“Nothing so moves a sinner to repentance as eternity, and nothing is so useful to every Christian as remembrance and contemplation of eternity. Eternity restrains a man from sin, calms his passions, turns him from the world and all its vanity, makes his heart contrite, gives birth to tears of repentance, incites him to prayer, and works true sighing of the heart. Contemplation and remembrance of eternity can correct even the most depraved man. Contemplation of eternity filled dwellers of the desert, caves, mountains and clefts of the earth. By contemplating eternity the holy martyrs willed to endure torments rather than submit to the will of ungodly kings and deny Christ.”
— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk in “Journey to Heaven”
“Just as in the theatre, when evening falls and the audience departs, and the kings and generals go outside to remove the costumes of their roles, they are revealed to everyone thereafter appearing to be exactly what they are, so also now when death arrives and the theatre is dissolved, everyone puts off the masks of wealth or poverty and departs to the other world. When all are judged by their deeds alone, some are revealed truly wealthy, others poor, some of high class, others of no account.”
— Saint John Chrysostom, Homily 2
It seems the Last Judgment is not a decision by Christ: whether to name you a sheep or a goat — but rather a revealing of what you are.
This is why the Church teaches not merely how to find pardon and escape gehenna, but how to be saved from our sins and become whole, holy, and united to God.
Icon of the Last Judgment, from Balamand Monastery, Lebanon