PFOA Apostles' Creed: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
Do you find it strange that there is so much reluctance to talk about judgement in today's presentation of the Gospel? Salvation is cast as relief and freedom from the pains and trials of this present life. The promise is that God has a wonderful plan for you (Jer. 29:11-13). No doubt in John 3:16 Jesus declared that God is Love and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. But He went on in verse 18 to say that "whoever does not believe stands condemned already".
There is salvation and there is judgement. There is eternal life and there is death, which is everlasting separation from God. If there is no judgement and no death, then there would be no need for a Saviour to suffer and die on the cross.
In that Last Day, Jesus will return as judge. All the then living as well as the resurrected dead will come before Him. As the goats and sheep are separated in the parable (Matt 25:31 ff) so some will go to eternal life and others to eternal punishment. God's judgement will be just, covering every action, thought and word. Even angels are not spared (2 Pet. 2:4). "... if every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"
Christians who by faith have believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Saviour are justified by faith, which means that on that judgement day, they are acquitted. Being united in Christ, they have the righteousness of Christ imputed and are not condemned. However, as children of God, they will still be judged for what they have done in this life (1 Pet. 1:17). The quality of their works will be tested by fire (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
Secular man today rejects the idea that he must one day render account for his life and decisions. When there is nothing after this life, he seeks to maximise his happiness and comfort here and now, leading to moral indifference and pragmatism. On the other hand he is also seeking for something more, and books about out-of-body experiences and visions of heaven can be found everywhere. These usually present a wishful idea of heaven as serene and peaceful, of being accepted, without any kind of judgement.
Now, more than ever, the Christian church must hold on to and teach the Biblical perspective.