Step 14 Eternal Judgment

Instruction about the Resurrection of the Dead

The Sixth of Six

“Elementary Teachings about Christ”

from Hebrews 6:1,2


We are studying Hebrews 6:1-2:

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings  

about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again  

     the foundation  

          of repentance from acts that lead to death, and  

          of faith in God,  

       instruction about  


          the laying on of hands,  

          the resurrection of the dead, and

          eternal judgment.


Topic Headings:

  • The Prophecy of John the Baptist
  • The Teaching of Peter
  • The Teaching of Paul
  • The Teaching of Jesus
  • When Will the Judgment Happen?
  • What Should I Do?
  • “They Married and Were Married”  (a hymn)

The Prophecy of John the Baptist

Do you remember John the Baptist?  He was a prophet; he spoke for God about baptism.  He spoke for God about other things also, including the judgment to come:

“The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.“ (Luke 3:9)

John presents the situation of mankind like this:  An orchard owner has been looking for his fruit trees to produce good fruit.  He has identified trees that have not been producing.  He has an axe in his hands.  He has lined up the axe with the roots of the unfruitful trees.  The axe is about ready to fall!  God is the orchard owner.  We are the trees.

John also used another image:

 “His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Luke 3:17)

John presents the situation of mankind also like this:  A farmer has harvested his wheat.  The threshing sledge has already gone over the grains of wheat on the threshing floor with the result that the undesirable chaff has been separated from the desirable kernels of wheat.  Now he takes the winnowing fork in his hand.  He is about to heave the mixture on the floor into the air so that the wind will blow the chaff away, while the precious wheat remains.  God is the farmer.  Mankind is the mixture of kernels and chaff.

In both images depict a separation is taking place, based on the decision of the owner.  In one image the fruitful trees are separated from the unfruitful trees.  In the other image the wheat is separated from the chaff.  In both images the undesirable ones are burned with fire.

Let mankind be warned!  Such a separation is coming!  Those who resist God’s gracious invitation to a new and eternal life will finally find themselves in “unquenchable fire.”

The Teaching of Peter

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He [Jesus] is the One Whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”  (Acts 10:42)

The Teaching of Paul

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.  For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

Jesus Christ is the Man by Whom God will judge the world on the day when He will judge the world with justice.

God will ignore what we think is just or unjust.  He has already told us how He will judge.  He will use His own standard of justice.

No one will escape this judgment.  As surely as He raised Jesus from the dead, ALL mankind will be raised from the dead!

The Teaching of Jesus

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.”  (Matthew 25:31-33)

Jesus, like John, speaks of a great separation to come.  Jesus Himself will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

The result will be two different groups of people.  What will happen to each of them?:

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” (Matthew 25:34)

What will be the evidence that these people were true believers and should be judged in this way?


  • I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat;
  • I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink;
  • I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
  • naked, and you clothed Me;
  • I was sick, and you visited Me;
  • I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35,36)

What about those on His left?

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (Matthew 25:41)

What will be the evidence that these people disregarded God, His salvation, and His ways and should be judged in this way?


  • I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat;
  • I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 
  • I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in;
  • naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick,
  •  and in prison, and you did not visit Me.‘ (Matthew 25:42,43)

So, what will be the end of each group of people?

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)

When Will the Judgment Happen?

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and THEN THE END WILL COME.”  (Matthew 24:7-14)

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”  (Matthew 24:32-35)

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36)

What Should I Do?

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.   (Matthew 24:42-44)

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

So, what should you do in view of the coming judgment?

  • Be on the alert!
  •  Be ready!
  • Be pleasing to Him!
  • Persuade men!


“They Married and Were Married”


              They married and were married.

              Their fill they ate and drank.

              By water they were buried;

             The ark was safe; they sank.

             Two women do their grinding,

             Both thinking, “All is well.”

         With Christ one herself finding;

             The other left for hell.

             Two men their fieldwork tending,

             One borne by angels where

             With Jesus he is ending;

             The other pain will bear.

             Watch, for you do not know when

             The Son of Man arrives –

             Not day, nor hour; so go then,

             Be faithful all your lives.

(Sung to the tune:  Christus, der Ist mein, Ie. TLH 53)

(Verses written by Martin H. Koestler for a worship service on November 27, 2005, Advent I, based on the Gospel lesson:  Matthew 24:37-44.) 

© copyright 2011

Lyra Publications

Preston, Minnesota

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