The Bible teaches that God has “fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed” (Acts 17:31). All of human history is headed for this day. Although God has already determined when it will be, we have not been given any signs to indicate when it will occur (Mark 13:32). But he has given assurance of this day to all, according to Paul, “by raising [Jesus] from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is related to Judgment Day in that it serves as proof that this day will indeed come. But Judgment Day is also connected to our resurrection. Daniel 12:2 reads, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Also, Jesus warned,
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28-29)
Finally, this connection is made by Luke in a subtle comment he makes at the close of Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill, mentioned above: “Now when [the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers] heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, ‘We will hear you again about this'” (Acts 17:32). Paul had mentioned Jesus’ resurrection, but the philosophers were troubled by his mention of the resurrection of the dead in general. Having mentioned Jesus’ resurrection as the assurance of Judgment Day, he must have followed this with a discussion (which Luke omits) of the connection between Judgment Day and our resurrection.
On Judgment Day, we will have to give account for the way that we lived while we were in our physical bodies during this life (2 Corinthians 5:10). Evidently it is God’s will for judgment to occur while we are in the bodies we inhabited when we committed the deeds for which we are to be judged.
This information about our judgment emphasizes the importance of what we decide to do with our bodies now in this lifetime. What are you doing in your body now? Are you using it for God? Or are you wasting it on sinful desires? One day your body will go back to the dust, but the day is coming – maybe very soon, maybe not for several millennia – when your body will be raised from its resting place. And that resurrection will be towards one of two destinies: the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation.