Last Judgment

Last Judgment

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The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

. It will purportedly take place after the resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

 and the Second Coming of Christ . This belief has inspired numerous artistic depictions.

Sources



The doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 and iconographic
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 depiction of the "Last Judgment" are drawn from many passages from the apocalyptic
Apocalyptic literature
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians....

 sections of the Bible. It appears most directly in The Sheep and the Goats
The Sheep and the Goats
The Sheep and the Goats or "The Judgment of the Nations" was a discourse of Jesus recorded in the New Testament. It is sometimes characterized as a parable, although unlike most parables it does not purport to relate a story of events happening to other characters.One explanation is that it tells...

 section of the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 where the judgment is entirely based on help given or refused to "the least of these":
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats, and He will set the sheep on His right hand but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” ... “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My Brethren, you did it to me.”


"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” ... “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."(Matthew 25:31-36, 40-43, 45-46 NRSV)


The doctrine is further supported by passages in the Books of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

, Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 and the Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

:

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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." (Rev 20:11-12)


Adherents of millennialism
Millennialism
Millennialism , or chiliasm in Greek, is a belief held by some Christian denominations that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth in which "Christ will reign" for 1000 years prior to the final judgment and future eternal state...

, mostly Protestant Christians, regard the two passages as describing separate events: the "sheep and goats" judgment will determine the final status of those persons alive at the end of the Tribulation
Tribulation
The Great Tribulation refers to tumultuous events that are described during the "signs of the times", first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet discourse...

, and the "Great White Throne
Great White Throne
The term Great White Throne is taken from :Many Christians believe that the Great White Throne in Revelation 20:11 is the Last Judgment when all people will stand in judgment before Jesus after the investigation and a verdict of their salvation will be made.According to the teaching of some...

" judgment will be the final condemnation of the unrighteous dead at the end of all time, after the end of the world and before the beginning of the eternal period described in the final two chapters of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

.

Also, Matthew 3:10
Matthew 3:10
Matthew 3:10 is the tenth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in where John the Baptist is berating the Pharisees and Sadducees. He has previously called them a brood of vipers and warned them of the wrath to come and has urged them to repent...

-12
Matthew 3:12
Matthew 3:12 is the twelfth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in the section relating the preachings of John the Baptist. In this he uses the imagery of harvesting wheat to describe God's judgement....

:
"Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. ‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’"


Matthew 13:40-43:
"Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man
Son of man
The phrase son of man is a primarily Semitic idiom that originated in Ancient Mesopotamia, used to denote humanity or self. The phrase is also used in Judaism and Christianity. The phrase used in the Greek, translated as Son of man is ὁ υἱὸς τοὺ ἀνθρώπου...

 will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers
Antinomianism
Antinomianism is defined as holding that, under the gospel dispensation of grace, moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation....

, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!"


Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 12:4-5,49:
"‘I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! ... ‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!'"

Christianity



Catholicism


Belief in the last judgment (often linked with the General judgment
General judgment
General judgment is the Christian theological concept of a judgment of the dead by nation and as a whole. It is related closely to Judgment day and often is just another phrase for the Last judgment, but is not necessarily part of any eschatology...

) is held firmly inside Catholicism. Immediately upon death each soul undergoes the particular judgment
Particular judgment
Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the judgment given by God that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the General judgment of all people at the end of the world....

, and depending upon the state of the person's soul, goes to heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

, purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

, or hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

.

The last judgment will occur after the resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

 and the reuniting of a person's soul with own physical body. The Catholic Church teaches that at the time of the last judgment Christ will come in His glory, and all the angels with him, and in his presence the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare, and each person who has ever lived
Universal resurrection
Universal resurrection is a doctrine held by most Christian denominations which posits that all of the dead who have ever lived will be resurrected from the dead, generally to stand for a Last Judgment.-Judaism:...

 will be judged with perfect justice. Those already in heaven will remain in heaven; those already in hell will remain in hell; and those in purgatory will be released into heaven. Following the last judgment, the bliss of heaven and the pains of hell will be perfected in that those present will also be capable of physical bliss/pain. After the last judgment the universe itself will be renewed with a new heaven and a new earth
The New Earth
The New Earth is an expression used in the Book of Isaiah , 2 Peter , and Book of Revelation in the Bible to describe the final state of redeemed humanity...

 in the World to Come
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

.

