It is a mistake for Believers to assume there will be no judgment of them in the afterlife. Christians do not escape judgment, they are judged like everyone else, but anyone that has received salvation will be pronounced innocent when the verdict is rendered.
David knew that he would face judgment in the afterlife and believed he would be found innocent. He said in Psalm 17, “Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. Thou hast proved my heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing” (Psalm 17:2-3).
In addition to the final judgment, David understood that each person would be judged according to his behavior and would receive rewards in this life and for those who had received salvation, rewards in heaven. David asked for deliverance from the wicked who he describes as “men of the world, which have their portion in his life” (Psalm 17:14).
Another word for portion is inheritance. People that do not have salvation receive the only inheritance they will ever get during their lives on earth. Believers have an eternal inheritance that they will receive after they die.
David concludes Psalm 17 by saying, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15). David is describing the transformation that would occur when he arrived in heaven. One of the disadvantages that Believers had before Jesus died on the cross was that they could not be regenerated or have their sins forgiven until after that event. When David died, he did not immediately go to heaven to be with the LORD. It wasn’t until righteousness became available that David was able to enter into his presence and be transformed into his image.
In Psalm 35, David talks about salvation as a future event. He said, “And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: It shall rejoice in his salvation” (Psalm 35:9 emphasis mine) because it had not happened yet. The word translated salvation, yeshû‘âh (yesh – oo´ – ah) means something saved. Jesus is a Greek form of the word yeshu‘ah (3444).
David knew that he was involved in two wars while he was living among the Philistines. The battle over the Promised Land was obvious. It had been an ongoing struggle for hundreds of years for the Israelites to gain control of the land God had given them. The battle that David was more concerned about was the battle for his soul. David is describing spiritual warfare in Psalm 35:4-5 when he says, “Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: Let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind: And let the angel of the LORD chase them.”
In spite of the disadvantage David had in not being able to overcome his sin, he lived with a victorious mindset. David was able to exercise great faith and believed that his salvation was certain. When David said, “who is like unto thee,” (Psalm 35:10) he was not asking a question, he was making a statement, actually declaring that there was no question about it, no one is like Jeshu‘ah…Jesus our deliverance!