What is the Last Judgment?

Mission Lab

The Last Judgment is the universal judgment of the human race at the resurrection of the dead at the end of the world.

“When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left” (Matthew 25:31–33).

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done” (Revelation 20:11–12).

The Last Judgment will be a social judgment, because it will manifest to the world God’s justice in condemning sinners and His mercy in those who are saved. It will also be a total or general judgment, since not only people’s moral conduct, but all the accumulated blessings or injuries which will have resulted from each person’s good or evil deeds will be revealed.

This general judgment is called the Last Judgment, since it is not followed by another and since its sentence endures forever. It takes place on the Last Day, and, along with the resurrection of the body and the renewal of the world, is an element in the coming of the Lord with power.

The general judgment is more than the promulgation of the sentence already passed on so many at their particular judgments, for it also concerns those who are still living on that day. The whole human race will be judged. Judgment will be passed too on the angels—both good and bad; indeed on all of creation. Each individual person will once more be summoned to appear before the Lord as His Judge.

In this judgment each person will be given a view over his whole life and its significance. He will see it in the light of the Lord. The sentence which was passed upon us in our particular judgment will now be publicly confirmed. All of our sins—and all of our virtues, too—will be known.