Eastern Orthodoxy


The Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 teaches that there are two judgments: the first, or "Particular" Judgment, is that experienced by each individual at the time of his or her death, at which time God will decide where the soul is to spend the time until the Second Coming
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

 of Christ (see Hades in Christianity
Hades in Christianity
According to various Christian faiths, Hades is "the place or state of departed spirits".-Hades in the Old Testament:In the Septuagint , the Greek term "ᾅδης" is used to translate the Hebrew term "שׁאול" in, for example,...

). This judgment is generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death. The second, "General"
General judgment
General judgment is the Christian theological concept of a judgment of the dead by nation and as a whole. It is related closely to Judgment day and often is just another phrase for the Last judgment, but is not necessarily part of any eschatology...

 or "Final" Judgment will occur after the Second Coming. Although in modern times some have attempted to introduce the concept of Soul sleep into Orthodox thought about life after death, it has never been a part of traditional Orthodox teaching—in fact, it contradicts the Orthodox understanding of the intercession of the Saints.

Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that salvation is bestowed by God as a free gift of Divine grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

, which cannot be earned, and by which forgiveness of sins is available to all. However, the deeds done by each person is believed to affect how he will be judged, following the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. How forgiveness is to be balanced against behavior is not well-defined in scripture, judgment in the matter being solely Christ's. Similarly, although Orthodoxy teaches that salvation is obtained only through Christ and his Church, the fate of those outside the Church at the Last Judgment is left to the mercy of God and is not declared.

Iconography


The theme of the Last Judgment is extremely important in Orthodoxy. Traditionally, an Orthodox church will have a fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

 or mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

 of the Last Judgment on the back (western) wall, (see the 12th-century mosaic pictured at the top of this page) so that the faithful, as they leave the services, are reminded that they will be judged by what they do during this earthly life.

The icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 of the Last Judgement traditionally depicts Christ Pantokrator, enthroned in glory on a white throne, surrounded by the Theotokos
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

 (Virgin Mary), John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, Apostles, saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s and angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s. Beneath the throne the scene is divided in half with the "mansions of the righteous" , i.e., those who have been saved
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 to Jesus' right (the viewer's left); and the torments of those who have been damned
Damnation
Damnation is the concept of everlasting divine punishment and/or disgrace, especially the punishment for sin as threatened by God . A damned being "in damnation" is said to be either in Hell, or living in a state wherein they are divorced from Heaven and/or in a state of disgrace from God's favor...

 to his left. Separating the two is the River of fire
Lake of Fire
A lake of fire appears, in both ancient Egyptian and Christian religion, as a place of after-death punishment of the wicked. The phrase is used in four verses of the Book of Revelation. The image was also used by the Early Christian Hippolytus of Rome in about the year 200 and has continued to be...

 which proceeds from Jesus' left foot.

Hymnography


The theme of the Last Judgment is found in the funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

 and memorial hymnody of the Church, and is a major theme in the services during Great Lent
Great Lent
Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha . In many ways Great Lent is similar to Lent in Western Christianity...

. The second Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent is dedicated to the Last Judgment. It is also found in the hymns of the Octoechos
Octoechos (liturgy)
The Octoechos —literally, the book "of the Eight Tones"—contains an eight-week cycle, providing texts to be chanted for every day at Vespers, Matins, the Divine Liturgy, Compline and the Midnight Office...

 used on Saturdays throughout the year.

Amillennialism



Amillennialism is common among some Mainline Protestant denominations such as the Lutheran, Reformed and Anglican churches. Many, but not all, partial preterists
Partial Preterism
Partial preterism is a form of Christian eschatology that places the events of most of the Book of Revelation as occurring during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD yet still affirms an orthodox future bodily return of Christ to earth at an unknown day and hour...

 are amillennialists. Amillennialism declined in Protestant circles with the rise of Postmillennialism
Postmillennialism
In Christian end-times theology, , postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after the "Millennium", a Golden Age in which Christian ethics prosper...

 and the resurgence of Premillennialism
Premillennialism
Premillennialism in Christian end-times theology is the belief that Jesus will literally and physically be on the earth for his millennial reign, at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it holds that Jesus’ physical return to earth will occur prior to the inauguration...

 in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it has regained prominence in the West after World War II.
Lutheranism

Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 do not believe in any sort of earthly millennial kingdom of Christ either before or after his second coming on the last day. On the last day, all the dead will be resurrected. Their souls will then be reunited with the same bodies they had before dying. The bodies will then be changed, those of the wicked to a state of everlasting shame and torment, those of the righteous to an everlasting state of celestial glory. After the resurrection of all the dead, and the change of those still living, all nations shall be gathered before Christ, and he will separate the righteous from the wicked. Christ will publicly judge all people by the testimony of their faith, the good works
Good works
Good works, or simply works, within Christian theology are a person's actions or deeds, contrasting with interior qualities such as grace or faith.The New Testament exhibits a tension between two aspects of grace:...

 of the righteous in evidence of their faith, and the evil works
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

 of the wicked in evidence of their unbelief. He will judge in righteousness in the presence of all and men and angels, and his final judgement will be just damnation to everlasting punishment for the wicked and a gracious gift of life everlasting
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

 to the righteous.

