The judgment of God is exactingly just; there will be no unrighteous judgment from God exacted on us when Jesus returns:
Psalm 145:17 (CSB) The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all his acts.
Job 34:21 (CSB) For his eyes watch over a man’s ways, and he observes all his steps.
Often I hear critics talk as if there’s no correlation between a person’s deeds and the punishment they receive. That is simply not the case.
Hell will be just:
Luke 12:47-48 (CSB) And that servant who knew his master’s will and didn’t prepare himself or do it will be severely beaten. 48 But the one who did not know and did what deserved punishment will receive a light beating.
Romans 2:5-12 (CSB) Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. 6 He will repay each one according to his works:, 7 eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. 9 There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no favoritism with God. 12 All who sin without the law will also perish without the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
The judgment we receive is according to the works we do on earth and the revelation of God that we received.
God has already pronounced the judgment that everyone on earth has sinned against the insight into God’s righteousness that they knew, and have turned away from Him to pursue sin (Romans 3:10-18); this is the condition of our souls, and even those who we call “good” are still corrupt in the inner workings of their heart. But this is merely the baseline condition of all people. God’s punitive judgment is still measured out according to their works.
We who have received the precious gift of the gospel and still reject the Son of God will receive a greater condemnation:
Hebrews 10:28-29 (CSB) Anyone who disregarded the law of Moses died without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, who has regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
In fact, God’s judgment is even more severe on those who are teachers of His children:
James 3:1 (CSB) Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.
Hell confronts the world with the reality that our actions will be judged by a righteous God, and He will punish us according to our deeds and in proportion to our understanding of His nature.
God already warned us that the condition of our heart is rotten to the core, but many today are rejecting this warning and are enraged at those who faithfully deliver God’s word because:
John 3:19-21 (CSB) This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”