. Where there is the One there is the Other; to speak of the One is to speak of the Other. God and His Revelation cannot be separated: He is what He says, and what He says reveals who He is. There is no contradiction, no inconsistency.

The Word, both in its written form and in the form of Incarnation, reveals God. Since in the ultimate sense God and His Word are identical in that God reveals Himself through His Word and His Word manifests who He is, then to speak of the basis for judgment is to affirm that the basis for judgment is God Himself.

Before the righteous Creator, man is the sinful creature; and before the upright demands of the Law, man is a willful and consistent violator. Man has rejected the One who speaks, and man has denied what He has spoken. When man is measured by God, he comes beneath the standard: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Jesus makes the same point in different words: “The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (Jo. 12:48). God is the Judge and God’s Words will judge. To be judged by the words of God is to be judged by God Himself.

Acceptance of the word culminates in eternal life: “Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life” (Jo. 5:24). To have eternal life, and thus be prepared for judgment, is to hear the Word—receive it and believe it—and believe in the One who sent Christ. But if the word is rejected, then that word will stand in judgment against the individual rejecting it; and the One rejected will stand in judgment against the individual rejecting Him. In man’s life his response to the Word determines his destiny.

Scriptures affirm that “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Rom. 14:10, 12), and that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (II Cor. 5:10). These references do not teach two different judgments, one by the Father and another by the Son; rather, they are meant to inform of the fact of judgment and that the basis for judgment is God Himself. The “seat” of judgment is His. And if it is His then the judgment is just. To speak of “the judgment seat of God” and “the judgment seat of Christ” is to affirm the reality and foundation for judgment.

To affirm that the basis for judgment is God is to establish the possibilities of two destines: one is life and the other is death. One is to be eternally in the presence of the Father, while the other is to be eternally separated from the Sovereign God. According to the Scriptures, two concepts are related to the question of destinies: first, the destiny is determined by the individual’s relationship to God and the individual’s response to the Word of God; second, the One who Himself is the foundation for judgment is also the One who determines the destiny manifested in the judgment. 

Return to: The Final Judgment; Next Article: Aspects of Punishment 

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