Skip to main content

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Law and Justice

Q: If our sins are forgiven, what are we going to stand judgment for?


A: Part of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that "...there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). This is great news indeed! How amazing that the Holy and Righteous Judge and Creator of the world has made a way for rebellious and wicked sinners to be reconciled to Him.

Jesus the Christ, the one who became accursed by God so that all who believe in Him could be justly forgiven, and who rose from the dead and who is exalted at the right hand of God, has secured a victory over sin, death and the devil both now and forever. On the foundation of this completed work of Christ, believers can have assurance that they will be able to stand on the Day of Judgment. This is why it is good and right to sing the praises of Him who has overcome!

Because of what Jesus has done, the Bible teaches very clearly that our salvation is not on the basis of deeds, but on the basis of God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). However, it is a huge mistake to then believe that the deeds of a follower of Christ no longer matter.

What a tragic and blasphemous mistake to think of Jesus simply as a "Get out of Hell Free" card! Jesus is not just a Savior (although He is certainly that). He is also Lord.

Our risen Lord commands (not suggests) that we obey His commandments while we live this life that He has given us. The Bible actually teaches us that our love for our great God and Savior is defined -- not by how much we say it, not by how loud we sing in our worship services, not by how many Christian-themed pieces of artwork we have on display in our homes -- by our obedience (John 14:21, 23; 1 John 5:3).

While believers will not be judged according to their works in relation to salvation, believers will be judged according to their works in relation to their reward (or loss of reward) in heaven.

If we don't understand this distinction in the Scriptures, we may very easily misunderstand (or even ignore!) such plain statements in Scripture like the following:

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done (Matthew 16:27, NIV).

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48, NIV).

You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' " So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God (Rom 14:10-12, NIV, emphasis added).

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV, emphasis added).

There are many other passages that describe this same reality; see Matthew 6:20-21, 25:31-46; Romans 2:6-11; 1 Corinthians 3:8; Galatians 6:9-10; Ephesians 6:7-8; Colossians 3:23-24; 1 Timothy 6:18-19; 2 John 8; Revelation 11:18; 20:12, 15.

Salvation is from the Lamb and Him alone. We will be recompensed for our deeds as stewards of the grace of God. It would do Christians well to take heed the admonition of the Apostle Paul who says: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV).


Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!


Paul Washer gave an excellent message on 2 Corinthians 5:6-15. You can access his message, entitled "3 Great Motivations to Love the Lord" here. Although focusing more on the Fear of the Lord (that was the theme of the conference), he speaks extensively on the judgment seat of Christ and how that should motivate the believer.

Comments

Chappy said…
If more "believers" understood this...the persuit of holiness would be a much more crowded marathon! Thanks P. Joe

Popular Posts

Prayer vs. Petition

Q: What's the difference between prayer and petition? Phil 4:6 for example.

A: An excellent word study question! When attempting to study words from the text it is necessary to analyze the word being studied in the original language (in this case Greek) as attempting to look up the words in English will often produce erroneous results.

For example, in English the word petition has within its range of meanings things that are certainly not within the scope of meanings for the Greek word (i.e. “a sheet that is signed to demonstrate agreement with some principle or desire for some social action to be taken” is part of the range of “petition” but not of the Greek deesis from which “petition” is translated).

The word most commonly translated as “prayer” in our English Bibles is proseuche, which appears 36 times in the New Testament (NT) in one form or another (for the purposes of this study, we are only examining the usage of these words as nouns – the verbal forms will not be included…

10 Things An Evangelist Is Not

You've probably heard the term Evangelist before.Most people have. The term most likely brings something to mind. Sometimes positive. Often negative.

Does your idea match what other people think of when they hear the term evangelist?

More importantly, do any of these ideas match what the Bible tells us an evangelist is?

The truth is that most of the popular ideas about what an evangelist is and does are based on the culture, not the Bible.This is a problem.

The cultural idea of an evangelist is so popular that it is beginning to be used by companies. If you go to popular job sites and put the term evangelist into the search bar you will find many non-church jobs looking for evangelists. Many of these positions include the duties of spreading knowledge about a particular company, product, service, or idea.

The Bible tells us that Jesus gave some Evangelists for His church.And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers (Ephe…

5 Keys To Effective Witness

Content is important. But it's not the only thing. Some evangelistic methods are presented as if they are the perfect witnessing method. Some think memorizing a method and mechanically delivering the content means you have effectively witnessed.

Witness throughout the New Testament demonstrates this is not accurate. There is not a cookie-cutter approach that is applied the same way every time.
Content is extremely important. Without the right content our witness cannot be effective. Messing with the content of the gospel voids its power. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Corinthians 1:17) Focusing only on content fails to recognize that we are not preaching to the air. We are preaching to persons.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel,…

Lift Up The Son, Part 2

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Romans 15:4)


(If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.)

The Apostle Paul quoted a verse from Psalm 69 before making his comment in Romans 15:4. When he speaks of whatever was written before he means what we have recorded in the Old Testament. He simply called them the Scriptures.

God inspired the Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament. Paul said they were written for the instruction of New Testament believers. Through perseverance and encouragement in the Scriptures we can have hope. The Old Testament is not supposed to be ignored by Christians.

As we apply this to our task of lifting up the Son, that in and through Christ our Father may be glorified, we encounter a word of caution.

It is easy to agree on the surface that the church ought to talk about Jesus. That's a given. But are we aware that not everyone means th…

Fullness By Design

My wife and I are expecting our 8th child this year. I want my children to grow to full maturity. That's not to say that I want to skip the fun things that accompany young kids. I don't want to skip any of it. As each day passes I realize how quickly these moments are gone.

The march toward adulthood is inevitable. Every day, we all get older. I must be aware that my children are growing up, whether I like it or not.

But maturity is not the same as age. It is possible to get older while never really growing up.

When I say that I want my children to grow to full maturity what I mean is: I desire my children to realize their potential. I want them to grow into responsible adults.

I don't want my three sons to live in my house indefinitely. They shouldn't be expecting their mother to cook and clean for them into their thirties. Part of my responsibility as a father is to steward the children God has so graciously given us. We are to raise them so that they can be delivere…