Bob asked:

The people that have died up until now are they in heaven now or do they wait until the last day of judgement?

Tim Staples replied:

"When you die Bob, there is what the Church calls the particular judgement. By the way the bible of course teaches this in Hebrews 9:27. The bible says it's appointed for each man once to die and then the judgement. So when you die there's an immediate judgement.

By the way that's implied Bob, in what I just referenced in Luke chapter 16. Jesus tells a story of Lazarus and the rich man. They both die and they immediately go, one to a place of torment and one to you know paradise. So that implies there's an immediate judgement at the time of death and we believe that. Those who are fully purified, which is possible in this life can go immediately to heaven. Those who have mortal sin on their souls will go immediately to hell. And those who have either some small light sins or venial sins on their soul or punishment due for sins on their soul will go to purgatory which is basically a clean up station so that they may be fully purified so that they can go to heaven ...

At the second coming of Christ ... that's when the resurrection of the body occurs and then we will all be at what the book of Revelation refers to as the great white throne judgement. Jesus talks about it in Matthew 25 where he gathers all the nations there. Verses 31 through 46 and we will be judged even though we've already been judged at the particular judgement, those who died before the second coming, we will be judged again after having received our bodies and then there will be a public judgment where we will be able to see all the sins and all the good deeds of everyone and then we will see how God's glorious plan worked together for good.

Some people have a hard time, well why would you be judged particularly when you die and then have to be judged again? Number one it's fitting to be judged in your body because your sins were committed in the body. But you don't also know at the time of your particular death, how your works, whether they are good or bad, reverberate down through the centuries. So at the end of time we will see the judgment in a sort of complete sense and see how everything works together..."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: October 1, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Tim Staples

Question appeared in show: 42:48

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