Eternal Judgment: of the Believer
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Does the Bible teach a purgatory for believers?
 

Recent studies has slightly changed my understanding of this topic. Also meditating on these things after writing this page the 1st time.

One of the problems with this issue is that this is a Foundational Principle that had been lost over time. Many which were lost during the Dark Ages, when Rome persecuted the christians who sought after the truths of scripture and Rome in fact sought to keep the Bible away from the people. See here for more on that:

The Catholic Page Part 2

Unfortunately for me, even though I was taught quite a bit on the Foundational Principles, it was mostly on the 1st three. But there are many teachings on what I am going to discuss on this page, which many refer to as The Bema of Christ or as the Judgment Seat of Christ, found even on the internet.


2 Cor 5: MKJV
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad.


Reading these, and other sources, as well as meditating on those things I have been taught has finally broken through in understanding this topic.

The 1st thing to understand is God will separate the church.


Ezek 34 NKJV
17 "And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.

2 Tim 2: (MKJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
21 Therefore if anyone purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


There will be some who will be fit for the Kingdom and some who are outside, as discussed here:

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Those christians who live in sin or selfishness, will be outside the Kingdom (outside New Jerusalem):

Rev 21: MKJV
24 And the nations of those who are saved
(they are saved) will walk in the light of it; ("it" is New Jerusalem, which is described in more detail in other verses) and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. (those kings who rule these unfaithful but saved folk will bring the glories of these folk into the city because...)
27 And there shall in no way enter into it anything that defiles, or any making an abomination or a lie; but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (some saved people will be unable to enter into this great city, because the sought their pleasure on earth rather than seeking their pleasure in heaven)

Rev 22: NKJV
2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
(these saved nations will be taking these leaves as medicine for all eternity)
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (many christians who have obeyed God will have access to the city)
15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (those who are saved, but lead sinful lives will be outside the city)

We can know this is the new earth and New Jerusalem because:

Rev 21: MKJV
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is.
2 And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband.


It may be hard to believe, but scripture tells us there are people outside the city of heaven. It tells us they were sinners but were saved. It also tells us that these nations of people need healing. Why would a saved resurrected person need healing? Because he has been cleansed by the fire of God which has burned out the junk that he didn't remove himself. Now that emptiness is no longer filled by a motivation of sin, because sin has been removed. Nor can it be filled by repentance. After death there is no repentance:

Rev 22:
11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.


To the degree that you fill your life with Christ on the earth, is the degree you will have of Him there. But there will be no more sin or selfishness in the new earth. However, it is still painful, for afterwards, throughout eternity some (or all) of those christians, will use the leaves of the Tree of Life for medicine or to fill the empty places that they did not give to Christ, which were filled with sin or selfishness and then emptied by fire.

There are 3 such fires. Another fire will take place at the Glorious Appearing. This will be for the Jews and gentiles on the earth at that time. The scriptures dealing with that one are those found in Lamentations. When the anti-christ and his armies are dealt with, Christ will then judge the Jews and the gentiles who are alive, then He will begin the 1000 year reign. The 3rd fire is the Lake of Fire for the unbelievers and demons.

Mark 9: MKJV
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Math 3: KJ21
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.


Now the tricky part. Will there be a literal fire for the christians, or for any christians, even those who do not make it into the Kingdom? I am not certain. At 1st I believed so, but recent studies say no.

New understanding came from viewing this from the perspective of the Wedding. Some will be at the wedding and others thrown out.

Math 22:
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


This parable answers this question beautifully. Especially with:

Math 7:
21: Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.


Not all who are saved and in the church are part of the Bride of Christ. There are some saved whom Jesus doesn't even know. And I discuss this at length here:

Believing vs. Born Again

Where I discuss the fact that in the natural, a baby in the womb does not know it's father, because it hasn't been born yet. And so Jesus says in Math 23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you...

The key finally struck me here:

1 Cor 3:
11 ¶ For any other foundation can no one lay than the one being laid, who is Jesus Christ.
12 And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,
13 each one's work shall be revealed...


We see clearly here, this is work on the foundation of Christ that will be judged. Interestingly I actually mentioned this earlier on another page here:

Ascension Gifts vs Descension Gifts

James 3:
1: My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.


James continues on in the term "master". James also speaks about the leaders having a stricter judgment as Paul does right after those verses above in 1 Cor 3:13-17. James continues:  

2: For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3: Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.


