Jesus states how He has been given
the authority to judge by the Father.
In John 5:22–23, He says,
“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted
all judgment to the Son,
that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does Not Honor
the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
Yes, Jesus came into the world to save those
who put their trust in Him
but His coming also brought judgment
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus brought judgment to Satan
Furthermore, unbelievers will ultimately be judged by the Lord Jesus.
Jesus will act as judge over
believers and unbelievers.
At the Bema Seat of Christ,
He will judge believers’ works after salvation to
determine reward or loss of reward
(1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
This judgment has nothing to do with salvation, as believers’ eternal destiny is secure in Jesus (Ephesians 1:13–14).
Rather, believers will receive rewards according to
how faithfully they served Christ
(Luke 19:12–27; 1 Corinthians 3:12–15).
In contrast, unbelievers will be judged
by Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment
Again, this judgment has nothing to do with their eternal destiny--
at that point, unbelievers have already sealed their fate by rejecting Jesus.
The Great White Throne Judgment
the severity of unbelievers’ punishment
based on what they did in life
Notably, all of the people at this judgment are
thrown into the lake of fire
because their names were not found in the book of life,
which means they rejected Christ’s free gift of salvation
The Sheep and Goat Judgment determined the
earthly fate of those who were
involved at the time of Christ’s return
During this judgment, Jesus will
separate the “sheep” from the “goats.”
are believers who gave evidence to their
faith by helping the Jewish people
during the tribulation;
are unbelievers who portrayed their unbelief by
failing to help
Jews during the tribulation
(Matthew 25:33–36, 41–43).
Those who rejected Christ
and took the side of the beast
during the tribulation “
will go away to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life”
Because Jesus is both God and man,
He is the perfect judge of mankind.
His judgment will be fair and perfectly just
and not subject to appeal (Acts 17:31).
He is not like sinful human rulers who at times judge unfairly
and seek to fulfill their own agendas. Instead, Jesus states,
“I can do nothing on my own.
As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just,
because I seek not my own will but
the will of him who sent me”
(John 5:30, ESV).
We can be assured that Jesus is a fair judge and will enact judgment according to His wisdom and righteousness (Isaiah 11:3–4; John 8:15–16; Revelation 19:11). The Son of God will transform a world full of injustice into a place of peace and safety. No more will the guilty go free; no more will the innocent suffer: “He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:6).
Hebrews explains that Christ is supreme over more than just roles and systems.
Hebrews 1:3a says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”
Similarly, Colossians 2:9 says,
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”
Essentially, Jesus is God.
Colossians 1:15–23 Paul makes it plain that Jesus is over all things.
Christ is called
“the image of the invisible God” and
“the firstborn over all creation”
The term firstborn refers to a position of authority.
To be “firstborn” was to hold an honored position.
Paul immediately goes on to explain Jesus’ role in creation:
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him”
This means that Jesus is not created but is Creator.
He is God.
Paul goes on to say, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
so that in everything he might have the supremacy”
Paul highlights multiple areas in which Christ has authority—over creation, over the Church, over death, and finally “in everything.” Christ is both before all things and encompasses all things (“in Him all things hold together”). Therefore, Christ is supreme.
This doctrine is essential to our view of and worship of Christ. The supremacy of Christ affirms that Jesus is fully God. He is not simply a man greater than the rest but is truly above all creation, as only God can be.
This truth is essential for our salvation. God is infinite and, therefore, our sin against Him is an infinite offense. In order to atone for this offense, the sacrifice must be infinite. Jesus, as God, is infinite and thus an able sacrifice.
Jesus is not just a good moral teacher whom we may choose to follow; rather, He is God, and He is over all. Jesus’ supremacy also makes it evident that we cannot atone for our own sins.
In fact, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).
Jesus both fulfilled and replaced that system. Salvation is not based on works (see Ephesians 2:1–10). And, once we are saved, Jesus’ supremacy shows us that we cannot aspire to be like Him of our own strength.
Jesus is unlike any other, supreme over all.
Christians are called to be like Jesus, but this is through the work of the
(Philippians 2:12–13; Romans 8).
The supremacy of Jesus teaches us that He is not simply a spiritual being above the rest. Paul tells us that through Him all things visible and invisible, in heaven and on earth, i.e., spiritual and physical, were created
(see Colossians 1:16). Hebrews 1:4 calls Jesus superior to the angels.
This truth negates any tendencies toward angel worship. Jesus created the angels and is above them. We are explicitly told He is greater than they.
Therefore, we need only worship Jesus. Similarly, that Jesus created the things of earth means that creation is not worthy of our worship.
Jesus is supreme over both the physical and spiritual realms,
thus giving both arenas importance while still remaining sovereign over them.
When we understand the supremacy of Christ, we have a
more accurate view of Him.
We more fully understand the depth of His love; we are more able to receive and to respond to His love. Theologians believe that Colossians was written, in part, to combat heresies rising in Colossae. It seemed fitting to Paul to affirm the supremacy of Christ in order to quash these misled beliefs.
He affirmed Christ’s supremacy, His lordship, and His sufficiency for us.
Hebrews explains the link between the Old Testament covenant and the new covenant of Jesus. It reveals the old system as a
shadow of the ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
The supremacy of Christ is central to an accurate view of His Person,
His work, our status as believers, and the Kingdom.
The great white throne judgment
is described in Revelation 20:11-15
and is the final judgment prior to
the lost being cast into the lake of fire.
We know from Revelation 20:7-15 that this judgment
will take place after the millennium and after Satan
is thrown into the lake of fire where the
beast and the false prophet are
(Revelation 19:19-20; 20:7-10)
The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone’s deeds, whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought, and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:4; 62:12; Romans 2:6; Revelation 2:23; 18:6; 22:12).
Also at this time, another book is opened, called the “book of life” (Revelation 20:12). It is this book that determines whether a person will inherit eternal life with God or receive everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.
Although Christians are held accountable for their actions, they are forgiven in Christ and their names were written in the “book of life from the creation of the world” (Revelation 17:8). We also know from Scripture that it is at this judgment when the dead will be “judged according to what they had done” (Revelation 20:12) and that “anyone’s name” that is not “found written in the book of life” will be “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
The fact that there is going to be a final judgment for all men, both believers and unbelievers, is clearly confirmed in many passages of Scripture. Every person will one day stand before Christ and be judged for his or her deeds.
Jesus Christ will be the judge,
all unbelievers will be judged by Christ,
and they will be punished according
to the works they have done.
The Bible is very clear that unbelievers are
storing up wrath against themselves
(Romans 2:5) and that
God will “give to each person according to what he has done”
Believers will also be judged by Christ,
Romans 14:10-12 says that we will all stand before
the judgment seat of Christ and that each one of us
will give an account to God.