What Happens at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
“Bema” is the Greek word for “throne” which best represents the judgment place where winners in the Corinthian and Olympian games climbed that raised platform to receive their crowns and rewards.
Athletes came from all over Greece in the hopes of mounting that raised platform of honor and dignity.”
Only winners receive rewards. Losers do not mount up on the Olympic Stand to receive rewards.
By grace, every believer will stand upon the honor stand. Christianity is the only thing I know of where everybody wins, and nobody loses.
Let’s imagine that we are going to build a building and it’s going to be a Temple of God:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own way: you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The foundation is Jesus Christ.
It is impossible to build a meaningful life on anyone or on any other than Jesus Christ. He is foundational.
The building materials can be placed into two categories.
Indestructible objects – gold, silver, precious stones = “valuable.”
Destructible, worthless objects – wood, hay, and stubble = “worthless.”
Imagine an empty lot. Jesus Christ is the foundation in the middle of the lot. On that foundation, you’re going to build your life.
If you’re going to build a building, granite or marble would be good. A solid marble building overlaid with gold and silver would be nice!
But do you know what many Christians do? They build out of wood! They use wood for the door frames and door jams, then use hay mixed with mud for bricks and then top it off with a stubble roof!
So here are two Christians with the same resources, the same spirit, and the same power. The one who built with wood, hay, and stubble says, “Here it is God. How do you like it?”
The other says “Here it is God, gold, silver, precious stone.”
God says, “Well…wood, hay, stubble are not evil, they are just not worth much. You’re still a Christian but it isn’t really proper to put a mud hut on the foundation of Jesus Christ.”
The Judgment Seat of Christ will have a simple Test.
There’s coming a day when God takes the buildings to the judgment seat. God’s going to light a fire to see what it left.
Wood, hay, and stubble burn.
Marble, granite, gold, and silver do not.
At the Judgment Seat, we will be judged on what we’ve done of eternal value for Christ. Were we profitable? Or, unprofitable the kingdom. Christ is concerned with what we’ve done of lasting value.
Obviously, some will be ashamed as described by Jesus in Matthew chapter 25.
Some Christians will watch their houses go up in a great conflagration! They suffer the loss of crowns and rewards; but notice that no one suffers the loss of their salvation.
There will be gold Christians and there will be stubble ones. But all are Christians because they have one foundation. Jesus Christ.
Our rewards will be based upon our love for God and others, our purity, holiness, behaviors, motives, values, and service. He will consider how well we have followed Christ as our Lord and Savior. Of course, he will notice the maturity of our Fruit of The Spirit. Certainly, He’ll want to evaluate how well we lived out the Beatitudes. How well have we followed God’s will for our lives is very important to him. He will evaluate our generosity and how well we responded to the needs of the poor and needy.
Of course, we are describing a lifestyle, not a checklist, which God will use to evaluate our profitability.
The key to the evaluation must be John 15:5. We simply live out the normal Christian life and all will be well.
“I am the vine may: you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” NIV
Our Christian lifestyle is critical.
A chaplain visited a new inmate in prison. “Say, Chaplain, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.” “You have, why?” “Well, you see, I’m a preacher, too!” “You are! Then what are you doing in here?” “Well,” he started into a long explanation. When he finished, the chaplain said. “Please, just do me one favor.” “What’s that?” asked the inmate. The chaplain replied, “Don’t tell anyone here that you’re a preacher. You’re bad advertisement.”
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