This verse speaks greatly on the subject of ruling and guiding.


But, what is interesting with the Kingdom of God is, is that we ALL are priests.

Rev 1:6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light


So it isn't just the ministers in churches who will be judged (although they will receive a stricter judgment), it is every Born Again christian, because we all are called to some form of ministry.

God hates dead works, Babylonian service, "sacramental" service, liturgical service, and such as I discuss here:

The 2 & half Tribes that didn't Cross Over

Isa 1:
13: Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14: Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.


It is this that we will be judged about, service in the name of God which is not scriptural or done His way. In Leviticus chapter 10 we sees 2 sons of Aaron, whom God chose to be his priests, offer to God their own method of service, and God killed them...

Leviticus 10
1 ¶ And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.
2 And there went out fire from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.


This is the Bema judgment.

We need to repent of such things and such service. Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life, there is no other way to the Father and heaven!

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I have mentioned  that there are 3 fires of God's judgment. I no longer believe that there will be a literal fire on believers.  If you search other teachings on the Bema of Christ you will find great scriptural arguments that our sins have been paid for.

The fire found here is a loss. A loss or rewards, a loss of those things the soul wanted. This is even more understood by learning about the Outer Darkness.

Where does the phrase "Outer Darkness" come from? It is mentioned 3 times in the Bible: Math 8:12, Math 22:13, Math 25:30.

Math 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.


Math 25:14 ¶ For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Spiro Zodhiates, a Greek scholar, in the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible speaks on this issue. By the way, the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible is my favorite Bible. I have owned 2 in my life. I enjoy it because some words have numbers behind them, and in the back of the Bible you can look up those numbers and read the actual definition/meaning of the word in the original Hebrew or Greek. Anyways, here is what Spiro Zodhiates says in that Bible in the notes of Math 8:11-12:

The expression "outer darkness" in Matthew 25:30 occurs at the end of the parable of the talents which emphasizes the necessity of serving Christ faithfully. However, the "outer darkness" of Matthew 25:30 may not refer to Ge'ena... Others say that this parable does not refer to all to be unbelievers or hypocrites but to the believers who neglect to exercise their God-given talents. The Lord calls such a servent (wicked ...4190) (Matt. 25:26) and (cursed 2672) (Matt. 25:41) despite the fact that he is one of the Lord's servants. This is similiar to the instance where the Lord called Peter "Satan" (Matthew 16:23). Hence, these terms may also be applied to believers who have failed the Lord in their service. The words of Paul in I Corinthians 3:10-15 are in full support of the fact that the works of faith as servants will be tried by fire. Therefore, in this instance, the "outer darkness" may be a reference to a place of position of far less rewards for the servants who proved themselves less diligent than those who used who used and exercised their talents to the fullest. The expression would then refer to degrees of the enjoyment in heaven rather than referring to hell. This teaching of varied rewards is part and parcel of the inherent doctrine of the NT that neither heaven nor hell are experienced equally by all because this would anull the justice of God. Entrance into heaven in gained by accepting Christ's sacrifice for justification but a person's rewards in heaven will be determined by what he did for Christ on earth (Matt 5:3-12, 7:21-23, 10:15, Luke 6:20-26, 12:47-48, Acts 10:4, 31, Romans 2:1-16, 14:10-23, I Cor 3:13, 4:5, II Cor 5:10, I John 4:17, Revelation 20:11-15). The Christian's faithfulness to his tasks and responsibilities in the world is considered of such paramount importance that the same metaphor, the "outer darkness," that was used by the Lord to indicate the punishment of the unbeliever for his rejection of God's salvation is used of the believer who does not live in obedience to the light he has received. In the case of the non-believer, it will be punishment of fire and burning (Matt. 13:30; John 15:6). In the case of the believer, it will be weeping or expressing sorrow over not having used the opportunities God provided. Though his tears will be wiped away (Rev. 7:17; 21:4), he will nonetheless suffer a loss of reward. The phrase "gnashing of teeth" indicates anger at oneself for ignoring the marvelous opportunities that he had on earth. The same emotional attitude will be expressed by the unbeliever, but in his case, he will be weeping about the lost opportunity and genuine and true repentance followed by works of repentance. "Gnashing of teeth," in the case of the unbeliever, refers to being angry at oneself because he did not decide to go through the narrow gate and live in the straight way when he had the opportunity.

