“For we must all appear before
the Judgment Seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in
his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2Corinthians
There are at least seven Eternal
mentioned in the Bible. We have briefly
studied the first five. I will list them for you here again, along with the
two remaining Judgments.
First, there is the Judgment of the
Believer’s Sin in Jesus.That
occurred at Calvary. (2 Corinthians ; 1 John 1:7)
Second, there is the Believer's Daily
Self-Judgment. (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; 1 John 1:9)
Third, there is the coming Judgment of the
Nation of Israel. (Ezekiel 38 and 39; Jeremiah 30:7; Zechariah 14:2)
Fourth, there is the Judgment of the
Gentile Nations. This will purge the Earth of all rebels prior to Jesus setting up
His 1,000 year reign. (Matthew 25:31-36; 1Corinthians -25; Revelation -16)
Fifth, there is the Judgment of Fallen
Angels. (Jude 6-7)
Sixth, there is
the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ.This is where the Believer ultimately has rewards given or taken
away. (Romans ; 2Corinthians )This will be the subject of our abbreviated study today.There is so much more that can be said on
there is the Judgment of the Wicked Dead.That is also known as the Great White
Many wrongly muddle all seven
judgment references into one judgment. This
is a damaging, misleading practice, indeed.
we will study the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ.
Even as you read this today,
Almighty God is watching over His Born Again people.Watching and keeping superior records for the day they will appear
at the Judgment Seat of Christ.This is a judgment of rewards and is reserved for the Believers in
I believe the Judgment Seat of
Christ, or the Bema (Greek for “reward”) Judgment, will occur immediately
upon the return of Jesus Christ at the beginning of the seven-year
Tribulation Period. (See Luke and First John with Scripture below.)
“And when the chief Shepherd
shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth
not away.” (1 Peter 5:4)
At that Judgment every Believer
will be judged upon the way they kept Christ first in thought, word and
deed from the time they were Born Again.
Every human being who has lived or will
ever live is placed in this Earth as a period of probation.Once this probationary period ends, it is
foolish to believe that any Believer who lived for the flesh and self will
hear Jesus say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
Every reward at this Judgment
will be an earned reward, not a gift.This reward comes at the end of life’s battle.Here wounds, scars and sufferings will be
traded for crowns, mansions, Eternal authority with Christ and all blessed
The same will be withheld
from those Believers who lived lives of compromise. (Luke 19:15-26)
Salvation is a free gift from God but not so with the
Eternal rewards passed out at this Judgment.The Apostle Paul said he bore in his body
the scars of serving Christ thru great rejection and persecution.
(Galatians 6:17)He pressed toward
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ. (Philippians
3:14)Like Paul, we, too, must
become acquainted with the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings if we are to
receive a crown(s) to lay at Jesus’ feet in
Heaven. (Philippians 3:10; Revelation 4:10-11)
Everything the Believer sets his
or her hand to during this earthly probationary period will be scrutinized
by the God Who knows all.His eyes
are open to all. (Jeremiah 16:17)His eyes run to and fro, watching, recording all. (2 Chronicles
16:9)All things are naked and open
before Him. (Hebrews 4:13)
be looking to see to what extent every Christian committed their life to
fulfilling the Great Commission found in Mark’s Gospel.
You Properly Fulfilling the Great Commission?
“And he [Jesus] said unto them
[all Disciples], Go ye [or send] into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature.He that believeth and is baptized shall
be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.And these signs shall follow them that
believe; In my name shall they cast out devils;
they shall speak with new tongues; They
shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not
hurt them [references to persecution of that day]; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall
recover.So then after the Lord had
spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat
on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached
every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:15-20)
Not only will the Great Judge be
looking to see to what extent each of His children fulfilled the Great
Commission, He will be investigating every thought, every word and every
deed of every Believer who ever lived. (Matthew 12:35-37)
He will also
investigate the motives behind those thoughts, words and deeds.Even if you were faithful to the Great
Commission and the building up of Christ’s Church, He will be looking for
your motives in doing so.
