If we are all judged at the same time upon the return of Christ, how can the Saints intercede for us now?

As the title states. Thx.

Saints can intercede for us for reasons apart from judgement - healing from sickness, given strength to undergo a trial, find a job, etc.


There are two judgments, the particular and the general (or 'Last Judgment).

When you die, you leave ‘time’ and enter eternity (which is ‘outside of’ time), and you are judged then (particular judgment). At the Last Judgment, all who have died and been judged will have their particular judgments made known at this ‘general’ judgment, and those who are still living at the ‘end’ will also have THEIR judgments made known then.

The saints are in eternity, ‘outside of’ time, therefore they can intercede for us ‘now’ (in time) as well as later, or before. IOW, suppose I pray for my father, who died many years ago. . .my prayers NOW, going to the saints ‘in eternity’ may well have been ‘applied’ to my father while he was alive on earth before I was even born, because in heaven those prayers reach the saints ‘outside of time’. So the saints can intercede for us at any ‘time’, as I understand it anyway.

How so? Aren’t the saints in heaven, and don’t you have to be judged to get to heaven?

I’ll give an example.

The apostle Peter has died, was judged, and is now St Peter, in Heaven. He had his particular judgment. when he died At the Last Judgment, we will ALL know how St Peter was judged (and how everybody else who had died was judged) as well as hearing how anybody who is still alive at the Second Coming will be judged. . .and then we will all have fulfilled God’s ultimate plan and rejoice for all eternity (I hope).

I like this explanation! Is this biblical though? It’s just that I’ve never heard that before.

The teaching of the Church is that the soul immediately goes to heaven, purgatory or hell upon death. This is the particular judgment. At the Second Coming, all humanity for all time will be judged before God. The saints are already in heaven.

This makes me wonder if our loved ones who may be in hell can be redeemed from hell? Or if these people unworthy people remain in hell until they are vouched for by the saints. Or maybe most ungodly but good people goto purgatory, only to be redeemed after complete acceptance of God.

Interesting thought.

What you are describing is the doctrine of apocatastasis, which has been declared heretical by the Church. Souls in hell (infernus) cannot be redeemed by prayer or otherwise. On the other hand, it is possible that God in his infinite mercy will spare all human souls from hell. It may be that all human souls will go either to heaven or to purgatory.

Hmm this sounds like universalism, which I believe is a heresy as well. Why would hell exist if not to be eternal for some souls? By that’s for another thread.

It is universalism to state that hell does not exist or that it is not an existential possibility for humanity. Hell does exist, because we know Satan and his angels are in the state of hell. The Church definitively teaches that hell is a real possibility for human beings. However, it has not been revealed to the Church whether any human soul is actually in hell.

Fair enough.

We are not ‘all judged at the same time upon the return of Christ’. When a person dies, they are immediately subject to their Particular Judgement. There is no ‘soul sleep’ where the souls of the departed wait until the Second Coming in some sort of Limbo.

From the Catechism:

1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.592 The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also** repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith.** The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul–a destiny which can be different for some and for others.593

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification594 or immediately,595 – or immediate and everlasting damnation.596


1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.628

(bolding mine)


This is AMAZING. I did not know this. (I’m still kinda new to all this.) Thank you! :thumbsup:

Revelation 8:1-4

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

This is dead on! :thumbsup:

This is not the case. At death your fate is sealed. Don’t take my word for it though.

"Every trace of attachment to evil must be eliminated, every imperfection of the soul corrected. Purification must be complete, and indeed this is precisely what is meant by the Church’s teaching on purgatory. The term does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence. Those who, after death, exist in a state of purification, are already in the love of Christ who removes from them the remnants of imperfection (cf. Ecumenical Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis: DS 1304; Ecumenical Council of Trent, Decretum de iustificatione: DS 1580; Decretum de purgatorio: DS 1820).
** It is necessary to explain that the state of purification is not a prolungation of the earthly condition, almost as if after death one were given another possibility to change one’s destiny. The Church’s teaching in this regard is unequivocal ** and was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council which teaches: “Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed (cf. Heb 9: 27), we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth’ (Mt 22: 13 and 25: 30)” (Lumen gentium, n. 48).”

You are correct, as much as we want no one to suffer, it is clear in scripture that it exists and “many will find it”.

We are not all judged at the same time. We are judged immediately when we die. At that point we know where we will spend all of eternity. And we can know that and experience that, since our souls have memory intellect and will…forever! The soul is immortal. It doesn’t sleep it doesn’t die. When the body dies (because it’'s mortal) the soul doesn’t go into a coma waiting for the 2nd coming. That might be a billion years from now, or it could be tomorrow. Our reward or punishment starts immediately. When the 2nd comming occurs, all that have ever lived are resurrected. Those in heaven are reunited with their resurrected bodies in heaven. Those who are in hell will be joined with their resurrected bodiies in hell.

btw, Hell is forever Revelation 14:11

One only has to look at the following example to see that while the body dies, the soul experiences all that the next life has to offer…for those who will experience bliss because they are saved, and those who will suffer torment because they are not saved. Luke 16:19-31 And let’s not forget, the one telling the story is the one who will do the judging…Jesus

That means as far as prayers asking for intercession of the saints

My understanding is that at the time of death there is a (particular) judgment. It seems like the use of the word “second” judgment can cause a misunderstanding in that there is not going to be a change of judgment but a universal understanding.
When Christ returns then what is called the second judgment is a revealing of His whole plan of salvation. We will see how each one of us has fit into His plan and what our part that we played in it. Each of us has a part to play in the plan of salvation as we are members of the body of Christ that functions to enter the body into the New Jerusalem. Therefore, we will understand why each of us has had a particular judgment and how it works with the Lord’s eternal justice.

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