Judgement

Many Christians believe that after death, they will be taken into the presence of God and they will be judged for the deeds they have done or failed to do during their lifetime.

Some Christians believe that this judgement will happen when they die. Others believe that there will be a Day of Judgement at the end of time, when everybody will be judged at the same time. Some believe that judgement will happen in two stages: an initial personal judgement when you die, followed by the definitive judgement at the end of time.

Some Christians believe in the Second Coming (Parousia) - the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven to Earth. This will herald the general resurrection of the dead, the last judgement of the dead and the living, and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Question

What do Christians mean by judgement?

When Christians refer to judgement, they are referring to the belief that God will judge humanity on their beliefs and actions. Christians believe that God's judgment will determine whether their soul will go to Heaven or to Hell.

Responsibility

Christians believe that humans have a responsibility to behave in the correct, moral way expected of them in the Bible.

This includes:

  • following rules, such as the Ten Commandments
  • practising the teachings of Jesus, such as forgiveness and kindness

Christians believe that it is these types of behaviours that will be judged and that will be used to determine what happens to people in the afterlife.

Free will

Christians believe that God created humans with free will. This is the idea that people can make their own decisions, rather than having life predetermined for them.

Without free will, humans could not be described as moral beings, as they will not have made the conscious choice to live and act in a moral way.

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Christians believe it is important to use the free will given to them by God in a wise way and avoid committing sins.

As a result of this free will, humans are able to choose right from wrong, and therefore can sin if they choose to do so.

The idea of free will is found in Genesis where Adam and Eve, the first humans, are given the Garden of Eden to live in. God asks one requirement of them, and that is not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Eve and Adam disobey this commandment, and God then punishes the couple accordingly.

Christians believe that this is where sin entered the world.