1. THE JUDGMENT OF OUR SIN ON THE CROSS
God is holy, and as such, He must judge and punish sin. The Bible tells us the good news that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3). This means that Christ was punished instead of us! As a guilty sinner, I am the one who deserves God's judgment, but God's judgment fell upon my Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Christ died for the ungodly" and "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:6, 8).
2. THE BELIEVER'S SELF-JUDGMENT
God's Word says, "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11:31-32). God wants believers to deal with sin in the right way. When there is sin in my life, I should not ignore it, pretend that it is not serious, or try to cover it over. Sin is something that should be acknowledged and confessed to God (1 Jn. 1:8-10).
3. THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
This judgment has nothing to do with the our salvation because that has already been settled. The issue involved in this judgment will be the our works: "For we (believers) must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 Cor. 5:10). This judgment has to do with rewards for faithfulness.
4. THE JUDGMENT OF NATIONS
This important judgment is often confused with the fifth judgment: the Great White Throne Judgment. These two judgments are not the same. The Judgment of the Nations occurs on earth at the Lord's return (Mt. 25:31-46). It is totally based upon how those being judged treated Israel during the Tribulation (Mt. 24:4-29). This judgment takes place prior to the 1000 year reign of Christ.
5. THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
This is the great final judgment for all unsaved people who have ever lived (Rev. 20:11-15). Peter called it "the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Pet. 3:7). Read Revelation 20:1-10. This judgment takes place after the thousand year kingdom, after the final rebellion (verses 7-9), and after Satan has been cast into the lake of fire.
I am thankful for No. 1! I am humbled by No. 2! I long for No. 3!
I am warning the unsaved to accept Christ and avoid No. 4 and No. 5!