How can Jesus say that the believers are given eternal life and are beyond judgement, then turn around five verses later and say we are judged by works? I know that God says we must account for our deeds and for what we've done with the allotment he's given us. But I've always thought our fate at judgement day was determined by the 'Lamb's book of life', and not by our deeds?
John 5:24 - 29
ESV - 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
To understand this topic one must know there are two resurrections. The first resurrection commonly referred to as the "rapture" takes place at Christ's coming for the church. (1 Thes. 4:15-17, Re. 20:6)
The risen saints are judged not for life eternal, but as to rewards for works.
The saved church is not judged for salvation. (Jn. 5:24, 1 Co. 3:13-16) The "dead in Christ", their souls and spirits are in heaven already. (He. 12:22-23, 2 Co. 5:6-8) At the resurrection of the saints upon Christ's coming, the "rapture", the saved receive new bodies. (1 Co. 15:42-44)
The unbelievers are judged one thousand years later at what is referred to as "the great white throne judgment" (Re. 20:5, 11-15)