Be Watchful, Be Alert, Be Bold – Part 3
The Evaluation of the Judgement Seat of Christ
Your Bold actions & accounts will be rewarded! –
The Judgement Seat
Welcome Royal Family, it is another great day that our Lord has graciously given us, Is it not? we read
Lam 3:22,23 22 The LORD’S loving kindnesses
indeed never cease; For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
I thank God for His grace and mercy each morning I am given.
However, there is coming a time, for all us Royal Family, when we will not be here anymore. All of our opportunities will have passed by, and we will need to give an account, to Him, for what did we do with the time that He has graciously given us.
The Judgment, “Bema” Seat of Christ
This is why: we watch, we study, we anticipate, we keep doing the work of the ministry… Being WatchfulAlert Bold … For when we go home to be with the Lord, by physical death or meet the Lord in the air at the Rapture of the Church, we will need to give an account to TLJC for all we have done in our earthly vessels.
“I CAN ONLY IMAGINE” – What a glorious day that will be … and one that we are anxiously awaiting, to meet and be with the Lord for eternity, whether by physical death or Rapture. Dying Grace or Rapture Ready
MAT 16:27, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS”.
This is what is referred to as the Judgement or “Bema” Seat of Christ.
So, I am going to try and teach you or at least give you some information about the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is one of the events following the Rapture of the Church, and as individuals we will come before Our Lord.
Let us not confuse event this with some other events of judgment in the bible, about the future. Let’s be clear that,
I am not going to talk about:
The Sheep and Goat judgement, Mat 25:31-46, that takes place on earth and after the Tribulation at the beginning of the Millennium, 1000yr reign of TLJC.
Neither am I talking about:
The Great White Throne Judgment which happens at the end of the Millennium; dealing with the unbelievers that are dead, resurrected, sentenced to the lake of fire and followed by the ushering in of the New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem.
I am talking about the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Let’s find out about what the Judgment Seat is, where and when it takes place, and the meaning behind it’s usage in Scripture. We will also discuss the gain and loss of rewards, (winner and loser Believers) look at the type of rewards, and importance of living to build upon The Foundation or ROCK (which is our TLJC).
There are 2 main passages, although we will see many in this study, that refer to our subject, noted in the NT, written by the Apostle Paul, that mention this place directly.
Rom 14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God (TLJC).
Continue in verse 11 Rom 14:11 For it is written,
Rom 14:11,12 11“AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
The judgment seat has been translated from the word or title “Bema” in the Greek.
“Bema” = a tribunal bench, throne of one in charge or a judge’s chair.
Jesus brought before PPilate; the judgment seat called the Stone Pavement (Gabbatha)—Paul was brought, in Corinth by the Jews, (tribunal) to the judgment seat.
However, since we know the Apostle Paul is writing this (in the Epistles), he uses the accommodation of historical trend of his time and place, to explain that “bema” is to be as a judge’s chair or throne.
Specifically, one that was used in Isthmian games, the Greek Athletic Games.
A “Bema” was a platform from which the judges of the contest would carefully scrutinize the performance.
Upon completion of the contest by the competitors, A winner was chosen, called up to the platform to stand before the judges, and received his reward.
Now in the ancient times, when these games began the reward was what…(reward = a wreath place on his head as a symbol of victory).
Sounds like a crown to me…but, we’ll get to that a little later.
Here Paul was looking Positive Believers of the CA, again
Positive believers (winners) as competitors in the Spiritual realm, winning a contest (advancing to maturity) and receiving an earned (imperishable) reward. Super-grace Believer like Enoch.
The competitor’s performance, if you will, spoke of the account he gave and means for receiving his reward.
This is where we are to “give an account” of ourselves before the Judge (TLJC) or One who sits on the Judgment Seat (Bema).
God gave each one of us a specific plan, PPOG, with equally privilege and opportunities in mind, based on our capacity in certain areas.
Ie: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially – in all circumstances of life.
We are not accountable for what we do not have, but what He has provided for us – His perfect plan for your Life. (Spiritual Gifts & PSD)
2Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed(rewarded) for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The Apostle Paul here explains that we will receive rewards based on our “deeds” for what we, as an individual, have done through the course of our earthly life. Using our Volition for positive or negative choices, but also what the motivation was behind those decisions.
