Die then judged, or we wait til 2nd coming?


A question that has always been in the back of my mind and I read contradicting things each way. So when we die, are we judged right away or do we have to wait until the 2nd coming of Christ? :confused:

I would think we get judged right away or it would be a waste of time asking intercessions from the Saints.

I think my protestant upbringing may be clouding my mind on this. Please help me clear this up.


Immediate judgment happens immediately after death. Then soul is in one of three destinations Heaven, Purgatory , Hell.
Final Judgment happens at end of time it does not change status of those already judged but it does expose the interior (heart) of soul so that all can see the good the bad–God’s justice and mercy.


Thank you! Just as I thought, but I’m gald I am crystal clear on it now. :thumbsup:


Yes Harsalter, there are two judgements, the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor 5) also known as the particular judgement, which occurs when one dies and the white throne judgement or final judgement, which occurs at the end of times.

One is judged one time, either at the particular judgement or at the final judgement, whatever comes first.




That only if you believe that Purgatory is a destination.




When each of us dies, our souls are immediately taken to the presence of God and judged. This is called the Particular Judgment. At this point we begin our eternal destiny. If we are going to hell, our souls go directly there. If we are deemed worthy of heaven, our souls will go directly to heaven, or if we are going to heaven but are in need of purification (probably the vast majority of us), we may go to Purgatory first for a while (everyone in Purgatory will eventually go to heaven). Whatever our fate, our souls will stay there (heaven or hell) until the end of time, at which time the Second Coming will occur.

At the Second Coming at the end of time, those Christians still alive will be taken to heaven (what some Protestants think of as of the rapture). Then will occur the General Judgment. At that time the souls of the living and the dead will be reunited with their bodies and brought together in God’s presence and judged before all. Those who have already been judged in the Particular Judgment will be brought from wherever their souls were -heaven, hell or Purgatory-- and have their judgment confirmed before all, so that both the justice and mercy of God will be manifest to all.

After this, time and Purgatory will be no more and all will enter with their souls and bodies into their eternal destiny, either hell or heaven.

This is an extremely bare-bones sketch, so if you want to get the details, see the five articles I linked below:



It’s possible to not believe in purgatory and still go through it. Or are you saying it’s not really a destination ( a location)?


If Purgatory exists (and the Church has definitively defined that it does), then a person who needs to go there will go there, whether he believes in it or not. :smiley:


The part [timing] when our bodies are reunited with our souls is what confused me.


surely if the soul is immaterial, then when we die there is no waiting arround; we wont be in time anymore. What might be thousand years to somebody that is alive will be a second to somebody waiting for the ressurection.


If Purgatory exists (and the Church has definitively defined that it does), then a person who needs to go there will go there, whether he believes in it or not. :smiley:

I think El_camino meant “final” destination, at least that’s the way I took it. But I could be wrong:shrug:


The CHURCH has NEVER defined that Purgatory is a destination or a place. It has not even defined whether it takes time or it happens in the “twinkling of an eye”.

Many Catholics (I am one of them) believe (and we are allowed to do so) that Purgatory is a process rather than a place or destination.




:slight_smile: If you look over my answer, I never said it was a physical place or mentioned time; only that it is de fide teaching that Purgatory exists, however and “wherever” that may be.


:shrug: If you don’t like the word “destination” because it sounds too much like a physical location where someone ends up, then call it a state or a process if you want to. We really don’t know what it’s nature is, nor do we need to. **The point is **it’s still something most people will have to pass through whose ultimate and final reward is heaven.


I agree.




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