Section 9: The End Times
Week 3: The Final Judgment
Day 2: The Judgment of Unbelievers
At the final judgment, unbelievers will be judged on the basis of everything they have done. Because they did not accept Christ’s payment of the penalty for their sins, they will have to pay that penalty themselves. In rendering his judgment, Christ will look at more than just external acts. Internal attitudes and motivations will be revealed and judged as well. Nothing will be hidden from him (Luke 8:17, 12:2-3, Rom. 2:16).
Everything a person has done, thought, and felt will factor into God’s judgment. As a result, there will be varying degrees of punishment. Those whose actions, thoughts, and attitudes deserve greater punishment will receive greater punishment. That’s why Jesus, for example, was able to say:
Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you” (Matt. 11:21-24).
Read Matt: 11:20-24, Luke 12:42-48, and Rev. 20:11-15.
According to these passages, does every unbeliever receive the same punishment? What does that say about God’s justice? Would he be more or less just if everyone received exactly the same punishment?