When I believed in the Lord, I saw the Bible recorded, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). So, I knew God would judge us mankind in the last days. At that time, I imagined: When God appears publicly in the last days, He will sit on a great white throne and set a large table before Him. On the table there was a big screen where various sins of people before their death are projected. All the people will accept God’s judgment one by one, and know their outcome.
This was my understanding of judgment at that time. After I was uplifted by God to accept God’s work of the last days, God’s word revealed this mystery and reversed my conceptions of judgment, so that I returned before God’s throne.
One day, during my spiritual devotion, I saw the words of the Lord Jesus: “I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:46–48). Pondering over this passage of scripture, I saw that the Lord’s will and demands of us are to have us follow His words in everything and do as He asked. In my mind, since the Lord Jesus has absolved our sins, we have already been saved by grace when accepting His salvation, and will be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven when He returns. But here, why did the Lord say whoever disobeyed His words would be judged in the last days? Why would the Lord judge us? I knew Sister Xiangguang was devout and received scriptures purely. She had just returned home after studying in another place. So I wanted to seek from her.
Today, in the gathering, our pastor read several verses about the judgment of the last days, “And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15). After reading these verses, our pastor said, “In the last days, when the Lord returns, He’ll erect a big table in the heavens to carry out judgment. The Lord will sit on the great white throne with several millions of angels around Him, and open the book of life and the book of the dead. Then, people will be brought before the throne one by one to receive His righteous judgment. There stands something like a screen, which will present our lifetime of actions and behavior. Then, God will determine our destination and ending according to our behavior: Those who do evil and those whose names aren’t recorded in the book of life, will be thrown into the hell to suffer the punishment, while those who do good and obey the Lord’s way will have their names recorded in the book of life and enter the kingdom of heaven, receiving the eternal life. This is the work of judgment carried out by the Lord in the last days.”