The Bible says that God has set a future day “when he will judge the world with justice by the man (Jesus Christ)he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31). That God is presently causing bad thing to happen to bad people and good things to good people has been a common belief throughout much of history, but that belief is unsupported by Scripture. If we are being judged and punished in this life, then there would be no need for a specific Day of Judgment in the future.
Many people, Christians included, confuse consequences with judgment. When someone robs another person and is caught and sent to jail, they are suffering the consequences of breaking the civil laws. The same is true of spiritual laws and principles. The Book of Proverbs says “Wealth obtained by fraud will become littlebut the one who gathers by hand will make much” (Prov. 13:11). Both examples are not God judging, but involve the consequences of committing ungodly acts.
For Christians, our salvation is guaranteed, but our rewards are not. The Bible says that Christians “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad”(2 Cor. 5:10). If people live as carnal Christians and don’t ask for forgiveness for their sins, they will suffer loss of rewards that they may otherwise have enjoyed throughout the rest of eternity.
Scriptures that reference the Day of Judgment for Christians all point to a future time after the Rapture of the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 says that the Day of Judgment for Christians will be a test of fire. If a person’s works pass the test, “he will receive his reward.” But if the works fail the test, “he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”Our salvation was God’s work through Jesus Christ. Our works are what we do to serve God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Until that day comes, Christians are not being judged by God or punished with evil for our works now.
For more information about God’s judgment, see the links below:
Audio file: Does the Lord Judge now or at the Judgment.