“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
There is only one thing that is absolutely sure to happen to every person—everyone will have to face God some day. Not even “death and taxes” are certain for every one, but meeting God for an accounting of one’s life is certain!
Therefore, as the prophet Amos warned some 2,500 years ago: “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12). “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
To the Christian believer, of course, there is no need to fear hell, for there is “now no condemnation [that is, ‘judgment’] to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The Lord Jesus has paid for our sins and purchased our redemption with His shed blood. He “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
Nevertheless, we as Christians still “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10), where “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide . . . he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
Those who die in unbelief, however, not having trusted Christ as their Savior, will face a different meeting with God. John describes the awesome scene as he saw it in his prophecy. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). But no one can ever be saved by his works (Ephesians 2:9). Therefore, “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). HMM