Every Christian is answerable to Jesus for how he or she lived life. We will not stand before the Great White Throne of Revelation 20:11--that is where unbelievers will be judged. Instead, we will go before Christ's judgment seat and give an account of ourselves.
Perhaps this seems like a contradiction: Believers will not be judged but will stand before Christ's judgment seat. The Greek word that 2 Corinthians uses for "judgment seat" is bema, which means a place of accountability. So those who believe in the Savior will not be condemned to death but will live and be accountable to Him.
Do not confuse accountability with giving a defense. We won't defend our worthless actions--those things we said and did that brought no honor to the Lord or shamed His name. God likens our selfish works to wood, hay, and stubble, which are items fit only for the fire (1 Cor. 3:13). The valuable thoughts, words, and deeds that serve the Lord are exchanged for rewards in heaven.
What we'll be judged on is the quality of our work. God has given every believer an individual purpose, along with the personality, talents, and spiritual gifts needed to fulfill it. The question that will be answered at Christ's judgment seat is, Did I live out my purpose to honor and glorify God?
Standing before Christ's judgment seat is something to look forward to. We need not fear, since we are beloved co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17, 34). Because of His sacrifice, we have a right to the treasures of heaven. He is eager to bestow them as a reward for faithfulness and obedience.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.