The cross of Christ God's Mercy and Grace

The Bema Seat Judgement

A/ "What is the Great White Throne Judgment?"

If a person is not saved (unbeliever) and dies in their sin, they will be judged at the "Great White Throne judgment" and this takes place after the rapture, judgment seat of Christ, tribulation, millennial reign of Christ, and the battle of Armageddon. It evaluates the deeds of those who never accepted Jesus’ offer of a new life in Him.

In what two ways are the lost evaluated (Rev. 20:13, 15)?

Notice how similar the apostle John’s description is to the judgment in Daniel 7:9-10. This scene, which is reminiscent of a human courtroom, is composed of a judge, the accused, and a written document listing the transgressions of those waiting to be judged (Rev. 20:12).

Throughout history, the deeds of billions have been recorded in heaven. What does that fact indicate about the awesomeness of our God?

Matthew Henry’s “Commentary” explains the unusual terminology of verse 13: “The grave [or the earth] shall surrender the bodies of men, hell shall surrender the souls of the wicked, [and] the sea shall surrender the many who seemed to have been lost in it.”

The “first death” describes separation of the soul from the body until judgment. At the second death, from whom are the lost separated (v. 14)?

The lake of fire is the place of eternal punishment commonly known as hell. What is the only way that people escape it (v. 15)?

Answer: The great white throne judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and is the final judgment prior to the lost being cast into the lake of fire. This judgment will take place after the millennium and after Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10).

The books that are opened (Revelation 20:12) contain records of everyone’s deeds, whether they are good or evil, because God knows everything that has ever been said, done, or even thought, and He will reward or punish each one accordingly (Psalm 28:4; 62:12; Romans 2:6; Revelation 2:23; 18:6; 22:12).

B/ "What is the Bema Seat Judgment?"

The "Bema seat" was an elevated seat located in Corinth. At this seat in the square, Roman magistrates would sit and administer justice. Athletes may also have appeared here and received rewards for having distinguished themselves.

In other words, the king sat in the Bema Seat at the stadium in Corinth to present the winning athletes their crowns, judging them victorious. So it is with the judgment of Christians. It’s more like an awards ceremony for the Christian. Since we aren’t saved by our works, but by our faith, this judgment is not related to salvation, but to the things the Christian has done since becoming saved that have furthered the work of the Kingdom.

A. The Judgment Seat of Christ

Scripture is clear that entrance into eternal life is already settled for those who have placed their trust in Jesus (John 3:16). However, at the judgment seat of Christ, He will determine the degree of eternal rewards believers deserve, based on their deeds.

This judgment will take place either after our death or following the rapture of believers, whichever comes first. We know that we will appear with Christ in our glorified bodies at the second coming (Rev. 19:14), which means we will face judgment before that time. (Jesus’ return to earth as a conquering king marks the end of tribulation and the beginning of His thousand-year reign.)

2 Corinthians 5:10
• Imagine facing the Lord to give an account of your life.
• In light of the judgment seat of Christ, what renewed perspective do you have on your worries, goals, and frustrations?
• Describe the result of the evaluation, according to verse 10.
• Rreceive the things done in our body, according to that we have done, whether it be good or bad.

Romans 14:10-12
• What point does Paul make about how the coming judgment should affect our interactions with fellow believer
• We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ each accountable

Rom. 8:1; 1 John 2:2 At this judgment, believers will not be condemned, though they may feel ashamed or remorseful over their foolish choices.
• Romans 8:1 All of our sins are forgiven and we will never be condemned for them

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Bema Judgement - Paul compares the walk of faith to the construction of a home
• Think about the negative qualities of wood, hay, and straw as building materials.
• Why are gold, silver, and precious stones good metaphors for worthy deeds?
• What will believers receive if their works were righteous and useful to God’s kingdom
• What is the fate of a believer whose life was filled with worthless deeds or good works done with a selfish motive
• Paul warns us to "take heed how we build".
• Unless Jesus Christ is received as Saviour, a man's works will be unacceptable to God

Matt. 7:21~23 Works done without God
We should not look at the Judgment Seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives. The Scriptures say, we will have to give an account of our lives. Part of this is surely answering for the sins we committed. However, that is not going to be the primary focus of the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The passage in 1 Cor. 3 goes on to state that the believer will suffer loss, but it is not loss of salvation. Paul further says that although this person will lose his reward he will be saved so as by fire.

