1. God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ,1 to whom all power and judgment is given by the Father. In that day, the apostate angels will be judged.2 So also, all people who have lived on the earth will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds and to receive a reckoning according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.3
1Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27. 21 Corinthians 6:3; Jude 6. 32 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:10, 12; Matthew 25:32–46.
2. God’s purpose for appointing this day is to manifest the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect, and of his justice in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient.4 For at that time the righteous will go into everlasting life and receive fullness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards in the presence of the Lord. But the wicked, who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, will be thrown into everlasting torments5 and punished with everlasting destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.6
4Romans 9:22, 23. 5Matthew 25:21, 34; 2 Timothy 4:8. 6Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:48; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10.
3. Christ desires that we be firmly convinced that a day of judgment will come, both to deter everyone from sin7 and to comfort the godly more fully in their adversity.8 For this reason, he has determined to keep the day secret, to encourage people to shake off any fleshly security and always to be watchful, because they do not know the hour when the Lord will come9 and so that they may always be prepared to say, “Come Lord Jesus; come quickly. Amen.”10
72 Corinthians 5:10, 11. 82 Thessalonians 1:5–7. 9Mark 13:35–37; Luke 12:35, 36. 10Revelation 22:20.