The 7 Judgments of God

The 7 Judgments of God

The Bible tells us that there will come a time when every person shall stand before God to face final judgment (Hebrews 9:27). However, many people do not understand that instead of one final judgment, we read from the Scriptures that there are a series of 7 future judgments.

These judgments differ with respect to time, purpose, subjects, and circumstances.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

This judgment, also called the Judgment of the Bema, is for the body of Christ only, the church, and it will take place in heaven immediately after the rapture of the church and the resurrection of the believers who have died in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

The 7 Judgments of God

In context, this verse clearly indicates that the judgment seat is not optional, i.e., no believer is exempt. The word we refers to believers in Christ and just so we don’t miss it, Paul includes the word all. Every single member of the body of Christ will appear before the Lord to be “judged.” (See also Romans 14:10-12.)

However, we must understand that the issue at the judgment seat is not salvation but rewards. This judgment is not to determine whether people will enter heaven or hell, or to punish sin. This ultimate issue is decided when one decides to accept or reject God’s gift of eternal life.

At the judgment seat, each believer’s work will be evaluated to demonstrate whether they are good or bad, and rewards will be conferred. You can read more about the judgment seat of Christ in this article.

The Judgment of Old Testament Believers

The resurrection and rewarding of Old Testament saints will take place after the 7-year Tribulation according to Daniel 12:1-2.

“At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

After the Tribulation period is over, Jesus Christ will return (with the church saints) to resurrect and reward the Old Testament saints. Consequently, every believer who has died from the time of Adam until the Second Coming of Christ will have been resurrected by this time.

But why aren’t the Church saints and the Old Testament saints resurrected and rewarded at the same time? We read in Hebrews 11:39-40 that they will not receive what has been promised to them apart from us. This means they must wait for the church to be resurrected (and rewarded) first.

The Judgment of Tribulation Believers

Those who trust Christ during the Tribulation period and are martyred will be raised and rewarded at the Second coming of Christ. We read the following in Revelation 20:4-6.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”

“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Note: Some believe that the Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints will be resurrected and rewarded together at the Second Coming of Christ, or the end of the 7-year Tribulation.

Revealing Revelation: How God's Plans for the Future Can Change Your Life Now Paperback – May 3, 2022

The Judgment of Living Israel

All Jews who survive the Tribulation will be judged right after the Second coming.

The saved will enter the millennial kingdom, and the lost will be purged (Ezekiel 20:38). The Scripture teaches that before the Messiah can begin to reign, a judgment must take place to determine who will enter the millennial kingdom, “for they are not all Israel who are of Israel” (Romans 9:6b).

Ezekiel 20:34 and Ezekiel 39:28 say that God will bring Israel out from the nations where she has been scattered throughout the times of the Gentiles into her own land. The fulfillment of this prophecy started happening in 1948 when Israel became an independent state once again. From that time on, Jews are seen returning to their land in large numbers.

Read more about God’s promise to bring Israel back to her own land in this article.

The Second Coming of Christ

So, when Christ returns personally to earth, He will first gather Israel outside the land of Israel, called the “wilderness of the peoples,” to execute judgment on them face to face (Ezekiel 20:35-36). Matthew 24:31 also says, “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

What will be the basis of God’s judgment? As in the church age, salvation in the Tribulation for both the Jews and Gentiles is through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. (See Romans 9-11.)

Every single one of them will have to pass under the “rod of God” and their individual works will be brought into judgment, not because they are saved by their works. Rather, their works demonstrate that they failed to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah.

The Judgment of Living Gentiles

Just as the Lord judges the Jews who survive the Tribulation when He personally returns to earth, so He will also judge those Gentiles who remain. This is often referred to as the judgment of the “sheep and goats” (Matthew 25:31-46). The righteous will enter the millennial kingdom and the unrighteous will be cast into hell.

Matthew 25:31-33

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”

What are the 7 Judgments of God

Though salvation is by grace through faith, the saved who survive the Tribulation will be identified by their works in befriending their Jewish brothers. During the Tribulation where universal anti-Semitism is prevalent, befriending Jews is an outward manifestation of one’s salvation.

Matthew 25:40, 45

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

The Final Judgment of Satan and His Demons

Christ will also judge Satan, the created spirit-being who became the devil, and his followers when He returns to the earth and sets up His kingdom, and their judgment is certain. They will be sent to the bottomless pit and eventually to the lake of fire where they will be condemned and punished for all eternity.

Revelation 20:10

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Matthew 25:41

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’”

See also 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.

The Great White Throne Judgment

All the unrighteous or unsaved dead from all time will be judged and sent to their final destination, the lake of fire, at the end of the millennium by the One whom they rejected. They will be judged according to their works.

We read this in Revelation 20:11-15.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. Also, I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

“The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Closing Words

While many Bible believers think there will be only one future “Judgment Day” where every person who has ever lived will be judged, the Scriptures affirm that there are various judgments and will happen in stages.

The question now is this: Which judgment would you like to participate in? Would you like to take part in the judgment seat of Christ where you will be evaluated and rewarded in heaven without having to go through the Tribulation?

Then all you need to do is acknowledge that you’re a sinner in need of a Savior in the person of Jesus Christ, receive God’s forgiveness, and offer of eternal life by surrendering your life to Him. After which, you are to start living out your faith, grow in His grace and allow Him to use you for His purpose and glory while you wait for His coming (Titus 2:13; Philippians 3:20).

Choose Eternal Life Today

I’m not saying you won’t have a chance to be saved during the Tribulation and be rewarded when Christ comes to set up His earthly kingdom. But why would you choose to experience the outpouring of God’s wrath if you can be assured of eternal life now?

