The Judgement Seat of Jesus Christ.

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The Judgment Seat of Christ

Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that we must ALL appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ. But there are several Judgment Seats, some for salvation and the others for rewards. The latter one is for BELIEVERS only. I will touch on the other Judgments another time, but in this topic I will concentrate on the Judgment Seat of Christ spoken of by Paul in the above verse in Corinthians.

There are several groups of believers, the Old Testament believers, the Church Age believers (which are those sinners who believed the Gospel and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord during the Church Age, which started at the time of Pentecost and finishes at the moment of the Rapture), the Tribulation believers and the Millennium believers. Again more about this in another topic page. For this topic I will concentrate on the Judgment Seat of Christ for the Church Age believers, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ.

As you can read in the topic "The Church", this group of believers (Saints) are a special group, as they were CHOSEN by God the Father BEFORE the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4 and were given to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ John 17:9, as His Bride, His Body and with Him as the Head.

Because we are a special group of believers this is a special judgment! Not for salvation, as we are secure in Jesus, but for rewards.

The time and place of this Judgment will be just after the Rapture and in the air, when we meet the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17

No one else will be appear before this Judgment.

Again I stress that we will NOT be judged for our sins in regards to our salvation, because that is already secured. In Romans 8:1 we read that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Praise the Lord!

In ages gone by, after the Grecian games (now the Olympic Games) were all over the successful contestants would appear before the "Bema" or Judges' stand to receive their rewards, which were crowns (the Greek word is stephanos) of laurel leaves. The losers would not receive a reward, but would not be punished or cast out.

So will we stand before the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ, where we will be judged on how we ran our Christian race for the Lord. Here our motives behind our works (actions) will be tested with fire. If the motives were for selfish reasons then our works are of wood, hay or stubble and will be burned up. We will miss out on a crown.

If the motives were to the glory of God then our works are of gold, silver and precious stones and will stand the test of fire. The Lord Jesus will say "Well done My faithful servant, here is your reward."

This wonderful promise of reward should be a great encouragement for any Christian to serve the Lord in obedience to His will and Word.

Some Christians have said to me that they don't want rewards for their service for the Lord. My answer to this is that if the Lord has given us a promise of rewards we should strive to be worthy of receiving those rewards. If you don't receive any rewards that means you works were of wood, hay or stubble!

We can read about this fire in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

Note here that Paul says in verse 15 that if any man's work is burned up, (that is, the works he did in his Christian walk and in his service for the Lord, were done with the wrong motives, selfish motives), he shall suffer loss (he won't receive any rewards) BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED, yet so as through fire. Re-inforcing the fact that this judgment is NOT for salvation but for rewards.

Building materials.

In the above verse Paul explains that he has laid the foundation and that foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every day in a Christian's life is a day in which the believer can build on that foundation. The believer has a choice of building materials (Christian works) to do the building with. It are those materials that will be evaluated by the Lord Jesus Christ at the judgment seat.

Paul talks about six different building materials, three that are would not stand the test of fire, namely wood, hay and straw; and three that would stand the test of fire, namely gold, silver and costly stones.

The "material" is not just the works or actions a believer performs during his/her service for the Lord, but the MOTIVES behind the works. That's why it is important for believers to make sure that when they perform their services for the Lord their motives are unselfish and to the glory of the Lord.

What are the basis for evaluation and rewarding?

When we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ just after the Rapture, the books will be opened (not the book of Life as our salvation is secure and eternal life guaranteed, just as we have stated before) and our works will assessed by the Lord Jesus Christ by means of fire.

In Revelation 1:14 we read that His eyes were like a flame of fire. As we read in 1 Corinthians 3:13 each man's work will become evident, for it will be revealed by fire and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. Here we can see the penetrating discernment of the Lord Jesus Christ seated on the Judgment Seat. His eyes, like a flame of fire, will penetrate, discern, burn and reveal the qualities of the work. Will they be wood, hay or straw? Will they be gold, silver or precious stones?

The fire will reveal those qualities.

The Lord Jesus Christ's evaluation will be based on several factors:
The first basis is how well the believer's lives reflected the Word of God. The Scriptures are the handbook by a Christian should live. I can remember as a young child I use to read the army handbook my brothers brought home when they served in the army. In that handbook was all the details of how a soldier should serve and perform. If the soldier performed well in accordance with that handbook that soldier would be rewarded with promotion.

How more so for a Christian to perform well in accordance with his/her handbook, the Holy Bible. The better you know it (and this can only come by prayerfully reading and studying the Word) AND live in obedience to it, the greater your reward at the Judgment Seat.