The great American scholar, Daniel Webster, said "I've thought about many things, but the most awesome, the most terrifying, the most shattering thought I've ever had, is my personal accountability to God one day".

1 Cor. 3:12 "gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay, or stubble", Of the six different kinds of works that we may offer, three will be burned to ashes on the Day of Judgement
1 Cor. 3:13 revealed by fire
Heb. 12:29. "our God who is a consuming fire"

This picture of a consuming fire was very striking to the Corinthians when they received this epistle from Paul because they had recently experienced a huge fire in their city - and seen the wooden houses and combustible possessions reduced to ashes, while the brick houses and non-combustible possessions remained relatively unaffected by the fire.

Heb. 9:27 Judgement not where you go while on earth


JOHN 5:17~20 JESUS SAID My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does Jesus recognized that His Father was always at work

God is saying don’t just do something; enter into a love relationship with Me, get to know me; adjust your life to Me; let me love you and reveal myself to you, as I work through you.
God takes the initiative to pursue a love relationship with you
God takes the initiative to get you involved with Him
Pattern is submit, wait, watch, and join Him in His activity
Not what the individual wanted to do for God, but what God was about to do
Identify and watch for God’s activities and get involved

Areas that God is working in your life

Hear when God is speaking to you
( discernment, studying the Word, Holy Spirit, prayer, principals, mature believers )
Clearly identify the activity of God in your life
Adjust your beliefs, character, and behaviour to Him and His ways
See a direction that He is taking in your life and what He wants to do through your life
Clearly know what you need to do in response to His activity in your life
Experience God doing through you what only God can do

1 Cor. 3: 12~15

Wood, hay and stubble - easily obtained and therefore found in large quantities
- found above the ground highly visible
- works that are relatively easy to do
Gold, silver and precious stones - not easily obtained and found in small quanities
- found below ground and often not visible to men and therefore far harder to do
- works that we do that are pleasing to Him

Matt. 6: 2-6 Are we accumulating huge quantities of service that were done for man's praises, done in man's ways, or done merely to satisfy our consciences - undeserving of any reward from God. There is a great temptation to accumulate such works. Similarly, we must be careful not to show-off our knowledge, spirituality, zeal, or eloquence when we preach, or pray

Did we do our works in such a way so as to impress others?
Did we choose to do our work the easy, compromising comfortable way?
Were we exercising the talents in the ministry that He had called us to? Or did we decide to choose a more convenient, glamorous or easy one?
Were we offering our strength and resources sacrificially or were we simply giving God our spares?

When we give money we must be careful that we do not do it to show-off, otherwise we have already obtained our reward of honour from our fellow men
When we worship, we must be careful not to do it for self entertainment, others' entertainment, or to show-off.
The constant unseen battle in our hearts against sin, will be amply rewarded in this life and the next.
This does not mean that works done publicly will be unrewarded, but rather that we must be careful that they are done for His glory and pleasure

The rewards that a believer may receive are found throughout the New Testament, and for each a crown will be awarded.

1. The incorruptible crown: 1 Cor. 9:24, 25. To believers who faithfully run the race, who crucify every selfish desire in order to win souls and point men to Jesus.
2. The crown of rejoicing: 1 Thess. 2:19, 20. To those who faithfully witnesses to the saving grace of God and leads souls to Jesus.
3. The crown of life: James 1:12. Tor those believers who endure trials, tribulations, and severe suffering-yes, even unto death Rev. 2:8-11.
4. The crown of righteousness: 2 Tim. 4:8. To those who love the appearing of Christ, who anxiously wait and look forward to the day when He will return for His saints.
5. The crown of glory: 1 Pet. 5:1~4. This is the pastor’s crown and will be given to the ministers who faithfully feed the flock of God.

Your faithfulness on earth will be directly related to your stature in heaven, and your place and rank during Christ’s earthly reign. Many in that day will be saddened to learn what their potential for the Lord was, but due to selfish ambition, failed to measure up.

Heb. 6:10. God is not an unjust God who would forget your labor of love or Christian service
1 Cor. 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
The things we will likely be judged on are:

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