I stumbled upon this when studying my Bible as I had concluded similarly on my own studies, although I am no Greek scholar. So I share what an actual Greek scholar says on the subject as well.

The phrase "Outer Darkness" is sometimes equated with the word "Gehenna" which is often translated as Hell or Hades.

Everyone must go through fire, if we do not experience the Baptism of Fire here on earth we will get it afterwards. We are to deny ourselves and follow Christ:

Math 16: MKJV
25 For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


Lets go back to 1 Cor 3 which we did not finish.


1 Cor 3: MKJV
12 And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,
13 each one's work shall be revealed. For the Day shall declare it , because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one's work as to what kind it is.
14 If anyone's work which he built remains, he shall receive a reward.
15 If anyone's work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss. But he shall be saved, yet so as by fire.
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?


Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble, can be found in your temple. If you are a christian you are a temple of God, because God lives in you. Gold, silver, and precious stones will survive fire but wood, hay, stubble; will not.

This sums it up well:

1 Cor 15: MKJV
50 And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.


So if you pursue the life of the flesh, your fleshly appetites will be destroyed in judgment, and you will suffer loss (loss of rewards discussed later and the loss of those things which are not found in heaven which one desired). If you fill yourself now, you will be emptied there. Our lives are to be filled with Christ, not with soulish endeavors or fleshly lusts.

Let's look at this unfaithful believer (the following scripture will be used a few times in this page, please make note of it):

Math 7:
21: Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.


And the following scripture was a great revelation I discovered by Watchman Nee:

Luke 14: NKJV
34 "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?
35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"


They are not fit for the land which is the Kingdom, nor are they fit for the dunghill which is the Lake of Fire, so they are cast out. Out where? Outside New Jerusalem as I discussed above with Rev 21 & 22.

These scriptures show us where the carnal christians will go, outside New Jerusalem, the city of heaven. These carnal christians will keep their salvation but as though through fire:

1 Cor 3:
15: If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


Again the key here is as by fire, not fire itself.

They will inhabit the new earth outside New Jerusalem the city of heaven. Through loss and not actual fire, these folks will be emptied of these unsanctified "fillers". For the new creation will not have anything outside of Christ. So, the unholy appetites from filling their lives with unholy things, will be emptied out there. Since they did not completely fill their hunger with Christ, but with things not sanctified, and since the time of repentance is over, God in His graciousness has given a method to heal these people that will judge them and/or the emptiness it will leave them in:

Rev 22:
2: ...the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.


When these believers are emptied of their "junk", they will once again have that "hunger" in them, but are unable to repent and become more holy.

Luke 6: MKJV
21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
25 Woe to you who are full! For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep.


John 6: MKJV
35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes on Me shall never thirst. 


There seems to be 2 kinds of judgment for Christians, as described earlier God will judge between the sheep and sheep. Those who are not Born Again or the equivalent of being in the Lamb's Book of Life and not being allowed in New Jerusalem, their judgment is the loss of their soulish desires and being thrown out the City. Before discussing the Born Again Christian judgment lets study more about this other Christian found outside the City.

We can find how they got this way in Math 13. This is a lot of scripture so I won't quote the parables, Math 13:3-8, 24-30. Only the interpretations.

Math 13: NKJV
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.


When the Gospel is preached, demons or their work are often present in the unbeliever, reasoning away the Gospel message. The Word of God found no place in their heart, these people are the unsaved and will go to the Lake of Fire.

20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

This represents many many saved believers. At some point in their life, they accepted the truth of Jesus as dying for their sins. It may have been as a child, in Sunday School, or older in church, or even at an evangelical crusade. But they never fed the truth or accepted any teachings to allow the seed to produce any fruit. These "believers" or "christians" are pretty much fruitless, the only thing separating them from the unbelievers is that they believed and a plant began to grow, but it died, before bearing any fruit. But they retain the incorruptible seed of Christ.

One of the best ways I have found to describe the difference, is like the difference between a baby in the womb vs a baby which is born. And so I describe in much more detail these kind of people here:


Believing vs. Being Born Again

I was such a believer once. Somewhere about the age of 8 years old, I believed in the work of Jesus. I went to a Lutheran church which taught me a lot of the Bible, but I was given no teachings that helped my faith grow. Or I failed to see them. Eventually, my faith became bankrupt as a teenager. You can read my story here:

My Personal Testimony

This kind of believer is full of carnality. I had scripture, and so many of these may have scripture too, but it will be taken from them, including any false doctrines, which killed their faith, many of which may be teachings from Jezebel. But these folk probably have a lack of teaching which encourages sin, rather than bad teaching that allows sin. These kind of christians will not be raptured at the 1st rapture. To learn more about furthering your faith and getting raptured:

Click here

I believe a major portion of the saved nations are these type of "christians". But Jesus will save them:

John 6: MKJV
39 And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes on Him should have everlasting life. And I will raise him up at the last day.


