Scott asks, “Which book is recommended for the in-depth study of there being two judgments?”
But Scott is touching on a key question. Most theologians and pastors today believe there will be only one end-times judgment. They think that the Judgment Seat of Christ (aka, the Bema) and the Great White Throne Judgment (aka the GWTJ) are two names for the same judgment.
I will answer Scott’s direct question momentarily. However, we must see from the only Book God has given us that there are indeed two major judgments at two different times.
Bema < Millennium 2 Cor 5:9-10 Earth or 3rd heaveni
GWTJ > Millennium Rev 20:11-15 Earth or 3rd heaven
The Parable of the Minas in Luke 19:11-27 clearly shows that these are two separate judgments at two separate times. First, the servants of Christ are judged in order to determine their eternal rewards (Luke 19:15-26). Second, after believers are judged, those who hated Christ and did not want Him to reign over them will be brought to the place of judgment (Luke 19:27).
John 5:24 clearly shows that believers will not be judged at the GWTJ. The believer “shall not come into judgment” regarding everlasting life.
Now for a few books that go into Scriptural details. I suggest Grace in Eclipse, by Zane Hodges; my book, The Road to Reward; and The Judgment Seat of Christ: A Biblical and Theological Study, by Samuel Hoyt.
I would also recommend this free journal article.
Those who lump these two judgments into one end up denying that we can be sure of our eternal destiny as well as denying the promise of everlasting life to the believer. It is indeed important that we grasp the difference.
Thanks, Scott, for the great question.
i I am convinced that all eschatological judgments will take place on Earth. However, most who believe in two separate judgments think that the Bema and GWTJ will occur in the 3rd heaven. In light of Luke 19:11-27, it is clear that both judgments will occur at the same place, though with the Bema occurring before the GWTJ by an undisclosed amount of time.