This article considers questions you may have raised and shows where you can read the answers in your Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses would be pleased to discuss these answers with you.
1. What is Judgment Day?
As depicted in the picture on the right, many people imagine that on Judgment Day billions of souls will be brought before God’s throne to be judged according to their former deeds—some to be rewarded with life in heaven, others to be tormented in hell. The Bible shows, however, that the purpose of Judgment Day is to rescue people from injustice. (Psalm 96:13) God has appointed Jesus to be the Judge who will restore justice to mankind.—Read Isaiah 11:1-5; Acts 17:31.
2. How will Judgment Day restore justice?
When the first man, Adam, deliberately rebelled against God, he subjected all his offspring to sin, suffering, and death. (Romans 5:12) To correct that injustice, Jesus will bring back to life, or resurrect, billions from the dead. The book of Revelation reveals that this will take place during the thousand-year rule of Christ Jesus.—Read Revelation 20:4, 11, 12.
The resurrected ones will be judged, not on the basis of what they did before they died, but on what they do when the contents of the “scrolls” mentioned in Revelation chapter 20 are revealed. (Romans 6:7) Among those who will come back to life and have the opportunity to learn about God are “both the righteous and the unrighteous,” said the apostle Paul.—Read Acts 24:15.
3. What will Judgment Day accomplish?
Those who died without ever having come to know Jehovah God and serve him will have the opportunity to change and do good. If they do so, their resurrection will turn out to be “a resurrection of life.” Some of the resurrected ones, however, will not want to learn Jehovah’s ways. Theirs will turn out to be “a resurrection of judgment.”—Read John 5:28, 29; Isaiah 26:10; 65:20.
By the end of the thousand-year-long Day of Judgment, Jehovah will have restored obedient mankind to its original perfect condition. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) What a marvelous prospect that is for all obedient ones! In a final test, God will release from the abyss Satan the Devil, who will have been confined there for a thousand years. Satan will again try to turn people away from Jehovah, but those who reject Satan will enjoy life on earth forever.—Read Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 20:7-9.
4. What other day of judgment will benefit mankind?
The Bible also uses the term “day of judgment” to refer to the event that will bring the present system of things to its end. This day of judgment will come as suddenly as the Flood of Noah’s day, which swept away an entire wicked generation. Happily, the imminent destruction of “ungodly men” will clear the way for a new earthly society in which “righteousness is to dwell.”—Read 2 Peter 3:6, 7, 13.