Back to Math 13:

22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.


This group is very similar to the last group discussed. But these perhaps are perhaps worse, because they have heard the Word, but allowed their faith to fall through sin. It is often these kinds of christians that make up many liberal churches or are the "backsliders" from conservative, charismatic, or evangelical churches. They feed on their lusts and sin, and defend themselves with teachings from Balaam, the Nicolaitans, or Jezebel.

Rev 2: MKJV
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication.
15 So you also have those who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
20 But I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel to teach, she saying herself to be a prophetess, and to cause My servants to go astray, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol-sacrifices.

2 Tim 4: MKJV
3 For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear.
4 And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths.


It is very difficult to reach these folk, because they have closed their ears and hardened their hearts. The best thing I can say to them is to ask: are you prepared for the Lord's coming? If they don't repent of Jezebel, they will be left behind:

Rev 2:22: Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.


I discuss both of the above type of unprepared christians in more detail here:

The 2 & a Half Tribes that didn't Cross Over

Are You Prepared for the 2nd Coming? If not  Click here 

Back to Math 13:

23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."


These christians are fruit bearers. Some do not produce 100% fruit of the spirit. Many only produce 30 or 60 fold. The 30 and 60, as well as the 100 fold believers are not the saved nations outside New Jerusalem, but are those in the city.


But we have a choice, we can be humble and be broken now instead.

Math 21: MKJV
44 And he who falls on this Stone shall be broken, but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.


Heb 12:
1: ... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...
3: For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, unless you be wearied and faint in your minds.
4: You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5: And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him:
6: For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.
7: If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?
8: But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.


As I shared at the beginning of this page:

2 Tim 2: (MKJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
21 Therefore if anyone purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


I know I am at most, a 60 fold manifesting believer. We will no longer be held by the cares of the world, tempted by sin, nor deceived by bad doctrine. We will also have higher examples to follow and see with our very eyes. But, the overcoming christian shouldn't fear judgment. Unless it is this fear:

Philp 2:12 NKJV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;


If you would like to learn more about saving the soul:

Click here

But God say's judgment begins in the house of the Lord:

1 Peter 4: NKJV
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?


So is there a literal purging fire? I say no. Is there a Purgatory? No.

2 Cor 5: MKJV
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad.


The only things scripture says will change our judgment are these:

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But this confession and repentance hinges on this:

2 Corinthians 7: NKJV
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.


One question that comes to mind, is for the Christian, will there be a harshness, or rebuke for the Christian? What will this judgment be like? 1st I think we must remember how Jesus handled the sinners when He was on the Earth. Did He pick up a stone to judge the adulteress? He did not. I think like many other webpages and sources say, it will be a time of rewards or the lack thereof. But I think this scripture is a very big key to understanding our judgment:

Math 7:2

NIV: For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
NLT:...The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

Then there is this:

Math 6: MKJV
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


This relates to the previous scripture. In the degree of mercy we give, we will receive. This is shown in Math 18:23-35.

Some may say, "He promises to give anything we ask, to those who love Him.", thinking they can ask for a lesser judgment.

My reply to this:
 
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

It is a lust, to try and live less purely and weasel out of the judgment. In fact, this very idea is part of the teaching of Jezebel, of which will cause a believer to miss the rapture. Many unbelievers have this problem, but I think many catholics and other liberal christians have this problem as well. Many protestants think they're going to get a blanket forgiveness without true repentance. Many catholics take advantage of their system to sin and go confess. It's an abuse of the system, and Rome itself doesn't teach it, but their system causes it. I won't go further here, this isn't about catholics. There are extreme right wing protestant christians who think everyone will get saved. This also leads to lusting after sin without repenting. It is this very type of lusting that may keep a believer from the rapture. See here: Are You Prepared for the 2nd Coming? 