Also, note that Paul says “good” or “bad”… so,
This can only mean rewards gained for the good things we have done or with the right motivation.
Right thing done in the right way!
Otherwise, we will suffer loss of rewards for bad or unworthy things with wrong motives in mind.
All of this comes under the examination of The Judge, The Lord Jesus Christ.
In studying some of our Pastor’s doctrines, I found this quote: something important to remember.
|“It is neither the duty, responsibility, or prerogative of the believer to assume the role and function of Jesus Christ as the Supreme Court Judge.”
Principle: It is the responsibility of believers to self-evaluate or judge our own lives in the light of the standards of Bible Doctrine.
God the Son, Jesus Christ, was rewarded for carrying out God the Father’s will or plan, when He defeated death (along with Satan) on that Cross.
The authority and power to judge was given to Him from the Father. A Royal Family and His enemies will be made as a footstool for His feet.
John 5:22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,
But you see the best thing is His Judgment Seat is not a time for punishment of sins, as some people think, it is about rewards and evaluation; for He paid that price of sin already by His sacrificial, finished work on the Cross. He yelled, “Tetalestia”, It is Finished with the connotation from that point onward and continues to be finished forever.
The Judgment Seat of Christ is not about Salvation!
Repeat —The Judgment Seat of Christ is not about Salvation.
The scriptures make it very clear that our salvation is only one way; By faith alone, in Christ alone.
Promised in the doctrine of eternal security. When we read in: John 3:16-18.
Joh 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Joh 3:18. He who believes in Him (TLJC) is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Explain quickly, then … The sin of unbelief
Sticking to our subject …
Lewis S. Chafer says this about the Judgement seat of Christ,
“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the judgment (bema seat) is unrelated to the problem of sin, that it is more for the bestowing of rewards than the rejection of failure.” – Lewis S. Chafer
We just read Rom 14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?
The Apostle Paul exhorts and warns us that we should not try to evaluate the quality of another believer’s life….Why??
“We all” and he is talking to the brethren here, believers only, just like in
2Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
Soooo, this is very, very clear that the Judgment Seat of Christ will be for believers only. And even so , the individual believer.
But every one of us, together, the Raptured Church!
This event can only fit into the timeline of a pre-tribulation point of view. (that is the one this church GBC takes) Rapture happens before the Great Tribulation and followed by the Millennial reign of Christ (1000yrs).
You will see some other passages that are supportive to this fact as we talk about “the rewards” part coming up.
The time and place of this is event, the Judgement Seat, is seen to occur just after the Rapture of the Church. (1Thes 4:13-18)
***Let’s turn to that passage it is one you should have bookmarked by now, 1 Thes 4:13-18
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
A repeat of my previous message…
We see it is after the Rapture when we will always be with Christ, we cannot be evaluated until we are with Him, meaning face -to face. You and God alone
… and where is TLJC now? Our High Priest, our Bridegroom, our Lord and Savior …
Let’s give you all a moment to write these down if you want to…repeat the verses
Looking at one of these, I like Heb 12:2, one of my favorites and you are about to see why…it tells us about Him. Remember that intimate relationship that you want to grow in Him .
Heb 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And He comes in the air of the clouds. Another distinct difference between the Rapture and 2nd coming. (Our chart #2 in the air, 1Th 4:17 – On earth, Zec 14:4 ) We rise up meeting Him in the clouds. It cannot be anywhere on this earth. (In the Heavenlies)
So, now we have our answer to when it occurs, but you may say that is interpreted by the passage. Ok then, write these down if you want and look at Luke 14:12-14 or Rev 19:8 or 1 Cor 4:5, which all talk, in regards, to when these rewards are given. This will give you further explanation. (cross reference to chronological order of events)
Luke 14:12 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 13 But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Rev 19:8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
1 Cor 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
Rev 4:2 John states: “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and (the) One (TLJC) sitting on the throne.”
So now do we have an understanding of what this Bema Seat is? _____The meaning behind it?____ The timing and place of it’s appearing?____
Now we can learn about:
The purpose of the Judgment Bema Seat = the deeds (work) you performed and how (motivation in which) you performed them to glorify the God. (either for gain or for lost).
Here is where it gets even better.
Although the “good” you do during your earthly life is not the means of getting into Heaven; (we covered that with the salvation work of Christ) it will have a great deal to do with your rewards and position when we arrive before Him at the Judgment Seat and carry that into Eternity.
