Before Christ and the Saints can go forth to establish the Kingdom of God,
and to restore the Kingdom of Israel in the earth, it is necessary that the
faithful of all generations be resurrected and judged worthy of places in that
Kingdom. The first action of Christ at his return, then, will be to raise the
dead to life again, for the purpose of judgment.
1TH 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with
a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the
dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and
so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The purpose of the judgment is to save the righteous and condemn the
wicked. Those judged righteous will go forth with Christ to establish his
kingdom. Those judged wicked will be returned to the world and die.
2CO 5:10 For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of
Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to
that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Not all men will come forth to judgment. Countless billions of the world's
population never knew the plan and purpose of God, and have no responsibility
toward it. Of these men God said:
PRO 21:16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding
shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
ISA 26:13-14 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had
dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. They are
dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore
hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
Those who do appear at the Judgment are those who have been called to a
knowledge of God's plan, whether they have been obedient to it or not. Jesus
said through John:
JOH 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into
the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
The word translated "condemnation" is from the Greek word "krisis,"
and it means "the decision" or "the judgment." The judgment is based upon
"light" being in the world. It is the light (a symbol of understanding)
therefore, that makes a man responsible to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Therefore, Christadelphians believe:
XXIV.--That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the
Kingdom, the responsible (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and
have been called upon to submit to it), dead and living--obedient and
disobedient--will be summoned before his judgment seat "to be judged according
to their works," and "receive in body according to what they have done, whether
it be good or bad."
XXV.--That the unfaithful will be consigned to shame and "the second death,"
and the faithful, invested with immortality, and exalted to reign with Jesus as
joint heirs of the kingdom, co-possessors of the earth, and joint administrators
of God's authority among men in everything."