If we accept that life is a process of learning.
That we progress from darkness to light.
Then perhaps the afterlife; rather than being a place of reward or punishment for what we have done in life, or a place where punishment is paid off; is a place where we continue to learn and progress towards enlightenment.
Mediums who contact the dead would suggest that this is the case.
People that have passed over are with their loved ones who are helping them.
I would suggest that this indicates a continued process of learning.
So, rather than fearing judgment or punishment after death, we should anticipate a continuation of the learning process that we experience in life.