I also discuss Universalism (everyone is to be saved) here:

Universalism

There is one final aspect I wish to discuss. As I eluded to earlier, some people think when we get to heaven we will be perfect. Hopefully, I have already shown this to be wrong. It is true we will obtain a perfect body at the rapture! But our soul remains the same. That's why we must work out the salvation of our soul after being spiritually saved while alive on Earth!

Some may think the imperfect can't even be allowed in heaven. They fail to realize that satan still has access to heaven until he is thrown out!


Re 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.


Notice satan is called the "accuser" in verse 10, that is why Jesus is our mediator at the right hand of God!

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

But just as God will only tolerate satan's access to heaven for so long; so also, will the unfaithful believers have to be dealt with. They can't remain filled with self, throughout eternity.

Math 21: MKJV
44 And he who falls on this Stone shall be broken, but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.


The judgment of God is a very meaty teaching for us, even me, but in reality it should only be milk. It is a foundational principle of Christ, and sadly was lost to the church and is not fully dug out and developed. Also many protestants refuse to acknowledge any truth behind catholic's purgatory, and Catholics refuse to correct their erroneous teachings on purgatory. So the truth remains lost somewhere in the middle. I can find very few others which discuss this in depth. Though there are some, and many have error in it, and I have had to turn to critics to find some of the flaws. But many critics toss out the whole teaching which is a shame because there is so much truth here from scripture. And rather than toss it out and give up on it, we should dig it out and develop our understanding of God and His ways.

Finding teachings on these is pretty easy. And what I learned is at the time of the rapture Jesus will judge those who were raptured.  Now I had heard bits about this, but left it alone in fear, that former sins will be made known before all, and was afraid, but I have learned that this is not the case. This judgment is one for rewards, and it is our works which will be brought forward and judged, and some may be "bad", but these bad works will be given no rewards, and will be lost. I won't delve into this here, but it is a good study.

Will we be judged on other things besides works? I believe we will. I am uncertain of this type of judgment, most believe it will be a loss, or perhaps at most a discipline, a correction. I do not believe this will be sorrowful except perhaps the sorrow of not living up to God's standard and missing rewards. But here are some things we will be judged on:

Our words:

Math 12:36 But I say to you that every idle word, whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.


We can repent of our harsh words and even apologize to others to avoid this. Confession forgives us our sins. Many people, including my own family think I go overboard by not using certain words and phrases. This is why. Not only do I avoid cursing, I also avoid Euphemisms. Darn for damn and so on.

Honest in our beliefs:

Rom 2:
14 For when the nations, who do not have the Law, do by nature the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves;
15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and the thoughts between one another accusing or even excusing one another,
16 in a day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.


Many today are jumping on the Homosexual rights bandwagon. Many of these know in their hearts it's wrong, and don't say anything. Silence would be better than going with the crowd. I know when to keep my mouth closed, but I certainly would never endorse any homosexual behavior. Romans 2, deals with any subject like this, where we know something is wrong in our hearts but say or do otherwise. God knows our hearts and it will be judged.

Judging others wrongly:

Rom 14 (I recommend the whole chapter, but some samples...):
1 ¶ And receive him who is weak in the faith, but not to judgments of your thoughts.
3 Do not let him who eats despise him who does not eat; and do not let him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has received him.
4 Who are you that judges another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. But he will stand, for God is able to make him stand.
5 One indeed esteems a day above another day; and another esteems every day alike . Let each one be fully assured in his own mind.
6 He who regards the day regards it to the Lord; and he not regarding the day, does not regard it to the Lord. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, does not eat to the Lord, and gives God thanks.
10 But why do you judge your brother? Or also why do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
12 So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to God.


Luke 6: NKJV
37 "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.


Luke 6:37 may be one of the most misinterpreted scriptures ever. This isn't about not judging others, but judging them wrongly. I mentioned this above and have a link that discusses it further:

Two Kinds of Judging

There may be others I haven't listed, but these speak to me and am sharing these. Many of the Bema websites will point out, as I have already shared it is not about sin.

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.

However, because those who teach this are not enlightened to the fact that all the christians are not being raptured, nor those who are thrown into the "outer darkness", they leave out the judgment of those as described on this page.

Now I am still uncertain about this judgment in detail, as it may vary based on the conditions I describe above.

