Whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

When Christ ascended to heaven and sat at the Right Hand of God, He began His judgment. Christ judges not only those who die at their death; but, He judges the living during their lifetime. His judgment happens in heaven at the “Throne of God.”

Most of the confessions state that Christ will judge the dead in the future; however, the Bible shows clearly that judgment has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen in the future. It is an everyday reality.

Where does the judgment of God take place

The word “whence” is not used in today’s English. It simply means from where. The dictionary states,

whence adverb \ˈhwen(t)s, ˈwen(t)s\
: from where
Full Definition of WHENCE
: from what place, source, or cause
Merriam-Websters Dictionary

The location where judgment occurs is in heaven and not some future location on earth. God our savior, Jesus Christ, will judge everyone from heaven. Revelation gives the exact location and the visual of where judgment occurs.

And 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. And 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.
(Rev 20:11-15 NAS)

When studying “He sat down at the Right Hand of God” we learned that the “Throne of God” is in heaven. Christ sat down on His throne when He ascended into heaven.

God, The Father and Christ, is the judge

Just as God, The Father and Christ, sits on the throne; So, God, the Father and Christ, is the judge of the living and the dead.

Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is judge.
(Psa 50:5-6 NAS)

There is only one judge and that judge is God.

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
(Heb 10:30-31 NAS)
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
(Jam 4:12 NAS)

The Father is the judge.

And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth
(1Pe 1:17 NAS)

Christ is the judge.

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
(2Ti 4:1 NAS)

The Father gave all judgment to the Son so the Father can be honored.

For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
(John 5:22-23 NAS)

Who will be judged by God?

God will judge all the Angels and Humans that he created. Peter states that the Angels will be judged by God.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
(2Pe 2:4 NAS)

Paul states that all people will stand before the judgment seat of God, which is God’s throne.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
(2Co 5:10 NAS)
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
(Rom 14:10 NAS)

He judges the living and the dead

As shown before, God our Savior, Jesus Christ, will judge those who are living and those who are dead. This is clearly taught by the Apostles.

“And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.
(Act 10:42 NAS)
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
(2Ti 4:1 NAS)
And in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign you; but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
(1Pe 4:4-5 NAS)

The living are those who are believers in Christ. Those who are made alive (Eph 2:5) in Christ. This also applies to those who are simply living (John 3:18). There is nobody who will escape the judgment of God in this life or in death.

God judges the house of God first

The first group of people God will judge are those whom claim to be God’s people. Since God’s people are responsible for telling others about God accurately (2Ti 2:15), honestly (Luk 8:15), without sordid gain (Tit 1:11), God will start with His own church.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
(1Pe 4:17 NAS)

The measurements that God uses for His judgment are the deeds that the people do in their lives.

Everyone will be judged according to their deeds

The Apostles clearly taught that everyone will be judged according to their deeds. Both the righteous and the unrighteous people will be judged.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
(2Co 5:10 NAS)
I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.
(Ecc 3:17 NAS)

God does not delight in the wickedness of humans. All the misery and evil that man does to God’s creation will by no means go unpunished.

“I, the LORD, have spoken; it is coming and I shall act. I shall not relent, and I shall not pity, and I shall not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I shall judge you,” declares the Lord God.'”
(Eze 24:14 NAS)

There is no reason why God should feel sorry or have any remorse to unrepentant sinners who think that they are righteous for their ungodly deeds. Especially when God gave them an entire lifetime to reflect on it.

Christ judges the intent of the heart

God also judges the intent of the heart. Nothing is hidden from His sight or knowledge.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
(Ecc 12:13-14 NAS)
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
(Heb 4:12-13 NAS)

When does God judge?

Psalms shows God’s judgment was happening from heaven already.

Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; The earth feared, and was still, When God arose to judgment, To save all the humble of the earth. Selah.
(Psa 76:8-9 NAS)

Judgment is happening during life.

For Thou hast maintained my just cause; Thou dost sit on the throne judging righteously.
(Psa 9:4 NAS)

Also, the Apostles clearly taught that, when you die, you are judged. After death, people are either cast into hell or pass into life.

“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
(Luk 12:5 NAS)

Truly, truly, I say to you, he 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. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.
(John 5:24-25 NAS)

The John 5:25 quote states, “AND NOW IS” the time when this is happening. There is no waiting period, no purgatory,or far away future event that people are waiting for. Judgment is happening NOW as we speak. Not only is it happening now, judgment was happening yesterday and will continue to happen tomorrow.

God’s judgment is after death

When a person dies, they are immediately judged by God our savior, Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews states,

Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment
(Heb 9:26-27 NAS)

God’s judgment is on Earth during life

Those who do not believe God are said to be judged already. Unless of course they come to repentance and faith.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(John 3:18 NAS)

This is shown in the story of Moses and the Pharaoh. Because Pharaoh did not believe in God, and set himself up as god, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

And the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.
(Exo 9:12 NAS)

Those who arrogantly oppose God, He will harden. God will slowly close the door during their life so as to never attain eternal life at death.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
(Rom 1:28 KJV)

God’s judgment is righteous

God does not judge people because He loves to condemn people. His judgment is righteous.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
(Eze 18:32 NAS)
God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day. If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.
(Psa 7:11-12 NAS)

He shows no partiality, nor does He judge unreasonably.

“Surely, God will not act wickedly, And the Almighty will not pervert justice.. . . Who shows no partiality to princes, Nor regards the rich above the poor, For they all are the work of His hands?
(Job 34:12,19 NAS)

For there is no partiality with God.
(Rom 2:11 NAS)

This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
(2Th 1:5 NAS)

If God did not repay to those who acted wickedly towards mankind and to God, He would be unjust. Justice is “the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals.”

If Criminals and criminal acts went unpunished by God, He would be uncaring towards the victims of crimes.

God’s wrath is upon the unrighteous in judgment

Many people have a difficult time with the concept of God’s “wrath.” It would take a mass amount of ignorance of an exceptionally long list of Bible passages to deny that God has wrath upon the unrighteous. God’s “wrath.” is defined as follows.

3709 ὀργή, ῆς, ἡ {or-gay’}
Meaning: 1) anger, the natural disposition, temper, character 2) movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger 3) anger, wrath, indignation 4) anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself 4a) of punishments inflicted by magistrates
Origin: from 3713; TDNT – 5:382,716; n f
Usage: AV – wrath 31, anger 3, vengeance 1, indignation 1; 36
Strong New American Standard Bible Concordance

The understanding about God’s wrath is that, God is not swift and quick to judge. He waited, prolonged, was forbearing, longsuffering, and showed goodness the entire lifetime of the individual.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
(Rom 2:4-5 NAS)

The list of quotes from the Bible about the wrath of God is staggering. Here is but a handful.

Then be afraid of the sword for yourselves, For wrath brings the punishment of the sword, So that you may know there is judgment.”
(Job 19:29 NAS)
And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb
(Rev 14:9-10 NAS)
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,
(Col 3:5-6 NAS)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
(Rom 1:18 NAS)
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
(John 3:36 NAS)

For those who teach that God has no wrath are deceiving you.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience
(Eph 5:6 NAS)

God rewards the righteous in judgment

All those who are God’s children and redeemed by Christ will receive a reward in heaven at the judgment.

In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2Ti 4:8 NAS)
Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
(Luk 6:23 NAS)

This reward is the “inheritance” given to those who are adopted as God’s children.

To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1Pe 1:4-5 NAS)
And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
(Heb 9:15 NAS)