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The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 1 (8 of 12)

Mike Connell

The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 1 (8 of 12) Every believer must appear before the Judgment seat of Christ to give account of our life and stewardship service. Our life and works will be examined to establish what rewards we will qualify for.

For some believers this will be a time of celebration, joy and eternal honour. For other believers it will come as a shock as they discover they have wasted the life and opportunities entrusted to them, and that their life and works fail to qualify and they are excluded from the rewards that Jesus had prepared for them. Such believers are saved, but forfeit rewards in the coming Kingdom of Jesus.
Welcome to our study in the Eternal Rewards, and we're looking at Study #8: The Judgement Seat of Christ.

It's very important for us to understand how our lives are going to be evaluated. What is it that God is looking for, when God is looking to reward us? Because it's so important, I want to spread this over a couple of teaching sessions.

The Bible talks about two places of judgement. It talks about firstly The Judgement Seat of Christ; and secondly, at the end of the Book of Revelation, it talks about the Great White Throne Judgement (or the Final Judgement), where believers and unbelievers are judged, and eternal destinies are worked out. The Judgement Seat of Christ is different to that, and this is the focus of today's study.

So firstly, every believer, every Christian, every follower of Christ, has an appointment at The Judgement Seat of Christ.

Romans 14:10-12 – “We shall all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ. Each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

2 Corinthians 5:10 – “For 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”.

Those are the two key scriptures that refer to the Judgement Seat of Christ. There are some other scriptures in the New Testament that talk about the Judgement Seat, referring to the same thing (the same word is used), but these are the two scriptures that refer to the Judgement Seat of Christ. Notice it says: “we shall all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ; and in 2 Corinthians 5: “we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ”. Every believer must stand before the Judgement seat of Christ - there's no exceptions. It's an appointment every believer will keep.

You have ahead of you, an appointment; I have ahead of me, an appointment. It's an appointment I have no way of avoiding. It's an appointment where I stand before Christ, at the Judgement Seat, so we do want to understand that. Every believer will stand before the Judgement seat of Christ, and the issue there is not sin. The issue is reward. The issue is: giving account of my stewardship, as a believer, after I got saved; or putting it another way: what have I done, to follow Christ and advance His kingdom, in the years that have gone by since I first made a decision to receive Christ. The Judgement Seat of Christ is a place of rewards. Each believer will be rewarded, or they will experience a loss, and this depends on how they lived their life as a believer. Jesus will evaluate our lives on what we've done.

“Each of us shall give account of himself to God, each one receives done in the body according to what he's done, good or bad”. At the judgement seat, we give account - we're called to stand before the Lord, and He will look at every aspect of our life: our service, what we have done - and why we have done it, what motivated us. He's not looking to punish us; what He's looking for is: have we done anything that would qualify for Eternal Rewards? Jesus will evaluate our lives, based on what we have done.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one way receive things done in the body, according to what he has done”.

The word ‘done’ there is the Greek word ‘prasso’ - it means to practice, or perform repeatedly, or habitually. It's not talking about a single action in our life; it's talking about what have been the habits, the practices - what has been built into our lifestyle? Sometimes as believers, we can get preoccupied with the single things that are happening - with a decision that was a bad decision, or a good decision; but what God is looking at is: the practice - what we have performed repeatedly, which tells much about the condition of our heart inside. Every believer then, has an appointment at the judgement seat of Christ.

Secondly, what is the judgement seat of Christ, what exactly is it? The word that's used there is called ‘bema’, and it's often translated as ‘Judgement Seat’, but it's used in the gospels, and the Book of Acts, in two different ways. Firstly, it was the raised platform, where a Roman magistrate or ruler sat and made decisions or passed sentences. The ‘bema’ is literally the bema seat, or the bema platform - an elevated platform, where a judge sat, and made decisions or passed a sentence. We see that in John 19:13, and in the Book of Acts, where someone sat in judgement; it's a seat where legal decisions are made.