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David wrote:

Hello Eric,

  • At the final judgment, when all our sins will be shown, does that include the sins we mentioned in Confession as well?

We had a good discussion about this in our Bible study class.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

David

  { At the final judgment, will we be responsible for the sins we mentioned in Confession? }

Eric replied:

Well, . . . that's a good question.

I sought, and expected to find, Scripture texts that explicitly say all our deeds will be revealed
(in public) but was not able to specifically locate it.

I did find some partially relevant verses; for example, Romans 2:16 and 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 discuss God judging men's secrets, and hidden things being revealed (cf. CCC #678).
Also, Luke says:

"Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."

Luke 12:2

See also John 3:20 and Romans 2:16. This begs the question though of whether only those things that are hidden (i.e. unconfessed) will be revealed, and revealed only to God, or whether all sins will be revealed, and whether they will be revealed publicly. All of us will have to give an account to God (Romans 14:12, 1 Peter 4:5, Matthew 12:36). We will be judged by what we have done (Revelation 20:12).

Perhaps the most relevant verse is Hebrews 4:13:

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

Now, understanding that our sins which are forgiven will not be held against us, and that the purpose of judgment is to discern between the wicked and the just by their deeds, our forgiven deeds would not seem relevant to the matter. The focus of all these judgment and revelation passages is on the wicked and those who keep their deeds hidden (i.e., unconfessed).

I also think an argument can be made that God forgets those sins, that he forgives, although we do not forget them and part of judgment may involve having to face our own memories of all of our sins. Whether all of our sins, the forgiven and the unforgiven, will be revealed for all to see
— I couldn't answer that question definitively from Scripture or Tradition at this point.

I really don't suspect that this is an issue the Magisterium has touched upon, but I don't think we should let the sins which we have confessed and repented of hold us down, because we are set free from them (perhaps an argument, in itself, that they will not be revealed). Moreover, we should focus on avoiding sin in the first place rather than worrying about what will and will not be revealed.

Yours in Christ,

Eric

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