"Born twice, die once; born once, die twice."

This "saying" in the early Church referred to physical birth and to spiritual birth in Baptism, and to physical death and the consequence of mortal sin which leads to spiritual death-eternal separation from the Most Holy Trinity.

Throughout salvation history God has come to deliver justice and judgment to His people.  In the Old Testament, Israel was judged and disciplined according to how she lived the law of the covenant.  In addition to corporate judgment determined by covenant blessings and curses, each individual throughout salvation history, in the good or evil acts of their lives, receives God's guidance and judgment as they make their journey through this life to eternity. At the end of one's earthly journey there is also immediate judgment upon one's death.  However, according to Sacred Scripture and the faith of the Church, man is destined to face two judgments before the judgment throne of God Almighty. The first judgment comes the moment the soul departs the body and is called the Particular or Individual Judgment.  The second judgment, known as the General or Final or Last Judgment, takes place at the definitive moment in salvation history.

The Individual or Particular Judgment: "... human beings die only once, after which comes judgment..,Hebrews 9:27.

The Return of Christ and the Day of the Last Judgment: "At the signal given by the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and only after shall we who remain alive be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air.  This is the way we shall be with the Lord forever." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17i

For Catechism references see CCC# 681; 1021-22; 1038-41.

Michal Copyright © 2007 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.: from the Agape Bible Study, "The Eight Last Things: Crossing the Threshold to Eternity."