Summary: When Christ returns He will return as our Lord and our Redeemer. But when Christ returns, He also will being returning as our Judge. You and I need to understand the reality, the reason, and the result of standing before Christ and His judgment seat.
Here Comes the Judge
Heaven is a free gift that cannot be earned or deserved. But when we get to heaven, we will be judged on the basis of the life we live after coming to Christ. Jesus Christ is returning to call His bride to be with Him in fulfillment of the promise that He made in John 14:2-3 when He said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” When Christ returns He will return as our Lord and our Redeemer. But when Christ returns, He also will being returning as our Judge. You and I need to understand the reality, the reason, and the result of standing before Christ and His judgment seat.
I. The Reality of the Judgment Seat of Christ
A. Judgment is a reality for all mankind
1. Hebrews 9:27 “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
2. A Day of Judgment is a future reality for all men both unbeliever and believer
3. Donald Campbell worked down at the docks. One day, when they had a few spare minutes after unloading the coal from a boat, one of his fellow-workers informed him that he wasn't a Christian but a killjoy. To prove his point, the fellow, to the pleasure of the bystanders, proceeded to quote part of Ecclesiastes 11. 9—'Rejoice, 0 young man, in thy youth and let thy heart cheer thee all the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes.' Soon their mirth vanished. Picking up a piece of chalk, Donald walked over to the blackboard (on which quantities were marked up) and wrote the last part of the verse: “but know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”—James Cordiner
4. Romans 2:7-16 tells us that God will Judge everyone through Jesus Christ.
5. Psalm 98:4-9 "Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity."
6. People get ready because, “Here comes the judge!”
B. The unsaved will appear before Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment
1. Revelation 20:11-15 (ESV) “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
2. The Great White Throne Judgment is a trial for all people who have not experienced God’s grace and turned to Christ as Savior and Lord.
3. Every person who has lived upon earth and has refused to accept God's way to redemption from sin, will kneel before their Creator at this time, and acknowledge that He is God--that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:11)
4. The Great White Throne Judgment is the final judgment wherein all unbelievers in history are judged according to their works and cast into the lake of fire.
C. Christians will appear before Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
1. 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
2. Romans 14:10 “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”