A reader asked me to share Catholic teaching on the Final Judgment.
I have written many, many times on the particular judgment, but not on the General or Final Judgment.
Having sand in my eyes reminds me that we are dust and to dust we shall return. But, on the Last Day, when Christ returns as King in victory over the world and satan, we shall be raised up in our bodies. Our bodies join us forever in heaven or hell.
The General, Last, or Final Judgment is in the Creed, which we say weekly at Mass and daily in the rosary.
Christ will come and judge all of us personally publicly, in our second judgment. As explained here on this blog before, our particular judgment happens at death, immediately.
Let me start with the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Few truths are more often or more clearly proclaimed in Scripture than that of the general judgment. To it theprophets of the Old Testament refer when they speak of the "Day of the Lord" (Joel 3:4; Ezekiel 13:5; Isaiah 2:12), in which the nations will be summoned to judgment. In the New Testament the second Parusia, or coming of Christ as Judge of the world, is an oft-repeated doctrine. The Saviour Himself not only foretells the event but graphically portrays its circumstances (Matthew 24:27 sqq.; 25:31 sqq.). The Apostles give a most prominent place to this doctrine in their preaching (Acts 10:42; 17:31) and writings (Romans 2:5-16; 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; James 5:7). Besides the name Parusia (parousia), or Advent (1 Corinthians 15:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:19), the Second Coming is also called Epiphany, epiphaneia, or Appearance (2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13), and Apocalypse (apokalypsis), or Revelation (2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 Peter 4:13). The time of the Second Coming is spoken of as "that Day" (2 Timothy 4:8), "the day of the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 5:2), "the day of Christ" (Philippians 1:6 and 2:16), "the day of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:30), "the last day" (John 6:39-40).
This Scripture is explained by the Fathers of the Church and Doctors of Church clearly.The belief in the general judgment has prevailed at all times and in all places within the Church. It is contained as an article of faith in all the ancient creeds: "He ascended into heaven. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead" (Apostles' Creed). He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead" (Nicene Creed). "From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead, at whose coming all men must rise with their bodies and are to render an account of their deeds" (Athanasian Creed)......Patristic testimony to this dogma is clear and unanimous.
We are judged publicly as we sinned against God, His Church and all people.
But there are some signs which will come before the General or Final Judgment according to the Church Fathers.
One, the Jews on earth will be converted to Christ. This is stated by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans 11:25-26.
Two, the return of two men who never died, Enoch and Elijah as also seen in the oldest tradition of the Church. Malachi 4:5-6; Sirach 48:10; Matthew 17:11.
Three, the vast majority of Christians leaving in apostasy leaving a remnant Church.
Four, a time of horrible, physical tribulation, such as world-wide calamities, including a miraculous one of God's doing.
Five, a reign of the Anti-Christ,
Six, the returning in Glory of Christ and, seven, the resurrection of all from the dead.
These are all part of the Teaching Magisterium of the Church. What we cannot do is pretend we know the exact time, as Christ Himself said that even the Son of Man was not told this by the Father. False prophets give specific times, but we can read some signs. We are only coming into the last stage of persecution now.
When the Disciples asked the Saviour: "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again thekingdom to Israel?" He answered: "It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:6-7). The uncertainty of the day of judgment is continually urged by Christ and theApostles as an incentive to vigilance. The day of the Lord will come "as a thief" (Matthew 24:42-43), like lightning suddenly appearing (Matthew 24:27), like a snare (Luke 21:34), as the Deluge (Matthew 24:37). CE
Christ will come as judge. Here is the CE again:
(John 5:26-27). At the Second Coming Christ will appear in the heavens, seated on a cloud and surrounded by the angelic hosts (Matthew 16:27; 24:30; 25:31). The angels will minister to the Judge by bringing all before Him (Matthew 24:31). The elect will aid Christ in a judicial capacity (1 Corinthians 6:2). The lives of the just will in themselves be a condemnation of the wicked (Matthew 21:41), whose punishment theywill publicly approve. But the Apostles will be judges of the world in a sense yet more exact, for the promise that they shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28) seems to imply a real participation in judicial authority. According to a very probable opinion, this prerogative is extended to all who have faithfully fulfilled the counsels of the Gospel (Matthew 19:27-28). Nothing certain is known as to the manner in which this delegated authority will be exercised. St. Thomas conjectures that the greater saints will make known the sentence of Christ to others (Supplement 88:2)
One translation of the Athanasian Creed reads thus:
At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.
Justice will be seen and done. Demons, including satan, are already judged, making the Final Judgment specifically a time for the judgment of the entire human race. By Divine Illumination, something we can experience now is the purification stages, in order to get rid of all sin and imperfections, we shall see our failings, secret sins, and join with Christ and the Apostles in judging ourselves.
Here is the entirety of Chapter Two of Romans:
 Wherefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. For thou dost the same things which thou judgest. For we know that the judgment of God is, according to truth, against them that do such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them who do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?  But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just judgment of God.
 Who will render to every man according to his works.  To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life:  But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation. Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek.  But glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
 For there is no respect of persons with God.  For whosoever have sinned without the law, shall perish without the law; and whosoever have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law.  For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.  For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves:  Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another,
 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. But if thou art called a Jew and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,  And knowest his will, and approvest the more profitable things, being instructed by the law,  Art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them that are in darkness,  An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, having the form of knowledge and of truth in the law.
 Thou therefore that teachest another, teachest not thyself: thou that preachest that men should not steal, stealest:  Thou that sayest, men should not commit adultery, committest adultery: thou that abhorrest idols, committest sacrilege:  Thou that makest thy boast of the law, by transgression of the law dishonourest God.  (For the name of God through you is blasphemed among the Gentiles, as it is written.)  Circumcision profiteth indeed, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a transgressor of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
 If, then, the uncircumcised keep the justices of the law, shall not this uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?  And shall not that which by nature is uncircumcision, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision art a transgressor of the law?  For it is not he is a Jew, who is so outwardly; nor is that circumcision which is outwardly in the flesh: But he is a Jew, that is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
to be continued....