The coming Judgment Day has been part of the Christian message as far back as I can remember. As a little kid it scared me until the hair on the back of neck was sticking straight out. Through the years it has remained a subtle and not so subtle continuing message from many sources. It has in large part made many Christian people paranoid if not schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. This includes The Judgment.
I believe living with a fear of judgment, or the coming last day judgment, causes us to have a tendency to be harsh and judgmental now. Our reality concerning redemption and forgiveness is bleached out by guilt and causes a performance mentality. We are never ‘good enough’ and need to keep trying to be good, pure, and acceptable. This is really lousy theology and comes from man by certain methods of Biblical interpretation. This makes us incomplete, and always trying to be better. It is like it is up to us to ‘qualify for heaven’ when in fact that issue was settled at the cross and we are to respond to that, not any of our own achievement.
Jesus seemed to indicate that if we know him we will appear…but pass on through judgment. He said,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears my word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (Gospel of John 5:24)
“The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Jesus