The second basis will be our faithfulness. Each believer has received gift or gifts from God. I'm not just talking of spiritual gifts but also of ability gifts. The gift of helping others, the gift of being a good listener, the gift of giving, the gift of visiting the sick, etc. We all have talents given to us by God. Thus this basis will be how faithfull we were on using those gifts. How many of us have the gift of listening but can't be bothered? How many of us have the gift of abundance and hold on to it? Take some time in a nice quiet place and silence reflect on what talents you think God has given you. You'll be surprised. Then of course there are the spiritual gifts spoken of by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 where the whole chapter has been dedicated to them. Those gifts are given to believers after they have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, the moment they became born-again.

We can also read about gifts in the parables written in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27.

This basis shows that believers will be held accountable (for rewards, not for salvation) on how they used the talents that were given to them.

The third basis in evaluating the work will be what the believer's motives were behind the work. The Lord Jesus will evaluate the motives behind the reasons for which believers perfom or not perform their work. Nothing will be hidden! As Jesus Christ is the TRUTH John 14:6 you can rest assured that the TRUTH will prevail. Non of our excuses will stand! Only the TRUTH will stand! Praise the Lord!

The Five Types of Crowns!

The Crown of Righteousness.

In 2 Timothy 4:7-8 Paul talks about how he has fought the good fight, how he has finished the course and how he has kept the faith. For that faithful service to the Lord he knows that one day, at the Judgment Seat of Christ he would receive a reward from his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. He would get a crown of righteousness. Paul goes on to say that not only to him, but also to all those who love His appearing. His appearing will be for the born-again Christians at the Rapture. Paul says that all those who constantly long for the Rapture will also be awarded with that same crown of righteousness. As Paul explains in his letter to Titus it is God's instruction for us to live a live that denies ungodliness and worldy desires, a live that is sensible, godly and righteous, looking for the blessed hope (the Rapture) and the appearing of the great glory of God and Saviour (here the Scriptures prove that Jesus is God), Christ Jesus. Titus 2:12.

The Crown of Glory.

This is the crown given to the elders or pastors who shepherd the flock. They who have earned this crown will receive it from the Chief Shepherd who will also be the Judge. I love the Gospel of John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. He writes in John 21: 15-17 about the Lord asking Peter "do you love Me?" and after Peter's reply He said the following three things: "Tend My lambs", "Shepherd My sheep", "Tend My sheep". He gave the elders and pastors the gift and the duty to take care of His flock, the Church, His Bride. What a privilege and what a resposibility elders, pastors and teachers have. Peter himself talks about the duties of the elders when he writes in 1 Peter 5:1-4 and exhorts the elders in the Church to shepherd the flock of God. This shepherding must be done with a cheerful heart, voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not of sordid gains, but with eagerness, not to lord it over the people but to be examples to the flock. He goes on saying that when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading CROWN OF GLORY.

The Crown of Rejoicing.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 Paul tells the Saints in Thessalonica that they are their (the Apostles') hope and joy, their crown of exultation in the presence of the Lord Jesus at His coming, the moment of the Rapture. They are the souls won because of their faithful witness to the people in Thessalonica. They are his crown and he also states this in Philippians 4:1 where he calls the believers at Philippi "my joy and crown". You see what we have here? The Crown of Rejoycing, the Crown of Soul Winning. That crown can also be yours and mine. I know I will receive that crown as I love witnessing the Gospel to people who are still lost in darkness. I pray to the Father in Heaven that He will show me any opportunity He gives me to plant those precious seeds. I know I have let lots of those opportunities slip past without doing my work, but I also know I have used many of the opportunities God has given me. I always rejoice to the Father and give thanks to Him for the opportunities and pray that He will give the increase to those seeds planted. I pray that they may fall on fruitfull soils in the hearts of the people who are still trapped in darkness, so that the Light might shine in their lives and that they may become born again of the Spirit of God. I must stop here for a moment and stress the fact that we CAN NOT change a person's heart! We can only witness the Gospel, plant those precious seeds. Only the Father in Heaven can bring the increase. I will never say that I have converted a person! Never! What I will say though is that I was blessed, I was privileged that the Father used me as a worker to plant those precious seeds in a person's heart. Remember, you CAN NOT convert a person! You can only plant those precious seeds. We can also read this in Psalm 126:5-6 that those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. That he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. God promises that if we go out witnessing (with the right motives) we will get a harvest. He doesn't promise that every person we witness to will be saved. That is not our concern either, our concern is to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have to leave it up to God to bring in the harvest.

The Incorruptible Crown.