Another title of TLJC is…
TLJC is called the Righteous Judge, 2Tim 4:8.
2 Tim 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
How will HE judge or examine your works or deeds?
Jesus is the example and told us:
John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
That means that you will be fairly evaluated for all the things you did in time, the time He gave you (right now while you are still breathing).
Did you do good deeds with right motivation, for Christ’s sake with the power of the Spirit? or did you do them for selfish desire and recognition in power of the flesh?
The LORD talking to Samuel the prophet:
1 Sa 16:7b …for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The heart refers to our mind and our thinking, the soul life, and the motivation behind the things we carry out. Again, that is where the true battle lays!
Let us now look at an important Scripture that ties some of this together. 1 Cor 3:10 -15, which was written by the Apostle Paul that explains this difference in gain or loss of rewards. The key is what He is building from.
***Please turn to 1 Cor 3:10-15, Paul writes
1 Co 3:10 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.
1Cor 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
As I said the key is what we are all building on. A foundation that can only be on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have all gained Salvation through Him (the foundation) when we believed.
Now we will all build a different looking (Spiritual)house and with different material. Now a warning to alert us, when he says, “careful how” he builds. Referring to what will happen at the Judgment Seat, continuing in…
Continue in verse 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, Now let’s take this next verse slow…
1Cor 3:13 each man’s work will become evident (will be made known); for the day (that day of the Bema Seat Judgment) will show it because it is to be revealed (will made clear and unveiled) with fire, and the fire itself will test (for the sake of approval) the quality (of what kind of worth) of each man’s work.
Rev 1:14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
Rev 2:18 The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire.
What is this fire? It is a symbol of judgement correct. Pastor has taught that here before. A flaming sword…Word Of God, remember the Garden of Eden.
The Word of God that pierces and judges in Heb 4:12.
The deeds done with the purest of materials (gold, silver, precious stones) will become evident, lasting through the fire and will shine, rising up (building) on the foundation,
On the contrary, the things not done correctly, with scrap, “wood, hay, straw” (inferior materials) will not pass the fire test and leave only ashes on top of the foundation for the wind to blow away all waste.
1 Cor 3:14,15 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
You see there is no equality in Heaven!
The deeds (work) can only be done in your body in time here (this present life) will be:
Pass or Fail. No political correctness here,
“Everyone does not get a trophy!”
Those believers that have done more in time with what they had been given, will receive more rewards and even places or position of honor.
Others will shrink in shame at the loss of potential rewards they could have received as it is burned up, not passing the test, knowing that they did not glorify the Lord when they had opportunity.
The shame will be a real emotion, but only for a momentary time to the loser believer, Rev 21:4.
He is a God of mercy and grace, right? … Amen!
I’ll say it again “thank God” for His grace and mercy! Because none of us is worthy.
Rev 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
However, the effects of these remain for eternity. No one likes the feeling of shame or embarrassment, especially to someone in authority that has given you many blessings. To whom much is given much is required.
The Apostle John knew this and tells us in 1Jo 2:
1Jo 2:28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
Interesting to note that in this verse,
The word shame in Greek is aischunō.
(ahee-skhoo-no) It is in the
Aischuno = shame = aorist subjunctive which point to a future state that is not continuous.
It is also in the passive voice which means the subject receive the action. So, the believer is made to feel shame, at that moment of realization of the potential. What heshe could have earned…
For the believer will see the evidence, of what they could have gained.
… had the right thing been done in right way when the opportunity was presented, (but now see a heap or ash pile).
The individual’s escrow account of blessings were provided in eternity past, before the foundation of the world, Eph ch1.
Look now at Verse 15 of 1Cor 3 again, you are still there correct,
15 If any man’s work is burned up (the ash pile), he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
This is not loss of salvation; however, it should be seen as the rewards which were forfeited by the believer, aka being disqualified as in analogy to the Greek athletic games. The ones the Apostle Paul wrote about this in 1Cor 9:27.
Please, Skip forward turning to 1Cor 9:24-27.
1Cor 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable (incorruptible crown) one. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
1 Co 9:27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave (master the OSN), so that, after I have preached to others (perform deeds), I myself will not be disqualified (eligible for reward).
