.

Judgment Seat
of Christ

Will you have crowns
to cast at His feet?


Scripture

2 Cor 5:10 "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."

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Text

2 Cor 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…"

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Introduction

Sneak preview of the Judgment Seat of Christ

2 Cor 5:10 "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."

The first order of business
after the Catching-Up of the Church will be the Judgment seat of Christ.
Paul stated in our text,

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ."

This is a vivid explanation
of how the judgment will be conducted

1 Cor. 3:13 "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."

The day Paul referred to was the Judgment Seat.
In most cases, when we think of the future as it relates to the believer, We think of only that which will be glorious.
There will be much that is glorious, but there will also be an event that could be grievous.

I John 2:28 " And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."

The implication of John
is that some could be ashamed (to feel great shame) when the Lord returns.

He of course had in mind
the Judgment Seat.

Let's take a sneak preview
of this coming attraction and consider a few things about the Judgment Seat of Christ.

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It is an impending judgment

There are many motivates
in the Word of God for living for Jesus and serving Him.

But the thought of this impending judgment
is one of the greatest.
Paul, after mentioning the Judgment Seat in II Cor.5:10,
then said

II Cor.5:11 "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."

The thoughts of the Judgment Seat
were stirring to the heart of Paul.

It moved him to persuade men,
and to be an open book before God and men.

"For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat."

Paul was simply stating
that there was a coming judgment for believers.

This judgment
is one of 3 judgments in the life of a Christian.

There is the believer's judgment of sin.
This took place at Calvary. It was paid for by the Lord Jesus.

There is the believer's judgment of self.
Paul said

I Cor.11:31, "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."

Finally, there is the believers judgment of service.
It is here that the Judgment Seat of Christ enters the picture.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is a time
of serious, solemn, and spiritual examination.

It is an examination of our life and labor.
The Lord will not ask,
"Have you accepted Me?"
But He will ask,
"Have you lived for Me?"
"Have you served Me?"

Oh the vast difference
In being saved by Christ and living for Christ.

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It Is A Certain Judgment of Believers.

Paul said "We all must appear..."
It is important to understand that only believers will be at the Judgment Seat.

There will not be one sinner there,
only saints.
Yet, every saint will most certainly be there.
no one will be able to excuse themselves
no one will be able to take sick leave
no one will be able to vie for an alternative

Illustration:

I recently received a notice
that I had been called to jury duty.
On the notice were the words, "You must appear on the date stated".
I got the impression that I better show up.

In the case of the Judgment Seat,
the matter of being called is settled, and the matter of showing up is settled.

Illustration:

It is said that the IRS
has a goal of auditing 40 returns out of every 1000.

The over-all statistical odds
is that 24 individuals out of every 1000 will get a thorough examination of their tax returns.

At the Judgment seat
1000 out of 1000 will be reviewed.

You see the word "must" in II Cor.5:10.
The word is very emphatic and literally says,
"it is necessary that we appear at the Judgment Seat.”

It is an absolute certainty
that we will be at the Judgment Seat.

It Is A Crowning Judgment For Believers.

The words "Judgment Seat"
come from the Greek word "bema."
It was an ancient seat at the Grecian games in Athens, where the umpire or judge sat.
He would carefully watch the athletic contents.
When the winner was decided he would be brought to the Bema and be rewarded.

Paul had in mind
these rewards to be given out at the Judgment Seat in

Phil.3:13-14, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching for unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

The winner of an event
was given a crown (victors wreath).

The Bible speaks of several crowns
that will be awarded at the Judgment Seat.

The Crown of Rejoicing
given to the soulwinner.

If the soul winner leaves this earth
without going back from soul winning.

The Crown of Life
given to those who undergo persecution and tribulation for Christ.

If they leave this earth
without turning from Christ during their trials and tribulations

The Crown of Righteousness
given to those who were faithful and loved the Lord's appearing.

If they leave this earth
without going back from their vision of His appearing.

The Crown of Glory
given to those who serve as a faithful shepherd or pastor.

If they leave this earth
without going back from their original vision of service.

You see my friends
It is not possible to lose rewards once they are gained but Crowns do not hold the same promise.

