Is there biblical support for a judgment after the cross?
Evangelicals have claimed there is no pre-Advent judgment because all judgment ended at the cross. However, an examination of Scripture indicates that the apostles after the cross were proclaiming a judgment that was to come in the future.
Acts 24:25 states, “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come.” Acts 17:31 says, “Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.” Romans 2:16 alludes to a future judgment: “In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
Notice that each of these references take place after the cross. Paul is preaching about a resurrected Christ. He talks about a judgment in the future tense, not as an event that has taken place but as an event that will take place.
What if I fear the judgment?
Daniel 7:22 indicates that the judgement will be “in favor of the saints.” In other words, this is not God trying to keep you out of heaven. This is Jesus advocating to get you into heaven. Jesus is your judge and your defense attorney. We have nothing to fear as long as by faith we have accepted Him as our Savior.
This is a judgment that respects your power of choice. Ultimately the judgment will be an investigation to see whether you have by choice accepted the righteousness of Christ. It is to see whether you have the robe of Jesus on, as was illustrated in the parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1–14). In other words, we do not enter the judgment on the basis of our own track record or merits; we enter the judgment with the record of Jesus Christ covering us.
Will we have the opportunity to review God’s decisions?
The Bible reveals that we will have the opportunity to review the decisions of God during the thousand years (Rev. 20:4–6; 1 Cor. 6:3) after the second coming of Christ, while we are in heaven. The fire of God that destroys the wicked does not happen until after the thousand years. In other words, God waits on His executive judgment until everyone, including us, has the opportunity to see the righteous judgment of God.
We will have many questions when we get to heaven, especially if we find that our loved ones are missing. God, instead of concealing His reasoning, will be open and transparent. He will give us all the information that factored into His decision, and He gives us a thousand years to examine it. The beneficiaries of the investigative judgment are the unfallen inhabitants of the universe; and we are the beneficiaries of the millennial judgment.