To Christ you will give answer to all of these questions and so
many, many more.
Prideful Christians Have Their Reward Here on Earth
“Take heed that ye do not your
alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your
Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine
alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that
they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
“But when thou doest alms, let
not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine
alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth
in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as
the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in
the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto
you, They have their reward.
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut
thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. …Moreover
when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad
countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men
to fast. Verily I say unto you, They
have their reward.
“But thou, when thou fastest,
anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou
appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and
thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew
What could be clearer?
Hypocritical, prideful, attention-seeking, unloving, merciless Christians
receive their rewards here on Earth.
On the other hand, those who performed their works without notoriety
and out of love for Jesus alone will receive their rewards in Heaven.Only a fool would choose to be on the
wrong side of this equation.
Jesus is soon coming to
take His people out of the Earth, both living and sleeping in
their graves, in the twinkling of an eye. (John 5:28-29; 1Corinthians -53)At that moment the Believer’s Judgment begins.Your works and the motives behind your
works may not matter much to you now but you will wish you made much of
them then.At that time the Lord
will bring to light every compromising, hidden work of darkness and make
manifest the motive of every family member’s heart. (1Corinthians 4:5)
Again, I refer you to the Apostle Paul.
“For other foundation can no man
lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon
this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay,
stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall
declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try
every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide
which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself
shall be saved; yet so as by
fire.” (1Corinthians -15)
Notice the Judgment of Reward is
only for builders upon the foundation of Christ.This is a reference to Christians
building on God's Word.There, everyone’s works will be tested by
Some works are precious
and represented by gold, silver and precious stones.
Some works are worthless and represented
by wood, hay and stubble.
precious works survive the heat of Christ’s Holy fire.The worthless works are incinerated to
ashes.These ashes represent great
sorrow and loss to present compromisers.Not loss of salvation.Only
loss of rewards.The compromisers
will be saved – but only by the skin of their teeth.Eternal life is not lost – only Eternal
rewards.What a shameful, shameful
day for so, so many!What a glorious
day for so many more!
Believer in Christ, will the way
you are presently spending your probationary period abide the fires of
Christ’s Holy Judgment?Will your
present works survive the test?Why
do you do the things you do?Will
you receive reward or ruin?Will you
receive crowns or corruption?Will
you receive promotion or demotion?Praise or shame?
Will Be Given for Sincere Service Not Salvation
Rewards are not given out for
salvation, as so many wrongly believe.They are given out for
If Jesus were to come today, where you stand
with Him right now is where you will stand with Him then.He is coming soon and immediately upon His arrival He’s pulling your
file.Not one neglected opportunity
will escape His notice. (James 4:17)Neglected holiness cannot possibly escape His scrutiny.
(1Thessalonians 4:7)This will not
be a day of glory for the carnal Christian rebel but only for the ones who
sold out to the Great Commission in every possible way.
This is why the
Apostle Paul said the following.
“I have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the
Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only,
but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2Timothy 2:7-8)
The Apostle Paul also insisted
that we all “fight the good fight of faith.”
(1Timothy )The fight of faith is a fight to the
finish.If you are a Christian and
you’ve been living the life of a hypocrite, there’s good news for you.You can turn it around right now through
the power of repentance and stand before the Judgment
Seat of Christ confidently.
Bible says when we are faithful to confess our sins that He in turn will be
faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Just tell the Father you’re sorry
and want to get back on track.Your
mistakes will be remitted, literally washed away by the Blood of Jesus and forgotten by the Almighty. (Hebrews 8:12)
You’ll get to start with a clean slate
and have the opportunity once again to receive the blessing of rewards in
“…be thou faithful unto death and
I will give thee a Crown of Life.” (Revelation 2:10)
Be blessed in your sincere service to the Savior ...
John and Barbara Hamel