THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
II CORINTHIANS 5:10
II CORINTHIANS 5:10
Romans 14:10, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
II Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Some time in the near future, God’s people who are alive on this earth at the coming of Jesus Christ, will be raptured out of this life and into the presence of God. The dead in Christ will have been resurrected just moments ahead of the rapture. Then what happens?
The Bible gives us information regarding what happens next. The saints of God will be reviewed and rewarded for their service here upon the earth. This event is called the Judgement Seat of Christ and you don’t want to be ignorant about this doctrine. Ignorance is not bliss regarding this event.
This judgement is three-fold and every believer will face it.
I. WE WERE JUDGED IN THE PAST AS SINNERS.
A. 2,000 years ago God took every sin that you have committed or will commit and PLACED THEM ON JESUS CHRIST at Calvary, Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
1. The JUST suffered for the UNJUST, 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
2. He who knew no sin became sin for us, 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
B. The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ judged sin and His blood paid for sin so perfectly that God can find nothing for which to condemn us, Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
II. WE ARE BEING JUDGED PRESENTLY AS SONS.
A. We have the OPTION of judging ourselves during this life, 1 Corinthians 11:31-32, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32-But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
1. This means walking in fellowship with the Lord, 1 John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7-But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
2. This means confessing our sins in order to maintain fellowship, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
B. When we DO NOT judge ourselves the Lord judges us.
1. He deals with us as sons, Hebrews 12:5-7, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6-For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7-If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
2. Chastening is not payment for sin.
a. It is a sign of sonship.
b. It is a means of directing us back to God’s will.
1) Loss of health.
2) Loss of possessions.
3) Loss of joy.
4) Loss of loved ones.
III. WE WILL BE JUDGED PROSPECTIVELY AS SERVANTS AND STEWARDS.
A. No believer will miss this judgement, Romans 14:10b, “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
B. Christ will examine every son regarding his service to the Lord.
1. This will not be a judicial bench. Salvation is not the issue here. If you are not a Christian your judgement is at the Great White Throne Judgement of Revelation 20:11-15.
2. It is the “Bema” judgement. In the Grecian games, the arena had a raised platform on which the presiding judge sat. From this seat he watched the contestants and awarded all of the winners. This was called the “bema” seat. It was a place of reward. But before the reward came the review.
C. The books will be opened.
1. The book of Revelation – the Bible, Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
2. The book of Redemption – The Lamb’s Book of Life, Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
3. The Book of Remembrance, Malachi 3:16, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”
a. The Lord is not writing down your sins – they are blotted out.
b. He is writing down the little things that no one else knows or things others have overlooked.
1) Bottles of our tears, Psalms 56:8, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
2) Our midnight prayers that were uttered when no one else could hear. In the Temple boxes held the burnt up wicks from the lamps in the sanctuary.
3) A cup of water, Matthew 10:42, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
D. Every Believer has to GIVE AN ACCOUNT of …
1. His building, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, “ According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11-For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12-Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13-Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
2. His body, 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
a. Our works, 1 Corinthians 3:13, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9-Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10-For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
b. Our faithfulness, 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
c. Our motives, 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
E. Some will receive REWARDS from God, 1 Corinthians 3:14, “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” Five crowns are mentioned in the Bible:
1. Incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:25, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” “Those who conquered in these games were crowned only with the withering leaves or boughs of trees, of olive, bays, or laurel. But Christians have an incorruptible crown in view, a crown of glory that never fadeth away, an inheritance incorruptible, reserved in heaven for them.” Matthew Henry
2. Crown of Rejoicing (a soulwinners crown), 1 Thessalonians 2:19, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?” These are expressions of great and endeared affection, and high estimation.
3. Crown of Glory (Shepherd’s reward), 1 Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” These are expressions of great and endeared affection, and high estimation.
4. Crown of Life (Sufferer’s reward), James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” The crown of life is promised not only to great and eminent saints, but to all those who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Every soul that truly loves God shall have its trials in this world fully recompensed in that world above where love is made perfect.
5. Crown of Righteousness (for those who love the appearing of Christ), 2 Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
F. Some will LOSE rewards, 1 Corinthians 3:15, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” The great day will pluck off all disguises, and make things appear as they are.
With great joy we will lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus. Revelation 4:1-4, 10-11, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2-And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3-And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4-And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 10-The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11-Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”