2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV - "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
There will be a time when every Christian will appear before the Lord after their own resurrection. Romans 14:12 says, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." This accounting will be at what is called The Judgment Seat of Christ. The unbeliever will also "stand before the Lord" but that place of judgment is called The Great White Throne Judgment. There's a HUGE difference between the two places! The phrase "...standing before God..." is in Revelation 20:12 NKJV. That place is The Great White Throne Judgment and is reserved ONLY for the unsaved. There everyone who rejected Jesus Christ as the One who could save them will meet Him as the One who will Judge them! And that judgment has only one outcome: Hell!
The Judgment Seat of Christ is a totally different experience! This is reserved only for the believer in Jesus Christ and they need fear no retribution for their sins! Remember, Jesus was judged on the cross for the believer's sins. So, what is this "judgment" before which every Christian will stand?
Here's a little Greek lesson: The normal word for "judgment" used in Greek is krinos, which is used at The Great White Throne Judgment. This word speaks of the inevitable outcome of the judgment passed: CONDEMNED! This is the awful result of those who refuse Jesus as Savior. Won't accept His salvation? You will have to accept His judgment!
The Greek word used for The Judgment Seat of Christ is the Greek word, bema. This word speaks of the place to examine the outcome of the believer's works, NOT sins! It was the word used for athletic contests where judges would award the participants. In heaven it is the place where Christ will REWARD the believer for faithful work done for Him, or when they endured trials without complaining. But He will "withhold a reward" for work done by believers who sought to please themselves rather than the Lord, or responded with anger and resentment in times of trial. This judgment deals with rewards.
There's more to be said about this, but suffice it to say now, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ you do not need to fear judgment for sin. That already took place at the cross. What you will face is an examination of your ministry, of whatever sort it is, and you will look forward to hearing from your Savior, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288