Principle – Be discipline in building and practicing your FAITH because motivation is a big key in the Spiritual life and all things will be laid naked in front of the Lord.
So, some of you may be asking, what about the rewards?… What rewards do I refer to, which you will gain or unlock from your escrow account and what will be loss?
There are many general statements about promises of rewards with the NT. There are also Specific ones that are listed. These are not all inclusive, so there might be more, this is just what I found in my study. Go dig up the nuggets!
We will not go into full detail, but I encourage you brethren, write down these Scriptures so you can go back and study further on your own, if you wish. And our gbible.org web site has some great doctrines & info on this from our Pastor and other teachers.
Ready, OK Here they are:
These are seen as eternal in value and secured.
Mat 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
1Pe 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
A base principle from TLJC in how he proclaims praise to us for faithfulness.
Mat 25:21 His master said to him, ‘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.’
Luk 19:17 … you are to be in authority over ten cities.’
1Cor 4:5b … but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
Rev 3:5c I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
- The Promise of Special Responsibility and Authority of Lord’s Possessions. Mat 19:28; 24:45-47; 25:21,23; Luk 19:17-19;22:29-30; Rev2:26
Mat 19:28 (for disciples – sit on 12 thrones to judge Israel) ( but we know there will be 24 elders chosen that sit on thrones, Rev. 4)
Mat 24:45-47 45 “Who then is the “faithful and sensible” slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
Mat 24:47 Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luk 19:17 … you are to be in authority over ten cities.’
Luk 22:29-30 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, (disciples)
Rev 2:26 he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
These are referring to special blessing of rewards due to the special trials or test that individuals are granted to go through.
Rev 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’
Rev 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
Rev 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life,
Rev 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
**Identification of a personal property of God.
Rev 3:21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne
Now the category most of you have heard of or at least familiar with this next category.
- The Promises of Crowns, which are used to symbolize victory, authority, and responsibility.
************** Enter Crowns – 2 types of crowns that are described in Scriptures.
Stephanos = the victor’s crown, the wreath given to the victorious athlete. These are the ones promised to the believers for the faithfulness to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Incorruptible Crown – given to those who master the Old Sin Nature, 1Cor 9:24-27.
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath (or crown), but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
The Crown of Rejoicing – given to soul winners, Prov. 11:30; Dan. 12:3; 1 Thess. 2:19-20.
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.
Dan 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
1 The 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
Jam 1: 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Rev 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
The Crown of Righteousness – for those who grow to mature believers, stick with the PPOG, and love His appearing. 2 Tim 4:5-8
(especially living in the Imminence of the rapture)
2 Tim 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
The Crown of Glory – given to faithful pastor-teachers. Acts 20:26-28, 1 Pet. 5:2-4.
Acts 20:26 Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
1 Pet 5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Then there is
- The Ultimate decoration: The Order of the Morning Star. REV 2:26,28
The winner who receives the above crowns not only has vast estates in the eternal state, but he receives this decoration and others that go with it.
The order of the morning star is given to winners as the highest of all decorations in the escrow blessing account, given by God.
Pastor’s corrected translation:
REV 2:26 “Furthermore, the winner, even he who keeps my assignments [execution of the pre-designed plan of God] until the end [perpetuation of spiritual maturity through evidence testing], to him I will give authority over the nations.”
Rev 2:28 “Furthermore I will give to him the order of the morning star.”
The mature believer will be a king over a Gentile nation and rule during the Millennium.
Receiving this decoration is the highest manifestation of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ in the Church-age.
Closing: I hope this gave you enough information explaining a very, serious matter that is referred to as the Judgement or “Bema” Seat of Christ… We now know what we should focus on, not for the gain of the rewards themselves, but the fact that you will have to answer for what you did in your vessel, with the time and grace that God gave to you, which is after the free gift of salvation He already offered (and given to) us Royal family.
You should be excited to serve Him. You are to be the best you can be in Christ Jesus our Lord and glorify HIM. You are to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of TLJC, with each day, each opportunity He gives you. The Time Is Short!
Keep yourself focused on making TLJC the number one priority in your life and keep it real (follow His ways), Do all that God expects of you…Peter writes,
1 Pe1:7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
(alternate)…Listen in Our Lord’s own words as recorded by John in the last chapter of the bible,
Rev 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.