The name itself tells us that this is the "Victor's" Crown. It is given to those who live a life during which they "have kept their body under". They are the ones that have not yielded to the desires of the flesh (the old nature) but have kept their focus on the work of the Lord, their Master. They are the ones that were not lured by the worldly entertainment, the pleasures of lust, the drugs, and the list goes on. They are the ones that persevered under the terrible attacks from the human race and from the demonic forces. They are victorious in the Lord and will receive their Victor's Crown from the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. The apostle Paul calls it exercising self-control in 1 Corinthians 9:25-26 and he is right. In this world we are bombardered from every angle with temptations to take our attention away from our service for the Lord Jesus. It never stops as the spirit world never sleeps. Even in our sleep we often get attacked with the most horrific dreams. That's why we always have to make sure we put on the armor of God which we are told about in Ephesians 6:10-18 with which we have better chance to exercise self-control and keep our body under. The armor of God will be discussed under the heading of that name in due course. Don't say that it is too hard for you to win that Incorruptable Crown because of your weaknesses in the flesh. Leave that up to God and whenever you stumble in one of your weaknesses, take it to the Father, confess and repent in Jesus name. Ask for help to walk strongly in the service of your Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will hear you and He will help you. But remember, you have to do your thing as well. Study His Word daily and with a prayerful heart. Remove things from your life that will make you stumble. Stay away from places that may lead you astray and into sin. Stop watching, reading and listening to, things that put thoughts into your mind that could lead to sin. Paul says in Philippians 4:8 that we should let our minds dwell on things that are pure, right, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise. If we do that we will find it easier to keep under our body and earn that wonderful Incorruptable Crown.

The Crown of Life.

This is a wonderful crown which is mentioned twice in the Scriptures. It is often called the "Martyr's Crown" and many dear believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have earned this crown. They gave their lives for Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour. No matter what Satan threw at them at the hands of unbelievers throughout the centuries they kept their faith, often enduring horrific torture and shame. James tell us that those that love Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) and endure "testing" will receive that Crown of Life as promised by their Saviour, James 1:12. John also speaks of this crown in Revelation 2:10 where the Lords Jesus encourages us to be faithful "unto death". Note here that the Word of God says "unto death" not "until death", meaning that the believers had remain faithful unto a martyr's death and not recant. A dear preacher from the States, who lived in the 1920's era, the Rev. Clarence Larkin, at this point says that this refers to the martyrs of the Tribulation period. I have to disagree with this because, as I have stated at the beginning of this topic, only the believers of the Church Age, the Bride of Christ, the Church, will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and receive these crowns. The Tribulation Saints come to life at the end of the Tribulation, just before the 1000 year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and they will reign with Him for a thousand years, Revelation 20:4. In this verse we can not read anywhere that they received crowns. Furthermore in Revelation 4:10-11 where the Church has been raptured into Heaven and have received their crowns at the Judgment Seat of Christ, the believers fall down before Him who sits on the Throne and worship Him and throw THEIR CROWNS before the Throne saying "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created." You see, the believers here realise that the reason they earned these Crowns was not because of their own efforts, no, it was because the Lord our God gave them the strenght, the gifts, the faith and the power to serve Him and earn these Crowns. He is the potter, we are the clay. We were made by Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16. It is God working in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13. That's why it is so good to give all praise and glory unto Him as without Him we are nothing else but lost sinners doomed to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, away from the love and light of God. It is because of God's great love, God's amazazing grace, God's wonderful free gift, by Himself coming into this world through His Son, in the body of Jesus, died for us on the cross, was buried and rose again on the third day, ascended into Heaven, is seated at the right hand site of the Father and soon, at the appointed time, will leave Heaven and come into the air adn with a shout will call us and draw us (the born again believers, His Bride, His Church) unot Himself and takes us home to the Father's house where He has been preparing a place for us. That's how much He loves us.

Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Are you assured of your place in Heaven for eternity? Or are you still facing eternity in the Lake of Fire? NOW is the time to make that decision, as in an hour's time it might be too late. The Rapture can happen any moment. Maybe today, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow or next year. Happen it will, at the appointed time which only the Father knows. Grasp the moment and open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to come in as your Lord and Saviour. Why don't you go the Salvation Page and be born again into the family of God through believing in and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

He is waiting for you right now!

He is knocking on the door of your heart!

Why don't you open the door of your heart and invite the Lord Jesus Christ in!

Click HERE for the Salvation page and a prayer.

In this picture you can see the Lord Jesus knocking on a door which has no doorknob at the outside. The door can only be opened by you! From the inside! This will be the best and most important decision in your life. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. As you are reading these words, He is calling YOU!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16