The Bible is clear that a day is coming when God will judge people (Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16).
At the present time the Day of Judgment is a very unfashionable idea, but it will certainly happen nevertheless. And everyone will participate in it.
What will happen on the Day of Judgment?
On this day, two things will happen.
First, those who are saved and those who are unsaved will be separated and consigned to their fate (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43; 25:31-46), the saved to eternal life on the new earth (2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 21:1), and the unsaved to hell (Matt. 24:50-51; Rev. 20:15).
Which group we are in depends on whether or not before death we have received by faith the salvation that is in Jesus Christ. Those who have done this will be saved, and those who haven’t will be unsaved.
Second, God will judge every person for what they have done while on earth. In other words, He will put each of us on trial for how we have lived our lives. The Bible teaches that this trial will involve a detailed assessment of everything we have done, including every word we have spoken (Eccl. 12:14; Matt. 12:36).
For the unsaved, what they have done wrong will form the basis for their being sent to hell (Matt. 25:41-46; Rom. 2:5-9).
For the saved, what we have done right or wrong will form the basis for the rewards we gain or don’t gain in eternity (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 John 1:8).
Those who follow mainstream culture
In every society and culture around the world it is extremely common for people to go with the flow, to adopt the values and lifestyles of mainstream culture without really stopping to think very hard about whether these are good things.
And people often seem to feel that there is a kind of safety in numbers. If they side with the views of the majority, they think there can’t be much wrong with that. If they act in the same way as most others do, they reckon that they can’t be doing a lot wrong.
To put it another way, people often seem to feel that they can hide in the crowd of popular opinion. Even many of those who believe in the existence of the Day of Judgment apparently think that that day will not pose any great danger for them, since they are just ordinary people with mainstream values, who live as most others do.
We will all be on trial alone before God
In reality, however, any notion that there is safety in numbers is just an illusion. The number of other people who believe and act as we do counts for nothing in God’s sight. What counts is how we measure up in His eyes.
And the Bible teaches clearly that the average man or woman is thoroughly sinful (Rom. 3:9-19). Jesus even describes ordinary people as “evil” (Luke 11:13). And He also teaches that most are on the road to hell (Matt. 7:13-14). Being an ordinary person, who has ordinary values and lives an ordinary life, will be no protection on the Day of Judgment.
Something that we must understand clearly too is that we will all stand alone before God when we are judged. Each of us will be on trial on our own before the Lord. There will be absolutely no hiding in the crowd on that day.
In Matt. 7:22-23 Jesus says that on the Day of Judgment many who are condemned will try to defend themselves by making feeble excuses. I expect that many will argue that they just acted in the ways that most people did, and that that shouldn’t be held against them. If they do try to use this as a defense, it will be a very poor one.
We need to be ready
It makes sense to think that in some respects the Day of Judgment will be an unpleasant experience for all of us, since we have each done so many wrong things in our lives.
Nevertheless, those of us who have taken hold of Christ and the salvation that is in Him will be ready for this day.
However, those who have not taken hold of Christ will be completely unready. For them, the Day of Judgment will be a terrible day indeed.
The good news for all the world is that Christ, in His great love for us, paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross. When we turn to Him in faith, all our guilt is washed away, and we will then be free to live our lives for Him.