Millennialism




Particularly among those Protestant groups who adhere to a millennialist
Millennialism
Millennialism , or chiliasm in Greek, is a belief held by some Christian denominations that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth in which "Christ will reign" for 1000 years prior to the final judgment and future eternal state...

 eschatology, the Last Judgment is said to be carried out before the Great White Throne
Great White Throne
The term Great White Throne is taken from :Many Christians believe that the Great White Throne in Revelation 20:11 is the Last Judgment when all people will stand in judgment before Jesus after the investigation and a verdict of their salvation will be made.According to the teaching of some...

 by Jesus Christ to either eternal life
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

 or eternal consciousness
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

 in the lake of fire
Lake of Fire
A lake of fire appears, in both ancient Egyptian and Christian religion, as a place of after-death punishment of the wicked. The phrase is used in four verses of the Book of Revelation. The image was also used by the Early Christian Hippolytus of Rome in about the year 200 and has continued to be...

 at the end of time
End times
The end time, end times, or end of days is a time period described in the eschatological writings in the three Abrahamic religions and in doomsday scenarios in various other non-Abrahamic religions...

. Salvation is granted by grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

 based on the individual's surrender and commitment to Jesus Christ. A second particular judgment
Particular judgment
Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the judgment given by God that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the General judgment of all people at the end of the world....

 they refer to as the Bema Seat
Great White Throne
The term Great White Throne is taken from :Many Christians believe that the Great White Throne in Revelation 20:11 is the Last Judgment when all people will stand in judgment before Jesus after the investigation and a verdict of their salvation will be made.According to the teaching of some...

 judgement occurs after (or as) salvation is discerned when awards are granted based on works toward heavenly treasures. What happens after death and before the final judgment is hotly contested; some believe all people sleep
Psychopannychism
Christian mortalism incorporates the belief that the human soul is not naturally immortal, and the belief that the soul is uncomprehending during the time between bodily death and Judgment Day resurrection, known as the Intermediate state...

in Sheol
Sheol
Sheol |Hebrew]] Šʾôl) is the "grave", "pit", or "abyss" in Hebrew. She'ol is the earliest conception of the afterlife in the Jewish scriptures. It is a place of darkness to which all dead go, regardless of the moral choices made in life, and where they are "removed from the light of God"...

 until the resurrection, others believe Christians dwell in Heaven and pagans wander the earth, and others consider the time to pass instantaneously. Nevertheless, the body is not fully redeemed until after Death is destroyed after the Great Tribulation.

Protestant Millennialism falls into roughly two categories: Premillennialist
Premillennialism
Premillennialism in Christian end-times theology is the belief that Jesus will literally and physically be on the earth for his millennial reign, at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it holds that Jesus’ physical return to earth will occur prior to the inauguration...

 (Christ's second coming precedes the millennium
Millennium
A millennium is a period of time equal to one thousand years —from the Latin phrase , thousand, and , year—often but not necessarily related numerically to a particular dating system....

) and Postmillennialist
Postmillennialism
In Christian end-times theology, , postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after the "Millennium", a Golden Age in which Christian ethics prosper...

 (which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after the millennium).

Dispensational
Dispensationalism
Dispensationalism is a nineteenth-century evangelical development based on a futurist biblical hermeneutic that sees a series of chronologically successive "dispensations" or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants.As a system,...

 premillennialism generally holds that Israel and the Church are separate. It also widely holds to the pretribulational return of Christ, which believes that Jesus will return before a seven year Tribulation
Tribulation
The Great Tribulation refers to tumultuous events that are described during the "signs of the times", first mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet discourse...

 followed by an additional return of Christ with his saints.

Esoteric Christian tradition

See also: Second Coming and Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity is a term which refers to an ensemble of spiritual currents which regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened",...


