What dangerous misunderstandings would result from only
emphasizing a person's judgment according to degree or according to state?
A person's degree of punishment in hell will directly correspond to his degree of sin upon earth. No person will be punished for sins he did not desire, agree with, or perform. "For Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 32:19b). "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:27). "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" (II Corinthians 5:10). (See also Leviticus 26:28, Jeremiah 32:19, Ezekiel 18:30, Amos 3:2, Romans 2:6-11, II Thessalonians 1:6-8, and Hebrews 2:2-3.)
When concluding this section dealing with the final judgment, we must emphasize that God's judgment will be perfectly just for every individual, taking into consideration every privilege he or she received. Two major factors shall determine God's just and perfect judgment of every individual. These two factors are:
1. The individual's eternal state is determined by his relationship to Jesus Christ -Only those whose original and actual sin have been fully paid for by Jesus Christ shall be spoken free. Only those united by saving faith to Him shall be taken into heaven, " And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (I John 5:11-12). (See also John 3:16,5:24,8:24, 14:6, 15:5; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 3:11; and 1 John 5:1, etc.).
2. The individual's eternal degree of glory in heaven or punish
ment in hell is determined by his gracious use or personal misuse of the privileges God gave him on earth -God will perfectly sentence each one according to the knowledge, abilities, opportunities and blessings he received. "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more"
(Luke 12:47-48). (See also Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:11-27,