James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

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It Is A Correcting Judgment

The Bema was also a raised platform
or dais approached by steps, which was the tribunal or official seat of both Greek and Roman judges.

It was generally in a public place.
It was the place on which a judge or judges sit to pass out condemnation or pass judgment.

Acts 18:12 "And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat." (Bema)

Here we see Paul
brought before a Grecian judge on the charge of false teaching.
It was the place of review.
It was the place to consider evidence and charges brought against someone.
It was the place where sentences were pronounced on the guilty.

In II Cor.5:10
Paul said

That things both the good and bad
would be examined.

The things that we think
we have hidden will be manifested.

The things done in the body
that are bad will be brought to light.

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It is an individual Judgment

The Judgment Seat of Christ
is a place of no exemption and no excuses,
is a place of individual review,
is a place of individual reward.

Personal Judgment Before Christ.
Paul called it the "Judgment Seat of Christ," indicating that it will be a time when every believer will personally appear before Christ.

Illustration:

The songwriter said,
"Face to face, what will it be?"

We will stand face to face before Christ one day.
He that knows everything about us;
He that knows everything I have ever done, said, or thought;
one day each of us, individually will stand before Him, face to face, eye to eye.

Indeed!
What will it be?

Illustration:

Have you ever had to appear before a judge?
Then you know that it is a sure method of speeding up the heart (instant exercise).

I can only imagine
what it will be like to stand before Christ.
All knowing.
All seeing.
All powerful.
All pure.
All loving.

I am glad I won't have to stand before man.
He may get something wrong.
He may get the records mixed up.

Personal Judgment By Christ
In 2 Tim.4:8, Jesus is called

"the Righteous Judge."

Peter said that Jesus was ordained of God to be the

"Judge of quick and dead."

John 5:22 says,

"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."

We will not be judged by others.

We will not be judged
by our friends or enemies.

If it were our friends
they might be easy on us and be hesitate to evaluate us honestly.

If it were our enemies,
they would recommend that we be kicked out of heaven.

And, Thank the Lord
we can side step the worst part if we were to only do what the Scriptures say,

1 Cor 11:31 "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."

If we are to judge ourselves,
Then we must judge ourselves, NOW!!

Although we know ourselves
better than anyone, we are not always honest with ourselves.
We would rather deny than disclose.

We will be judged by Christ
who is the Righteous Judge.

He will judge us
honestly, truthfully, and righteously, as only God can Judge

Illustration:

On the isle of Patmos
John saw Him and His eyes were as a flame of fire.

Fire is a type of judgment.
His penetrating eyes will pierce through our hearts and make all things known.

There is a day appointed
Acts 17:31

"hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained."

It will be a personal judgment by Christ.
This is either an expectation that blesses or an acceptation that burdens.
It is either thrilling or terrifying.
It all depends on what one has done with their life.

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It is an inclusive judgment

It will be a judgment
that will cover a wide range of matters in our life.

We sometimes act
as if it doesn't matter if we serve God or not,
as if it does not matter if we attend Church or not,
as if it does not matter if we give of our income or not,
as if it does not matter if we live for God or not.

But it does matter
and will matter when we appear at the Judgment Seat.

I want you to notice
some of the area's of our life that will be examined at the Judgment Seat.

How We Speak.
Jesus said

Matthew 12:36, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

The word "idle" means
"inactive”, “unemployed." It carries the idea of lazy or useless.

Our words are important.

James tells us that our words
are like bits that control a horse, or a rudder that controls a ship.

We can either
bless or curse with our tongue and the words we say.

Illustration

I heard about a father
that was trying to teach his daughter about the virtue of silence.

One morning when the birds were singing,
he asked her, "Do you hear anything besides the birds?"
The daughter listened for a moment and said, "Yes, there's a wagon coming down the lane."
The father said, "It's empty. Do you know how I can tell?"
The little girl said, "No."
The father said, "I know it is empty because it rattles so. Empty wagons make the most noise."
I know of many empty wagons!
Do you know of any empty wagons at home or work or school?
Are you an empty wagon?

Our speech may
damage, defile, and destroy.