Although the Last Judgment is preached by a great part of Christian mainstream churches; the Esoteric Christian
Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity is a term which refers to an ensemble of spiritual currents which regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened",...

 tradition—composed, among others, by the Essenes
Essenes
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests...

 and Rosicrucian
Rosicrucian
Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe...

s—the Spiritualist movement, which includes Christian Science
Christian Science
Christian Science is a system of thought and practice derived from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy and the Bible. It is practiced by members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist as well as some others who are nonmembers. Its central texts are the Bible and the Christian Science textbook,...

, and some liberal
Liberal theism
Liberal theism is the philosophical and religious belief in the existence of a deity without adhering to an established religion.The exact definition is debatable. Liberal theists often believe that, "all religions lead to the truth." Liberal theists are often influenced by the beliefs in their...

 theologies reject the traditional conception of the Last Judgment as inconsistent with an all-just and loving God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, in favor of some form of universal
Universalism
Universalism in its primary meaning refers to religious, theological, and philosophical concepts with universal application or applicability...

 salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

.

The Western Wisdom Teachings
Western Wisdom Teachings
Western Wisdom Teachings may refer to:*The Western mystery tradition*The Esoteric Christian philosophy of the Rosicrucians as expounded by Max Heindel in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception and subsequent books, lectures and lessons....

 of the Rosicrucians teach that when the Day of Christ comes, marking the end of the current fifth or Aryan epoch, the human race will have to pass a final examination or last judgment, where, as in the Days of Noah, the chosen ones or pioneers, the sheep, will be separated from the goats or stragglers, by being carried forward into the next evolutionary period, inheriting the ethereal
Etheric plane
The etheric plane is a term introduced into Theosophy by Charles Webster Leadbeater and Annie Besant to represent one of the planes of existence in neo-Theosophical and Rosicrucian cosmology. It represents the fourth[higher] subplane of the physical plane , the lower three being the states of...

 conditions of the New Galilee
New Galilee (Sixth Epoch)
The New Galilee is the name given in the Western Wisdom Teachings to the New Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible. According to these Christian esoteric teachings, the New Galilee represents the future Sixth Epoch in mankind's evolutionary path and will see the transition of humanity to the etheric...

 in the making. Nevertheless, it is emphasized that all beings of the human evolution
Spiritual evolution
Spiritual evolution is the philosophical, theological, esoteric or spiritual idea that nature and human beings and/or human culture evolve, extending from the established cosmological pattern or ascent, or in accordance with certain pre-established potentials...

 will ultimately be saved in a distant future as they acquire a superior grade of consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

 and altruism
Altruism
Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of...

. At the present period, the process of human evolution is conducted by means of successive rebirths
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

 in the physical world and the salvation is seen as being mentioned in Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 3:12 (KJV), which states "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out". However, this western esoteric tradition states—like those who have had a near-death experience—that after the death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

 of the physical body, at the end of each physical lifetime and after the life review
Life review
A life review is a phenomenon widely reported as occurring during near-death experiences, in which a person rapidly sees much or the totality of his or her life history in chronological sequence and in extreme detail. It is often referred to by people having experienced this phenomenon as having...

 period (which occurs before the silver cord
Silver cord
In metaphysical literature, the silver cord, also known as the sutratma or life thread of the antahkarana, refers to a life-giving linkage from the Higher self down to the physical body...

 is broken), it occurs a judgment
Particular judgment
Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the judgment given by God that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the General judgment of all people at the end of the world....

, more akin to a Final Review or End Report over one's life
Life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

, where the life of the subject is fully evaluated and scrutinized. This judgment is seen as being mentioned in Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the books in the New Testament. Its author is not known.The primary purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews is to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his...

 9:27, which states that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment".

Islam



In Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Yawm al-Qiyāmah ( "the Day of Resurrection") or Yawm ad-Din ( "the Day of Judgment") is believed to be God's
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 (Arabic: Allāh's) final assessment of humanity. The sequence of events (according to the most commonly-held belief) is the annihilation of all creatures, resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures.

The exact time when these events will occur is unknown, however there are said to be major and minor signs which are to occur near the time of Qiyamah (End time). Many Qur'anic verses, especially the earlier ones, are dominated by the idea of the nearing of the day of resurrection.

Belief in al-Qiyāmah is considered a fundamental tenet of faith by all Muslims.[4]. Belief in the day of Judgement is one of the six articles of faith. The trials and tribulations associated with it are detailed in both the Qur'an and the hadith, as well as in the commentaries of the Islamic expositors and scholarly authorities such as al-Ghazali, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Majah, Muhammad al-Bukhari, and Ibn Khuzaimah who explain them in detail. Every human, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, is believed to be held accountable for their deeds and are believed to be judged by God accordingly.[5]

-
The importance of the 'last judgment' is underlined by the many references to it in the Qur'an and its many names. For example, it is also called "the Day of Reckoning",[6] "the Hour",[7][8] "the Last Day",[9] "Day of Judgment", "Day of the Reckoning".

