Here is the next post in my series on the Four Last Things.
It’s not essential for you to read the previous posts before this one. However, I do encourage you to view each post of this series in chronological order because it will give you the full picture and allow you to get the most out of it.
The next topic we’ll explore is judgment.
Every thought, word and deed — as well as every omission — is recorded and will go with a person to their individual judgment. It will also be revealed to every soul at the end of the world!
We can easily hide from others or deceive them. We can even deceive ourselves because we can’t fully or clearly see our soul.
Sometimes we make excuses or try to justify our behavior, but this won’t happen at our judgment.
Judgment is an evaluation of the soul as it truly is.
God is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He takes everything into account and gives the soul its eternal reward, or punishment.
The soul won’t disagree or make a case for itself. The soul fully accepts its destiny because it can’t deny the Truth.
Each day spent on earth is a gift because it gives us more time to atone for our sins and amend our lives.
We must not waste this gift or knowingly put our soul at risk. If we do, our soul will condemn itself on Judgment Day; and God will seal this judgment for eternity.
First, I’ll provide an introduction by sharing excerpts of Catholic teaching.
Then, I’ll provide a thorough explanation by sharing a video from Fr. Chad Ripperger.
At the moment of death, each human person is judged [at the Particular Judgment] by God based on his conduct in this life, and goes immediately to his reward or punishment. Moreover, at the end of the world, Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead [at the Last Judgment]. At that time, God’s whole plan for the world shall be revealed, and his mercy and justice demonstrated.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Particular Judgment
1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul–a destiny which can be different for some and for others.
1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, — or immediate and everlasting damnation.
At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.
The Last Judgment
1038 The resurrection of all the dead, “of both the just and the unjust,” will precede the Last Judgment. This will be “the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare. The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:
All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When “our God comes, he does not keep silence.”. . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . “I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father – but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence.”
1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.
1041 The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them “the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation.” It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the “blessed hope” of the Lord’s return, when he will come “to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed.”