I propose another illustration of this event. These are those who have been conceived but not born again, this will be a type of cesarean. Or as Jesus described the alabaster box of ointment I discuss here:

Brokeness

For those that are part of the Bride of Christ, we have no fear of judgment. We confess our sins and they are forgiven. These judgments are not about sin, for even those who go to the Lake of Fire have had their sins forgiven, but are not saved because they have rejected Christ. The Fiery judgment for the christian not born again is not about their sins, its about them not leaving Egypt and crossing the Jordan river. As I discuss here:

Believing vs Being Born Again

So how is all of this going to happen? We don't know all the details, but we can know some. First it is going to start with God raising the dead in Christ. That is those Christians who have died already, from all the church age, being raised up in new glorified bodies.

1 Thess 4:16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Right after this, those Christians who have been prepared, will be raptured and meet them in the air, being given glorified bodies as well.

Not all living believers will be raptured, see here:

Are you prepared for the Blessed Hope?

This will happen in a blink of an eye:

1 Cor 15:52 in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

At this point I believe the Lord will take us to heaven. Where exactly will Judgement take place? Will it happen immediately afterwards? I don't know. But the Bible says the Bride will be made ready and the Lord will separate the believers.

Ezek 34 NKJV
17 "And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.

2 Tim 2: (MKJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
21 Therefore if anyone purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


It is possible we all will be taken to the Throne Room for judgment, or it may be outside New Jerusalem. As those who are not allowed in, may be separated before we go in, or we all may go in and some be thrown out.

Luke 14: NKJV  
34 "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  
35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"  


Math 22:
 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.


But eventually the Bema Seat judgment will begin. It is called the Bema Seat because in Rom 14:10 and 2 Cor 2:5:10 we see the words "Judgement seat of Christ", in Greek this is where the word bema comes from and it means a step, a raised platform, a tribune, where a judge sits. But this type of judgment is more like the Olympics where rewards are given for winning and doing well. Please see other pages for more on this if you like.

Now in Math 25 we will see Jesus separate the sheep from the goats, the sheep being called to his right. At this judgmenet there are no goats. But there will be a separation. As Jesus calls those forward to be given awards, there will left those standing who have none.

Math 10:32 Then everyone who shall confess Me before men, I will confess him before My Father who is in Heaven.
33 But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in Heaven.


So names and persons will be called forward and acknowledged but others will not. Perhaps the "as fire" will be the Father stating after this separation:

...And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants...cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This gnashing of teeth is the regret of not doing more for the Lord, His way, giving one's life to Him.

Now remember, these are Christians with new bodies, but now they have been removed from sin, which may have had a big part of their lives. There are no more places of sin, no more unbelievers tempting them, thus they no longer can lean on any bad habits or sin when things are not going well. Thus the need for the leaves of the Tree of Life.


It will be a very heavy "judgement" to not be acknowledged, one to to deal with through eternity, but there will be no punishment. Only they will not be allowed in the City.

Those who have been awarded will be given garments of white, and will return to the Earth with the Lord when He faces the anti-christ and his armies.

Rev 19:7 ... For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. For the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
9 And he said to me, Write, Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
11 ¶ And I saw Heaven opened. And behold, a white horse! And He sitting on him was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness He judges and makes war.
14 And the armies in Heaven followed Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.


It is thus, how I believe the Bema Seat will occur.

-------------

I discuss in greater detail the false doctrines of purgatory from Catholics on the following link. It is discussed in the bottom 3rd of the page:

Concerning Purgatory, Works, & other matters

Here are some great links on the subject of the believers judgment (listed by order of quality-1st best):

THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST--PART I by Thomas W. Finley 

THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST--PART II by Thomas W. Finley 

The Judgment Seat of Christ by WhatSaithTheScripture.com 

Judgment Seat of Christ by Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer 

Other pages of note:


The Second Coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom by bible.org - a detailed look at what transpires when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation

For a detailed look at the kinds and stages of the Resurrections, please read the middle section of the page on the following link labeled "SAINTS AND THE KINGDOM (4-6)"

The Reign of Christ and the Great White Throne (Rev 20:1-15)

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the Judgment Seat of Christ - a great but short look at these events (short as there isn't much Bible revelation on this)

Page's of mine related to this subject: 


 Foundational Principles of Christ - Part 1

Foundational Principles of Christ - Part 2 The Doctrine of Baptisms

The Rapture

Are You Prepared for the 2nd Coming? 

The 2 1/2 Tribes that didn't cross over

Prophecy 

The Gospel of the Kingdom Part 1

The Lake of Fire - another part of the Foundational Principle of Eternal Judgment  


Outer Darkness


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