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Eternal Judgment (7 of 7)

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 10
So you notice there, it's the ‘Judgement Seat of Christ’. That word ‘judgement seat’, is a word in the Greek called ‘Bema’; it means literally, a rostrum. This referred to a rostrum that Caesar stood on, and he would give a verdict about someone. If they were judged to be guilty, they were given a black stone; if they were judged to be innocent, they were given a white stone; but it was a place of judgement, where a person's life was assessed; and the judgement was final, no appeals. You don't get a lawyer, and appeal, and have a second go. The judgement is final - absolutely final; so it's a place of calling to account.

2 Corinthians 5:9-10. “We therefore make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be pleasing to God.” This is our goal - we want our life to be pleasing to God. It doesn't matter what people think in that sense, it's whether our life pleases God.

He says then: for here's why we endeavour to please God, this is why you live your life to please God: because one day you're going to have to stand before Him. “We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

Same truth: Everyone is going to appear before the judgement seat of Christ. The judgement seat of Christ is a place that believers go; this is where believers are judged. People who have not received Christ are judged differently, at a different place in time; so this is a judgement for believers.

Here is the deal: it's according to how you've behaved, or conducted, your life. What we have done, whether it be good or bad; so every action in your life has some value, good or bad; and every action in your life will come before the Lord, without exception.

The purpose of this judgement is reward. What God has in mind is reward - “that we may receive”.

God's purpose is (at this judgement): it's for believers; it's to look at your life - what did you accomplish with the life; the opportunities, giftings, talents, and resources you were entrusted to? How did the world benefit because, and how did the kingdom advance, because of what you did?

On the basis of what you did that's worthwhile, there is reward - it is acknowledged by God. Now this is justice! People, who pour out of their lives in the service of God, will receive from God, a reward that goes on for eternity. People who waste their life doing their own thing will obviously not receive such a reward.

There is a problem in our culture called Egalitarianism - where everyone wants to be just equal. In eternity, we will not be equal at all; in hell, people will not be equal. There are different degrees of punishment in hell; different degrees of reward in heaven - you have to understand that.

When you understand and hold this in your heart - that I've only got a temporary assignment on the earth, which is preparing me for eternity - you begin to look at your life differently, and operate your life differently, because you have an eternal perspective.

The judgement is to receive something. If you are a believer in Christ, you will not be judged, condemned and sent to hell. John 3:18 – “He that believes in Me shall not be condemned”.

So if you're a believer, the purpose of this judgement (at this particular judgement seat), is not to judge whether you go to heaven or not; it's about what you receive in eternity.

Again Jesus tells us in, John 5:24 – “He that hears and believes in Me shall not come into judgement, for he has eternal life”.

So if you are a believer in Christ, this is not about your salvation. It has nothing to do with your salvation; it has to do with your service - what you did with the life God gave you.

So the next thing we see is that believers will either: experience reward for the life that they lived; or they will suffer loss. 1 Corinthians 3:8. “Now he that plants, and he that waters, are one; and each one will receive his own reward, according to his own labour”.