I. There Are Two Judgments
A. Great White Throne Judgment Revelation 20:11-15
1. Revelation 20:11-15 11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death & Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
2. Those whose name is not found in the Book of Life will have their name in “the books”.
3. This speaks of Unbelievers, those who rejected the forgiveness and salvation of God.
4. If we have confessed our sin, and received Christ, we are saved and never will be at the Great White Throne Judgement.
a. Ephesians 2:8-9 8or by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
b. John 5:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
c. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
B. The Judgment Seat Of Christ; aka The Bema Seat
1. Historically- a raised platform where civic judges would decide cases, or where athletes would ascend to receive their rewards for their victories.
2. Scripturally– a place where each Christian will one day stand before Jesus.
3. We will give an accounting for our life; how we lived for and served Jesus.
4. The Christian will not be judged for their sins; Christ already died for our sins.
II. The Particulars Of The Bema Seat
A. Who Will Appear Before The Bema Seat?
1. V. 10– We must all appear- Paul is writing to Christians; we will all stand before Jesus
2. V. 10- That each one may receive- The Bema Seat is all inclusive: every Christian
B. The Truth About The Real You Will Be Manifested
1. V. 10- Appear- be made manifest; our motives and service will be seen in truth.
2. Believer’s Bible Commentary– Not just a matter of appearing there, but of being made manifest. It is one thing to appear in a doctor’s office & quite another thing to be X-rayed by him there. The bema seat will reveal our lives of service for Christ exactly as they have been. Not only the amount of our service, but also its quality, and even the very motives that prompted it will be brought into review.
a. Negative example– An athlete wins a race, and everyone is impressed.
i. Later on, it is discovered that he used illegal drugs to enhance his performance.
ii. Previously, everyone was impressed. Now they see him as a cheater.
iii. His medal is stripped from him, and he is ashamed and sorry for having cheated.
iv. He suffers loss, and gains nothing, and is regretful.
b. Positive example– An athlete wins his race, and afterwards, tests clean for drugs.
i. He can rightly enjoy his reward. He can rightly celebrate the victory.
2. V. 10- good or bad– useful or useless; good or good for nothing; right or wrong.
3. V. 10- things done in the body– during our mortal life time in our body.
C. Our Motives Will Be Judged (Whether They Are Worthy Of Reward)
1. Sometimes we do the right thing for the wrong reason. (Recognition, advancement)
2. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 1Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
D. The Quality Of Our Work Will Be Judged (Not The Person)
1. An abundance of activity doesn’t always equate to a heavenly quality of work.
2. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
E. We Will Give An Account (Explanation, Discussion) For Our Life
1.Romans 14:7-12 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
F. God Is Faithful To Take Note Of Our Works Of Faith
1. Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
2. Ephesians 6:5-9 5Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
3. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
III. Preparing For The Bema Seat
A. Avoid The Great White Throne Judgment-Receive Jesus, Be Forgiven
B. Repent Of Wrong Motives- Agree With God Here And Now
1. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 31For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
2. If you agree with Jesus now, I believe that the matter is settled.
C. Be A God Pleaser, Not A Man Pleaser
1. Colossians 3:23-24 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
D. Be Deliberate About Pleasing God
1. V. 9- Therefore we make it our aim…
2. V.11– Remember the holy judgment of God upon sinful man: persuade people to God.