The word “judgment” means sentence or decision. This judgment/sentence, after the judge carries out the logical activity of applying the law to the deed that he/she ascertains, can be of acquittal or conviction. In particular, the phrase “the last judgment” is used to mean the final divine sentencing of all God’s creatures.
What are the divine regulations that the “heavenly judge” will apply on the fateful Day of Judgment? Will He weigh the DEBTS and CREDIT accrued by the creature throughout his life, and see to which side the scales tip as a consequence? Isn’t human justice itself often symbolized by a pair of scales? Isn’t this the human mentality, my mindset?
If sin is not the wrong deed in itself that I can place on the scale of DEBT, but rather my distancing myself from my dad which starts in my heart where I begin to desire (and then seek and pursue to the end) a different equilibrium from that proposed to me by my Creator, then the simple divine rule which the “divine judge” will uphold is none other than His logical ascertainment of where my heart lies (see 1 Kings 8:39, Psalm 81:12, Jeremiah 3:17, Ezekiel 20:16). Are my most intimate desires in harmony or in contrast with the Creator and His equilibrium?
In other words, the divine final judgment so often portrayed in the human imagination with distressing, gloomy colors, will be nothing but a stand taken by the Creator God regarding my will to live close to Him and His harmonious plan, rather than distant from and independent of Him. And this stand/decision/sentence will bring as its consequence reconciliation forever with the source of life, and therefore immortality, or, definitive separation from the only source of life, which has as its inevitable epilogue non-life, also called death.
So it won’t be a divine punishment. No! My dad, with great joy, should He find that my heart desires Him, but with deep sadness should my heart reveal a different plan that is independent of / distant from Him, will take the decision of handing me over to the destiny that I have chosen for myself. A destiny of eternal life with and near Him or the self-destruction that awaits those who unplug of their own will from the source of life.
Yes, even at the moment of the “last judgment” the immense love of the Creator for His creature will be palpable, seeing His immense joy for His prodigal children who decide to return home, and at the same time, noting the profound pain that will mark His face for the “sheep” that is “lost”, despite the fact that He has searched for it, loved it and waited for it all its life.
Now I understand that only my will to be independent from my heavenly Father can cause me to lose the immortality for which my Creator conceived and created me. His plan is life… unlimited life for all His beloved creatures. Non-life is a self-destructive choice made by the creature, not the Creator, founder and guarantor of free will.