The 7 Future Judgments of God

And you wouldn’t want to appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, right? The vision of this final judgment should cause everyone to stop and think about the eternal implications of this future event.

For those who never trusted in the Lord Jesus as their Savior, it should cause them to want to search out the truth regarding Christ, accept His free gift of eternal life, and be rescued from eternal doom.

If you are a believer in Jesus, the future reality of the Great White Throne Judgment should cause deep concern because of the many (including some family, relatives, and friends) who will be participants in this event because they never placed their faith in the Lord Jesus.

Act now before it’s too late.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Revelation (The John Walvoord Prophecy Commentaries) by John F. Walvoord, edited by Philip E. Rawley and Mark Hitchcock

What's the Book of Revelation About?

The book of Revelation has long fascinated and even confused readers and students of the Bible. Yet the Bible is written to be understood, and Revelation is no exception. Who better to help you understand the seals, trumpets, vials, woes, and plagues than John F. Walvoord, one of evangelicalism’s most prominent leaders, and Mark Hitchcock, today’s leading Bible prophecy expert? 

In this first in a renewed series of commentaries from Dr. Walvoord, he points out that much of the book’s symbolism can be interpreted literally. At key points, different views and approaches to interpretation are explored. Walvoord devotes special attention to textual and doctrinal issues while avoiding technical language. 

11 Replies to “The 7 Judgments of God”

  1. Hi Alice,

    Thanks for the article and responses to questions. It’s very educating. Bless!

  2. Hi Alice.

    I read your article and while the summary is fairly clear, some of what you say is a little confusing.

    Hebrews 11:39 (You referenced this). This chapter is talking about those who during their lives did not compromise their faith in Christ. They were mistreated because of it.

    During their lives, they did not receive the promise because they were mistreated and rejected by those in authority over them. Their faith in Jesus caused them to be rejected by men. Because of their faith in Christ, when they died, they entered Heaven just like we will if we died today.

    They will not receive anything apart from us because we will all stand before the Judgement seat of Christ to receive our rewards or lack thereof. If that is what you meant maybe I misunderstood.

    1. In this article, I addressed the 7 judgments of God.

      Yes, the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 are not part of the church. Thus, they won’t be judged and rewarded along with the church-age believers. However, they will be resurrected and judged/rewarded separately.

      The church-age believers will be rewarded first at the Judgment Seat of Christ because they will be part of the first stage of the resurrection which is popularly known as the rapture.

      It is during this stage that the New Testament believers will be resurrected and judged/rewarded. The Old Testament believers on the other hand, which include the Hebrews 11 saints will be part of the second stage of the First resurrection which will take place after the Tribulation period.

      Here’s the link to the article about the First and Second Resurrection. This will address your question, Pastor John.


  3. Hello Alice

    Thank you for your article.

    On what basis do you believe the Old Testament “believers” will be judged?

    On Reading 2nd Maccabees chapter 7, would you agree that the seven sons of the righteous woman, who were tortured for their faith in HaShem and the Torah (The word of HaShem), will awake to everlasting life?

    With blessings!

    1. Hey Johnston,

      In the same way that NT believers will be judged according to their faith in Christ, Old Testament saints will be judged in accordance with their faith in Yahweh. They may not know Jesus but the Word of God clearly states that it is by faith that one is declared righteous.

      Old Testament saints gained righteousness by faith in God.

      By the way, Maccabees is not part of the canon so we don’t quote it as Scripture. It may contain some historical facts but it’s not recognized even by Jews as part of Scripture.

      Thanks for your comment, God bless you more!

  4. Imagine being in Heaven while the judgments are taking place.

    Michael: Are you enjoying your stay in heaven?
    Me: You bet! No more blindness!
    (Cut to The Final Judgement of Satan)
    Me: Is this what I think it is?
    Jesus (from afar): Depart from me, Satan!!
    Me: WOOOOOOOOOOO! Finally! Music to my ears!!
    (I just dance like crazy while the angels start singing)
    Me: Holy! Holy! Holy!

  5. You wrote there would be 3 Resurrection periods (church, OT saints & tribulation martyrs, and all the dead at the end of the millennium).

    What about those who were physically born during the millennium? Also, the 3 resurrections would occur over a period of 1,007 years.

    How can you reconcile that with John 5:28-29, “…an “hour” (an event) is coming when “all” (all means all people) who are in the tombs…will come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

    1. Hi Nelson,

      I understand that many Christians believe that there’s going to be only one “general” resurrection of all the dead which will take place at the end of the world, based on John 5:28-29.

      But nowhere in the Scriptures are we taught that all men will be raised at the same time. While it’s true that all the dead will be raised and brought into judgment, neither the time, the place, nor the judgments are the same.

      John 5:28-29 is saying that when men are raised, not all will be raised at the same time nor in the same condition. There will be two resurrections for two classes of men. One will be raised to eternal life and immortality, while the other will be raised to condemnation and banishment from the presence of the Lord. There is a “resurrection of life” and a “resurrection of damnation.”

      Generally speaking, there will be two resurrections: the resurrection of the righteous (the first resurrection) and the resurrection of the wicked (the second resurrection).

      However, at the consummation of the first resurrection there are three companies of believers who will have been raised at different times:

      1. Those who resurrected when the Lord was crucified on the cross (Matthew 27:51-52).
      2. The church age believers (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52).
      3. The OT saints and Tribulation saints.

      The second (and final) resurrection is mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15.

      What about those who are born during the millennium? The Bible does not tell us explicitly what will happen to them after death. Isaiah 65:20-23 does tell us that all will have longevity of life.

    2. Excellent article on Judgements.

      Explained clearly the different judgments and which groups.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.