THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
(2 Cor 5:10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
It is an awesome thing to go before a judge in a court of law. Whether it’s for a traffic violation or a major offense, the atmosphere is intimidating knowing the judge can make a determination that will affect your life. But did you know that as believers in the Lord we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ?
Now you might say that you’re already saved and that you won’t be judged by the Lord because Jesus took your judgment for sin on the cross. You are correct on that. The redeemed of the Lord will never face the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15). Only the unsaved will face that judgment because they never repented of their sins and put their trust in the Lord and what He did in His death and resurrection. (John 3:16)
But there is a judgment we will face as Christians. The Word of God says we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. So, what is that judgment in particular? First, we must look at the word “judgment seat”. It is from the Greek word bema. It was the elevated place of judgment in a city where the accused had to stand before. Jesus appeared before Pilate at a bema seat (John 19:13) and Paul stood before king Festus before a bema seat (Acts 25:6). In the city of Corinth, a stone platform was constructed to support the bema seat of the local officials. The seat was used to give out awards to athletes for their competitive performances (usually a crown wreath of leaves), but also to address legal charges brought against individuals. This is where Paul was brought before Gallio, who was the proconsul of Achaia (Acts 18:12).
So yes, the Christian will be judged by Christ. But this judgment is not for salvation but for evaluation. Each and every one of us will spend time with Christ after the Rapture to evaluate what we did (or didn’t do) in our relation to the Lord while on this earth. Rewards will allotted for the good things done and there will also be a reproving of the bad things done.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 speaks of building on the foundation of Christ with materials that are enduring (gold, silver, precious stones) and not with worthless materials (wood, hay, straw). It will all go under the fire of judgment and will either stand the test or will be destroyed. (1 Cor 3:14-15) If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Are you ready to stand before the Lord right now and give an account of how you lived your life for Christ? Did you live for the Lord or did you live for self? Make every moment count for Jesus and you will hear “well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mat 25:21; Rev 22:12)