In the beginning weeks of each new year, there are many news stories about the famous people who died during the previous year. Those people used their talents and abilities to do great things in their special fields and as such they earned great fame and fortune.
However as much fame, fortune, and possessions that they acquired while they were living, they had to leave all these things behind when they physically died since after that happens they make the transition to living in the spiritual realm where they can only take with them the spiritual things that they acquired when they were physically living.
The two spiritual things that people take with them after they physically die and go face God’s judgment of their life are: First, they take with them the kind of spiritual relationship with God that they developed while they were physically living. Second, they take with them the spiritual account or book of what they have done in their life. This book includes the accounts of the times that they have either kept or broken God’s laws or principles of living found in the Bible as well as the times that they have done things to help or hurt God’s spiritual kingdom of light.
Hebrews 9:27 (NASB) declares that “it is appointed for men to die once and then comes judgment.” Matthew 12:36, Romans 14:10-12, and Revelation 20:12-13 state that everyone will have to face the judgment of God for what they have done in their life.
When people face God’s judgment of their life, there will be some people who have lived an ungodly lifestyle who will try and make excuses for the many times that they broke God’s laws in an attempt to prevent God from giving them the punishment of spiritual death they deserve for doing those things. However, God will see through their lame excuses and give them the punishment of spiritual death that they deserve and send them to Hell to live with the Devil who they served while living on earth.
In Matthew 7:15-23, Jesus talks about people who did some religious things, yet never developed a close relationship with Him. In response to their excuses to avoid God’s judgment, Jesus said: ”Then I will declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:23)
In contrast to them, there will be some people who, as they are giving an account of their life as they are facing God’s judgment, will show how they developed a close faith-covenant relationship with God after accepting God’s invitation to ask God to forgive them for breaking His laws and then they asked Jesus Christ to become their personal Savior and spiritually apply His sacrificial atonement on the cross to their life.
Since Jesus lived a perfect life without breaking any of God’s laws, then as the perfect Lamb of God He could become the perfect Passover Sacrifice and on the cross He took the punishment of death that everyone who broke God’s laws deserved.
After God raised Jesus from the dead it showed that He had completed God’s plan for the spiritual redemption of mankind. As a result of that completion, everyone who accepts Jesus as their personal Savior can come under that atonement, be forgiven for breaking God’s laws, and thus escape God’s judgment of spiritual death when they physically die.
Now when those people who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior physically die and come before God’s judgment, Jesus will stand beside them and tell God that His atonement for breaking God’s laws covers them and so they won’t face the sentence of spiritual death for breaking God’s laws. Then, Jesus will show God how this person used the power of the Holy Spirit to live according to God’s principles for living and the many things that they did for God’s spiritual kingdom. After that Jesus will proclaim: “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . enter into the joy of your Master.” (Matthew 25:21) and then Jesus will escort the Christian person into a good place in Heaven where they will live with Jesus forever.
Since God’s judgment happens after people physically die, then while they are physically living they have a chance to change what their judgment will be. For example, if they are living an ungodly lifestyle in which they are breaking God’s laws and will face the punishment of receiving the sentence of spiritual death after they physically die; then they can change that possible sentence of spiritual death by accepting God’s invitation to ask God to forgive them for breaking His laws and then asking Jesus Christ to be their personal Savior and spiritually apply His sacrificial atonement to their life. Then, they can develop a close faith-covenant relationship with God that will help get them through the rest of their journey of life.
Therefore, since most people don’t know when they will physically die and go to face God’s judgment, then they need to be always ready to face that judgment. That means that they have figured out where they want to go after they physically die—they can either go to Heaven because they have developed a close faith-covenant relationship with God; or they can receive the sentence of spiritual death for breaking God’s laws and be sent to Hell to live with the Devil.