This used to send shivers up my spine, but not anymore - and you can prepare yourself for this to take the sting out of it. But sure as we live, there will be a Final or Last Judgement of the World. It will be like a court case for individuals and nations, and it is easiest to think of it in terms of a court case on earth, as what we have on earth is based on a justice system instituted by God for Israel.
The basis for any such a court case is the presence of a judge (Jesus Christ), an accuser (Satan), an accused (me and you), witnesses (anyone we wish to call), and the Law (Mosaic Law and the Bible). We all know the procedures which will be followed. Satan will bring in an accusation against us, we will plead guilty or not, and if we plead innocence, we will need to defend ourselves with suitably prepared witnesses and arguments in terms of the Law (and the rest of the Bible).
Nothing sinister about that. Where can we get some more information on it?
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. v:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. v:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. v:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, v:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. v:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
And that is the whole gruesome truth about it - and still millions of people live in a kind of fool's paradise that they will never be called upon to answer for their sins or actions.
We know God superficially as a very strict, jealous and an all-consuming fire from the words in scripture : Thou shalt not ... and if thou do, thou shalt surely die like in: Exo 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: v:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
But that is not the whole story. There are also mitigating circumstances. There is a way we can make sure that we do not end up in perdition, and that hope we get from these scriptures:
1. Just later in the last quoted text it says: Exo 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
2. We find a very interesting conversation between god and Job in: Job 40:10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. v:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. v:12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. v:13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. v:14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
As I read it, God says here to Job: If you can visit judgment on the wicked and kill them off, then even I will praise you (in my own words), because I cannot do it, because I love sinners.
3. The next remarkable text we find also in Job: Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! v:4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. v:5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. v:6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me. v:7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge. v:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
Here Job wants God to judge him (prematurely), but he cannot find God, purely because God has not come to judge us. He is a God of Love and he has given the judgment to Jesus Christ and us: 1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels?
4. We have an opportunity now to judge ourselves, so that we might miss the last judgment: 1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Luk 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. v:3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. v:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. v:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
And I presume that the opposite is true as well as in: If we confess our sins in the light, it will remain in the dark forever.
The best advice that I can give you, is that you conduct your defence on the following lines:
Satan (to Jesus Christ, the Judge):
You have before you a sinner of the most dreadful kind. He has often and continuously sinned and transgressed against your law, and according to your law, he is to die and go into perdition.
Sinner: I have sinned, but the Word of God says that: 1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I have taken your advice and confessed my sins in the presence of a faithful witness, which I will call now to witness as to the event. In terms of your word, I need one witness to vouch for me: Deu 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. In terms of your word I cannot be put to death.
Jesus Christ: Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.