The Last Judgment |
There will be two judgments: Our Particular Judgment after we die and stand to account for our life before Our Lord, and the General or Last Judgment when every soul ever created will stand and everything hidden will be revealed of the book of life and sentence passed publicly either to everlasting bliss or eternal damnation.
Contrary to what many may think, nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life. If they truly want to live their Faith as it was taught from Peter to Pius XII, they must know the Faith and live it as Traditional Catholics. That is the only way to KEEP THE FAITH!
"And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. In the same wise will it be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed" Our Lord's words of warning in Luke 17: 25-26
The Last or General Judgment will take place at the end of the world. It is a public repetition of the particular judgment. Then all that each has thought, said, done, or omitted will be known to everybody. The just will receive their reward, and the wicked will be punished. At the General Judgment Jesus Christ, the King of kings will be the Judge. Then complete justice will be meted out to all, to the souls united with the bodies.
The judgment which will be passed on all men immediately after the general resurrection is called the General Judgment or the Last Judgment.
The Last or General Judgment will take place at the end of the world, but when that will be, no man knows.
"But of that day and hour n one knows not even the angels of Heaven, but the Father only" (Matthew 24:36). After the Ascension angels told the Apostles that Christ will come again as Judge: "This Jesus Who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in the same way, as you have seen Him going up to Heaven" (Acts 1:11).
Our Lord predicted that sign will precede the Last Judgment, which He Himself described; He will be the Judge.
(a)The Gospel will be preached in the whole world.
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a witness to all nations; and then will come the end" (Matthew 24:14).
(b) There will be a great apostasy from faith; people will lose themselves in evil.
"Yet when the Son of Man comes, will He find, think ye, faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). "And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. In the same wise will it be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (Luke 17:26-27, 30).
(c) The antichrist will appear and work false miracles.
St. Paul speaks of "the man of sin - the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God, and gives himself out as if he were God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
On the last day these events will take place:
The earth and the Heavens will show signs: the stars will fall. In the Heavens the sign of the Son of Man will appear. It is believed that this sign is the Cross.
"…And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven" (Matthew 24:30).
Jesus Christ, in great power and majesty, accompanied by the angels, will come in the clouds of Heaven.
"For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines even to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be...And they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of Heaven with great power and majesty" (Matthew 24:27, 30).
The trumpet will sound, and all the dead will spring to life in a moment; they will be instantly reunited to their souls, and come to judgment.
"Behold, I come quickly - to render to each one according to his works" (Apocalypse 22:12). "And He will send forth His angels with a trumpet and a great sound, and they will gather His elect from the four winds" (Matthew 24:31).
From these statements we are not to conclude that everybody will perceive the Divine essence at the day of judgment. This cannot happen without completeness of joy; and the wicked can never see God.
The lost souls will "see God" behind some kind of veil so that they do not delight in His divinity; they will have some kind of perception of His Majesty, and recognize His justice.
Although every one is judged immediately after death, it is fitting that there be a general judgment, in order that the justice, wisdom, and mercy of God may be glorified in the presence of all.
3. The Last or General Judgment will be a public repetition of the particular judgment. The Judge and the matters taken up will be identical. Then Jesus will bring to light "the hidden things of darkness."
"And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the scrolls" (Apocalypse 20:12).
All men and all angels, good and bad, will be present to hear the judgment of each one. "For there is nothing hidden that will not be made manifest, nor anything concealed that will not be known" (Luke 8:17).
Then will the unjust say these words, as they consider the just: "These are they whom we had some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honor. Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints...What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away" (Wisdom 5:3-9).
Our Lord will place the good on His right hand, and the wicked on His left. To the just Christ will say: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kiingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). To the wicked He will say: "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41).
A great fear and instant realization of their sentence will fall upon the wicked. And they will say to the mountains and the rocks: "Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of Him Who sits upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb" (Apocalypse/Revelation 6:16). Immediately the good will go body and soul to Heaven, and the wicked will fall body and soul into hell. "And these will go into everlasting punishment, but the just into everlasting life" (Matthew 25:46).
The General Judgment is necessary in order to vindicate God's providence in the government of the world, and to disclose both the good and the evil that men have done, in order to reveal God's justice, wisdom, and mercy. Man is a social, as well as an individual being; hence the necessity for a general, as well as a particular judgment.
On that day will men see how often God has granted them graces, and they have rejected them, how often God has turned even their evil acts to their advantage, that they might repent! Then will men see how much that took up time and thought on earth was folly in the eyes of God, and how what the world called nonsense and mocked was really heavenly wisdom. As St. Paul says: "We, for our part, preach a crucified Christ- to the Jews indeed a stumbling-block and to the Gentiles foolishness" (1 Corinthians 1:23).
It is necessary to give the just the public honor due them, and the wicked the public shame they deserve, and to make the body share in the reward or punishment of the soul with which it shared good or evil on earth.
At the Last Judgment all our thoughts, wods and deeeds, public and secret, will be made known to all creation. This fact should urge us to avoid everything of which we should then be ashamed made public. When we are tempted let us remember that the "hidden things of darkness" will be revealed on the last day.
Next issue: The Torments of Hell