Artistic representations



In art, the Last Judgment is a common theme in medieval and renaissance religious iconography. Like most early iconographic innovations, its origins stem from Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

. In Western Christianity, it is often the subject depicted on the central tympanum
Pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

 of medieval cathedrals and churches, or as the central section of a triptych
Triptych
A triptych , from tri-= "three" + ptysso= "to fold") is a work of art which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works...

, flanked by depictions of heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 and hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 to the left and right, respectively (heaven being to the viewer's left, but to the Christ figure's right). Often the damned disappear into a Hellmouth
Hellmouth
Hellmouth is the entrance to Hell envisaged as the gaping mouth of a huge monster, an image which first appears in Anglo-Saxon art, and then spread all over Europe, remaining very common in depictions of the Last Judgment and Harrowing of Hell until the end of the Middle Ages, and still sometimes...

, the mouth of a huge monster, an image of Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon art
Anglo-Saxon art covers art produced within the Anglo-Saxon period of English history, beginning with the Migration period style that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them from the continent in the 5th century, and ending in 1066 with the Norman Conquest of a large Anglo-Saxon nation-state whose...

 origin.

The most famous Renaissance depiction is Michelangelo Buonarroti's The Last Judgment
The Last Judgment (Michelangelo)
The Last Judgment is a canonical fresco by the Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo executed on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City...

 in the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

. Included in this fresco is his self portrait, as St. Bartholomew
Bartholomew
Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified as Nathaniel . He was introduced to Christ through St. Philip, another of the twelve apostles as per , where the name Nathaniel first appears. He is also mentioned as “Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee” in...

's flayed
Flaying
Flaying is the removal of skin from the body. Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.-Scope:An animal may be flayed in preparation for human consumption, or for its hide or fur; this is more commonly called skinning....

 skin.

See also


  • Apocatastasis
    Apocatastasis
    Apocatastasis is reconstitution, restitution, or restoration to the original or primordial condition.-Etymology and definition:The Liddell and Scott Lexicon entry, gives the following examples of usage:* “τοῦ ἐνδεοῦς” Aristotle MM, 1205a4; into its nature εἰς φύσιν id...

  • Atonement in Christianity
  • Christian Eschatology
    Christian eschatology
    Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology. Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning last and study , is the study of the end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world...

  • Day of Atonement
    Day of Atonement
    Day of Atonement may refer to:*Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement* Day of Atonement , a national day established in 1995 by the Nation of Islam...

  • General judgment
    General judgment
    General judgment is the Christian theological concept of a judgment of the dead by nation and as a whole. It is related closely to Judgment day and often is just another phrase for the Last judgment, but is not necessarily part of any eschatology...

  • God the Father in Western art
    God the Father in Western art
    For about a thousand years, in obedience to interpretations of specific Bible passages, pictorial representations of God the Father in Western art had been avoided by Christian painters. At first only the Hand of God, often emerging from a cloud, was portrayed...

  • Intermediate state
    Intermediate state
    In Christian eschatology, the intermediate state or interim state refers to a person's "intermediate" existence between one's death and one's resurrection from the dead...

  • Lawsuits against God
    Lawsuits against God
    Lawsuits against God have occurred in real life and in fiction. Issues debated in the actions include the problem of evil and harmful "acts of God".- Ernie Chambers :In the U.S...

  • New World Order (conspiracy)
    New World Order (conspiracy)
    In conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian one-world government.The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an...

  • Particular judgment
    Particular judgment
    Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the judgment given by God that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the General judgment of all people at the end of the world....

  • Plan of Salvation
    Plan of salvation
    According to doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, the plan of salvation is a plan that God created to save, redeem, and exalt humankind...

     Mormon view
  • Pralay
  • Ragnarök
    Ragnarök
    In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures , the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water...

  • Revelation
    Book of Revelation
    The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

  • Second Coming
    Second Coming
    In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

  • Yama (Buddhism and Chinese mythology)
    Yama (Buddhism and Chinese mythology)
    Yama the name of the Buddhist dharmapala and judge of the dead, who presides over the Buddhist Narakas , "Hells" or "Purgatories". Although ultimately based on the god Yama of the Hindu Vedas, the Buddhist Yama has developed different myths and different functions from the Hindu deity...


External links