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.

Related Videos



Comments

P. Scott 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…

What is Salvation, Part 4

Q: What is salvation and can you lose it?

There's the saying "once saved always saved". Using the scripture that no one is able to snatch them out of the Fathers hand. (John 10:29) but it says in verse 27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me. So the no snatching is referring to those who hear and follow, in other words who are obedient to His Word. So, the ones that do not heed the call of the Lord and follow can be snatched?

What about sin hardening the heart? (Hebrew 3:13)

Shipwrecked faith? (1Tim 1:19)

I have heard the saying - "It's not how you start the race but how you finish it."

In Hebrew 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

If you aren't a true follower of Christ then how can you have the strength on your own to even run the race. It is because of Christ and who He transforms you to be that you would even want to run the race at all. So…

The Sign of Jonah

Q: Jesus Himself states, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

According to John 19:31, it seems as though Jesus died on the "day of preparation" which was immediately followed by the sabbath, and then followed by the first day of the week. This leads us to when Mark 16:2 happened, the ladies went to the tomb "very early on the first day of the week". It was at this time that the empty tomb was discovered.

My question is, according to history and maybe even Greek text, is there any explanation as to why Jesus said that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights when as I am reading the accounts, I am not coming up with three days and three nights?


Thank you, as always!


A: This question has been raised by many people. Numerous answers have been suggested. The reasons for asking this question are good ones. The r…

Who the Heck is Melchizedek?

Question – I've read about Melchizedek a number of times but am confused about who he is entirely. Can you let me know about him, I feel like I'm "missing" something?

Answer - Join the club!

I think this is a question that has been asked almost as long as the scriptures have been in print and distributed for people to read and study. Melchizedek is one of the most mysterious characters to appear in the Old Testament narrative.

The Book of Genesis is categorized as a history book. Rightly so. It contains thousands of years of history. From the literal beginning of history to the death of the man whose name was changed to Israel.
Among other things, it is a book of lineages and genealogies tracing mankind from the first created man (Adam) to the patriarch of the nation that God chose to be His representatives on earth.

So, it is a little surprising that in the middle of this narrative, in the story of the life of Abraham, that a person greater than Abraham (shown in Ab…