The inspiration for this post came from my Sister in law Carol. She had a very good question. She had a conversation with a friend of hers from Celebrate Recovery and she wondered what happens at the Judgement Seat of Christ. So let’s examine the key verses regarding the Judgement that believers receive.
“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 NASB
“…whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him…”
Our lives should be lived to be pleasing to Him. Oh what great hope that we have to hear His voice say to us, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21 NASB
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Well that is clear, we will be recompensed (κομίζω Transliteration komizō, Pronunciation ko-mē’-zō to receive back that which he has done. i.e. either the reward or the punishment of that deed.) for the deeds that we have done in this life.
So much for those who teach that the Bema Seat of Christ is all about rewards. Do not be deceived God is not Santa Claus and even though we have been forgiven we will be accountable for every idle word that passed from our lips.
Christ said, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36 KJV
The Apostle explained his life’s work and what should be all disciples in these terms, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NASB
It is only by the Grace of God that we are able to do any good deed for Him and His glory. We should always be careful to do our good deeds in such a way that when others see them they give the glory to God and not to us. God knows the secret motivations of every man’s heart. And in the day when God judges the world through Christ Jesus the secret motives will be revealed to all.
We can lay no other foundation for these good deeds except in Jesus Christ. The precious minerals and stones are the deeds we do for Him, to be seen by Him, for His glory and not our own. The wood hay and stubble are our deeds done for our glory or our less than acceptable deeds.
So there are rewards at the Judgement Seat of Christ, but there is loss as well. We will be aware of these judgements because His judgement is true. Praise God that it is not by our righteous deeds that we have been found acceptable to God, but by the sacrifice that was made once and for all in Christ Jesus. I do not want or desire to stand before God based on my miserable deeds, or my incomplete understanding of His perfect will for my life that I have surely fallen short in and would be found wanting.
May we all be led to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. May we build upon the solid Rock of Christ and His Word. May The Lord give us the Grace, Mercy and Peace of God to accomplish all that He has called us to do and receive. Dear Carol, may this humble study be a blessing to you my true Sister in the faith.