Judgment Day a term generally used to designate that important day which is to terminate the present dispensation of grace; at the end of the world, when time shall be no more, and the eternal state of all men be unchangeably fixed (2Pe 3:7).
I. Proof of a general Judgment. — The arguments for this are these:
1. The justice of God requires it; for it is evident that this attribute is not clearly displayed in the dispensation of things in the present state (2Th 1:6-7; Lu 14:14).
2. The accusations of natural conscience are testimonies in favor of this belief (Ro 2:15; Da 5:5-6; Ac 24:25).
3. It may be concluded, from the relation men stand in to God, as creatures to a Creator. He has a right to give them a law, and to make them accountable for the breach of it (Ro 14:12).
4. The resurrection of Christ is a certain proof of it. See Ac 17:31; Ro 14:9,
5. The Scripture, in a variety of places, sets it beyond all doubt (Jude 1:14:15; 2Co 5:10; Mt 25; Ro 14:10-11; 2Th 1:7,10; 1Th 4:16-17). SEE JUDGMENT, LAST.
II. The Judge. — The Bible declares that God will judge the world by Jesus Christ (Ac 17:31). The triune God will be the Judge, as to original authority, power, and right of judgment; but according to the economy settled between the three divine persons the work is assigned to the Son (Ro 14:9-10), who will appear in his human nature (Joh 5:27; Ac 17:3]), with great power and glory (1Th 4:16-17); visible to every eye (Re 1:7); penetrating every heart. (1Co 4:5; Ro 2:16); with full authority over all (Mt 28:18) and acting with strict justice (2Ti 4:8). As far the concern of others in the judgment, angels will be no otherwise concerned than as attendants. gathering the elect, raising the dead. etc. But not as advising or judging. Saints are said to judge the world! not as cojudges with Christ, but as approvers of his sentence and as their holy lives ands exhortations will rise up in judgment against their wicked neighbors (1Co 6:2-3).
III. The Persons that will be judged. — These will be men and devils. The righteous will probably be tried first as represented in Matthew 25. They will be raised first though perhaps not a thousand years before the rest, as some have supposed [see Millennium]; since the resurrection of all the bodies of the saints is spoken of as in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump, in order to their meeting the Lord in the air, and being with him, not on earth, but forever in heaven (1Co 15:52; 1Th 4:16-17).
IV. The Rule of Judgment. — We are informed that the books will be opened (Re 20:12);
1. The book of divine omniscience (Mal 3:5 or remembrance (Mal 3:15);
2. The book of conscience (Ro 2:16);
3. The book of Providence (Ro 2:4-5);
4. The book of the Scriptures, law, and Gospel (Joh 12:48; Ro 2:12,16);
5. The book of life (Lu 10:20; Re 3:5; Re 20:12,15).
V. The Time of Judgment.-The soul will be either happy or miserable immediately after death, but the general judgment will not be till after the resurrection (Heb 9:27). There is a day appointed (Ac 3:1), but it is unknown to men. SEE INTERMEDIATE STATE.
VI. The Place.-This is also uncertain. Some suppose it will be in the air, because the judge will come in the clouds of heaven, and the living saints will then be changed, and the dead saints raised, and both be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1Th 4:16-17). Others think it will be on the earth, on the new earth, on which they will descend from the air with Christ. The place where, however, is of no consequence, when compared with the state in which we shall appear. As the Scriptures represent it as certain (Ec 11:9), universal (2Co 5:11), righteous (Ro 2:5), decisive (1Co 15:52), and eternal as to its consequences (Heb 6:2), let us be concerned for the welfare of our immortal interests, flee to the refuge set before us, improve our precious time, depend on the merits of the Redeemer, and adhere to the dictates of the divine Word, that we may be found of him in peace. See Bates, Works, p. 449; Hopkins and Stoddard, On the Last Judgment; Gill, Body of Divinity, 2, 467, 8vo; Boston, Fourfold State; 'Hervey, Works, new edition, 1, 72, 75; 2, 28, 223; 4, 155. SEE RESURRECTION.