All appear before the Judgment Seat (or Bemaseat) of Christ
What happens when our time is up and we leave this earth. This the time that we might call judgment, preparation, judgment seat, bema seat, or accountability. This is not something we really want to think of a lot, but reality tells us that it will happen someday. Is there anything after this? The Bible gives us much information on the subject. There is a Heaven for those who have given there life to Jesus Christ and also a Hell for everyone else who did not repent and give themselves to Christ. But that is not all. There is also a judgement for everyone. The Bible says in
Heb. 9:27 "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."
There are two judgements listed in the Bible; one is called the Bema (Beama) Seat Judgement and the other is referred to as the Great White Throne Judgement. The Bema Seat Judgement is found in 1 Cor. 3:10~17 and is a judgement only for the believers or true Christians. The Great White Throne Judgement is found in Rev. 20:11~15 and is for all unbelievers.
The Bible says in Rom. 14:10b “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”.
Basically we will all be accountable to God for everything we do. This could be a very sobering thought if you want to look back over your life and be honest about everything you have done. As it says in 2 Cor. 5:10,11 "receive the things done in our body, according to that we have done, whether it be good or bad.”
In 1 Cor. 3:10~17 Paul warns us that we are to "take heed how we build". Now we should not look at the Judgment Seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather it is a time of rewarding us for the things we have done for God. Now the scriptures do say we will have to give an account of our lives and part of this judgement will certainly include answering for the sins we committed. However, that is not going to be the primary focus of the Judgment Seat of Christ. It also says in this passage of scripture that the believer will suffer loss, but here it is not talking about the loss of salvation; Paul goes on to say that even though this person will lose his reward he will be saved so as by fire.
The passage of 1 Cor. 3:12 mentions about "gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay, or stubble". It lists here six different kinds of works that we may offer to God. We can see that three of them will be burned to ashes on the Day of Judgement, while the other three will not be burned. The three that will burn represent works that are done that do not give glory to God.
To the Corinthians this picture of a consuming fire was very striking, when they received this epistle from Paul, because there had recently been a huge fire in their city. They would have experienced the destruction of their wooden houses and combustible possessions, while there brick houses and other non-combustible possessions remained relatively unaffected by the fire.
Wood hay and stubble can also be considered works that are usually easily obtained, found in large quantities, usually are found above ground, are highly visible, and works that are relatively easy to do. On the other hand gold, silver and precious stone are much more difficult to attain and often come as a result of sacrifices made to attain these. These are often found underground which symbolizes that they are much more difficult to do. Basically these works are ones that will please God and become the ones that we are rewarded for.
We need to consider if we are accumulating huge quantities of service that are done for man's praises or done to satisfy our own conscience. These are undeserving of any reward from God. There is a great temptation to accumulate such works. Do we do our works in such a way so as to impress others? Are we using our talents in the ministry that He has called us to and do we offer our strength and resources sacrificially? When we give money or resources we must be careful that we do not do it to show-off, we must be careful that our worship is not for self entertainment, or other’s entertainment.
This does not mean that works done publicly will not be rewarded, but rather that we must be careful that they are done for His glory and pleasure, and not merely for self pleasure or motive.
As rewards the Bible lists a number of crowns, that will be given to believers for various types of works that are done for God’s glory. I’ll leave this as a subject of another message.
Other Relative Messages to Consider
According to God’s word the recipients of rewards will not keep them, but will gladly place them at the feet of Jesus. 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 could have been; but due to selfish ambition, failed to measure up and suffered loss of reward.
Though every Christian will have eternal life in heaven, yet there will be clear distinctions between believers in heaven according to our rewards.
For those who have never believed that will face the Great White Throne Judgement and then will be thrown into the lake of fire. There will be no exceptions. Please check on this message when it comes available.