What exactly is Judgment Day?


I have several questions:

  • What exactly is Judgment Day?
  • If I die and go to heaven, can I somehow go to hell after Judgment Day if my sins outweigh the good that I had done?
  • Can a person go to hell, then on Judgment Day go to heaven?
  • What things do I have to do to make it to heaven?
  • Is a teenage relationship considered a sin, kissing, etc.?
  • Are little things like saying shut up a sin? Or saying stupid?
  • Is social media a sin?
  • If I die at 16 years old, and ten years of my life have been sin and not been serving God but for six years I had believed in God and not being the best Christian but have been asking for forgiveness, will I get sent to hell on Judgment Day?


In order to answer your questions, I need to clear up some misunderstandings.

When people die, they do not go directly to heaven or hell. They go to a waiting place that was called Sheol (the grave) in the Old Testament and Hades in the New Testament. Most details of Hades are found in the story of the rich man and Lazarus:

"Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.

"Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'

"And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father's house -- for I have five brothers -- in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' But he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!' But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'" (Luke 16:19-31).

From this story, we learn that Hades is divided into two sections: Torments and a place of comfort called "Abraham's bosom." Other passages call the place of comfort Paradise. As Jesus died on the cross, he told the thief, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). Yet, Peter quoted the Old Testament to explain that Jesus did not remain in Hades. "For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption" (Acts 2:27). Therefore, we conclude that Paradise is the region of comfort in Hades.

A great gulf is said to divide the two realms. Once you are in one realm or the other, you cannot change locations.

These places are not the final stop for people but serve only as the place of waiting. Jesus now holds the keys to death and hades (Revelation 1:18). Which means he controls the entrance and exit from Hades. When he returns, he will open up the grave. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29).

"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Hebrews 9:26-27).

"And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 2:3-10).

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).

Every person -- good or bad, believer or non-believer -- will appear before God to be judged according to the things he has done while living on this earth. Judgment takes place after death, but it is also referred to it as the day of judgment. It is a single event, and not an ongoing process.

"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed" (II Thessalonians 1:3-10).

Paul's statement to the Thessalonians establishes that the Day of Judgment comes after Christ's second coming. At that time the faithful will be rewarded and the wicked will be punished.

This then brings up the question: If the good and the bad are already separated between Paradise and Torments, why is there a Judgment Day? Consider that when the police catch a man in process of robbing a store, he is placed in jail until his trial. Even though his guilt is clear, he still faces judgment and sentencing before a judge. It will be similar for us. Where we go will be based on what we have done, but we still will face God in the final Judgment and know that our destiny was just. "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15).

The basis of the judgment is what we have done while on earth, but God also considers why we did those things. "Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God" (I Corinthians 4:5).

All of us have done things we wish we had not done, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Yet, it is God's desire to rescue people from the sin that they have committed. Jesus died to make the payment for sin and this allows God to justly consider other criteria to decide who will be saved. One requirement is that people give up their sins (repent).

"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

"But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?"

"But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.

"Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?

"When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

"But the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live"" (Ezekiel 18:20-32).

Judgment is not whether the amount of good you did outweighs the evil you did. It is solely based on who you are at the end of your life. But it doesn't mean you can wait to the last second and then "convert." Remember that God also considers your motives. In addition, none of us know when our life will end, so we must always be ready to go. Yet, with such a generous offer to forget all our past, there is no reason to remain in sin.

For how to become a Christian and be saved from your sins, see:

"Relationship" is too broad of a word today. See:

Regarding calling someone stupid, see:

Social media, like many things in life, can be used sinfully or for good. It is how it is used, not what it is that makes the difference.

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