The last judgment. Is it real? Jesus spoke about this very thing in John 5, telling us that He, as the Son of God and the Son of Man, has been given authority to execute judgment by God the Father. How, then, shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
(John 5:25-29, King James Version)
What an amazing portion of Scripture! There is so much depth in the words which Jesus Christ speaks in John 5. What is meant by the statement the dead shall live? Is there really a last judgment? There are two very important things to consider from the verses shown above. First, those who are spiritually dead shall live, and secondly, those who who have died in the Lord will be resurrected to life.
It is so very important that we understand how dead is dead! Somehow many have this conception that we can come to Christ all by ourselves, and therefore make ourselves Christians. It is a very nice thought, but how can those who are dead do anything? We are not just sick before the Lord; we are dead! Is there then no hope? Oh, there is, indeed, hope. We cannot save ourselves, but the Lord Jesus Christ can save us! When we come to Christ, empty of any pride or arrogance, realizing that, because of our sin, we are powerless before Christ, we can cry out to Him, and He will save us.
We know, also, that we must all face our own physical death, unless Christ returns while we are still alive on this earth. Do our bodies stay in the grave forever? What about the bodies of those who died thousands of years ago? Surely there is nothing left of their bodies but dust.
The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
There is no gray area here; there are only two classes of people. Who determines each person's class? Who determines if we have done good or evil? The Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior, but He is also the Judge. In this resurrection, everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected and brought before the last judgment seat of Christ--even Adam and Eve!
However, we must not despair; it is this same Jesus who declares to us in John 5, the dead shall live! I invite you, this day, to live! Go to Christ; He is the only way, the only truth and the only life. He is the only One who can make us good instead of evil!