It is for this reason Jesus said

Matt.12:37, "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Illustration:

During the days
of the Spanish Inquisition a man was brought before an inquisitorial body and examined as to his faith in Christ.

He was urged to speak freely
and was assured that he had nothing to fear.

As he paused
in the giving of his testimony for just a moment,

He heard the scratching of a pen behind a curtain
that was drawn at his back. There was someone behind that curtain writing down everything he said. The longer he spoke, the louder the pen seemed in writing.
God is recording every word that we speak.
If we listen very carefully, we can hear the hum of the recorder. If we are careless in what we say, that hum may become louder and louder.

Illustration:

It is estimated
that the average person consumes a few hours a day in conversation, covering at least 20 large pages of typewritten words.

This minimum
would add up to 2 books of 300 pages each month, 24 books a year, and 1200 books in a lifetime.

Imagine God
going through all we have said and we must give an account for every idle word.

Illustration:

An office manager reprimanded his secretary
for her failure to take his dictation exactly.
He said, "I pay you to take down what I tell you. Now take this letter."

A little later she placed on his desk a letter which went:
"Dear Mr. Smithe:
Don't forget the "e". He thinks it's aristocratic to have an "e" on the end of his name but his father was nobody.
With regard to your letter of . . . oh, look up the date. Why can't this fellow use a typewriter since he can't write readably? I quote you the following prices. Hi, Jenks, what shall we soak this fellow Smithe, for the steel he is buying?
Twenty, thirty, forty, you say? Right. Forty dollars for the steel you ordered.
Sincerely waiting your order, I am yours truly.
Thank goodness that's done."

This is the kind of explicit writing
that will be reviewed in Heaven.

Not just what we intended to be heard
but what was said, and not just what was said, but what was actually thought as well.

God is taking down every word.
There is nothing "off the record" with God.
What we say should be usable and meaningful, not idle and useless.
Our prayer should be as that of the Psalmist in 141:3,

"Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."

How We Speak

How We Serve
Not only what we have said, but how we have served will be examined.
Paul said in I Cor.3:13,

"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 word of what sort it is."

The examination of our work
will be based on personal ministry.

God has given each Christian
a work and ministry.

All have received spiritual gifts
that equip them for some area of service. Each has been enlisted for service - equipped for service - and expected for service.

Illustration:

Years ago in England,
there was a shortage of silver.
Someone came to Cromwell one day and said, “There is no more silver. We can’t mint any coins until we get more silver.”

It was explained
that the only silver that could be found was in the statutes of the saints found in the Churches.

Cromwell said,
“Well, then, melt down the saints and put them into circulation.”

Do you know of any saints
that are not in circulation?

All the saints are to be in circulation.
If you are out of circulation one day you will have to give an account for why you did not serve God.

The examination of our work
will be based on personal motive. Paul said that the fire of the Judgment Seat will determine what sort it was.

Why do you serve God?
Why do you teach, preach, take up the offering, work in the nursery, clean the church, etc.? Is it for recognition? It is to be well- known?

Paul said that whatever he did
he did for the glory of God.

That is the only motive
that survives the fires of the Judgment Seat.

How We Speak

How We Serve

How We Stand
In Matthew 25, Jesus gave the parable of a man that traveled into a far country. Before he left he called his servants and gave unto one 5 talents, unto another 2, and unto another 1. When he came back he called them in to see what they had done with the talents he gave them.

To those who had done something with the talents,
Jesus said, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." They were rewarded according to their faithfulness.
Are we faithful to God?
Are we faithful to Church?
Are we faithful in Tithing?
Are we faithful in Prayer?
Are we faithful in Bible?
Are we faithful in the things of God?

An unfaithful believer
will be an unrewarded believer.

You may not be able to do
what someone else can. But you can be faithful to what God has given you!

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The Judgment Seat of Christ

Is an Impending Judgment

Is an Individual Judgment

Is an Inclusive Judgment
Will you be ashamed or
Will you be pleased?
Will Christ be ashamed of you or
Will Christ be pleased?

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Notice

Rev.4:10-11, "The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created."

The crowns
that we are honored with will become crowns that He is honored with.

Will you have any crowns
to cast at His feet???

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