Summary: This message reveals five judgements, and that we should judge ourselves.
In the Scriptures, we are instructed to “rightly divide the word of truth” This is most essential when studying the judgments. There are some who believe in a general resurrection and a general judgment. The general judgment theory is not clearly established in the word of God, or the general resurrection.
In my more than fifty years of study, I find there are five separate judgments revealed in the Bible, and they differ as to time, place, and purpose. Yet, they all have one thing in common: and that is the Lord Jesus Christ is the judge. In John’s gospel, chapter five and verse twenty-two we have these words, “for the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”
Everyone from Adam to the last man to be born on this earth will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to be judged. The first judgment, deals with the believer whose sins were judged in Christ on the cross. And in the second judgment, the believer is to judge him self, or be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ and disciplined. In the third judgment, all believers must appear at the “judgment seat of Christ” where their works are to be judged. In the forth all nations are to be judged at the Second Coming of Christ. In final judgment the wicked dead will be judged at the great white throne.
Let us look at the judgment of the believer’s concerning sins. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hear my word, and believes on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” The word condemnation is the same word rendered judgment. And our sins were judged at Calvary and every believer “hath passed out of death and into life.” This is our present salvation, because Christ paid for our sins. He was judged in our stead that the justice of God would be made complete.
Jesus paid the penalty, and on the grounds of his sacrificial death, the believer is separated from his sins forever. Our sins have been blotted out, and God has promised that He will not remember them against us any more, because there are covered by the blood.
Jesus suffered for our sins, “the just for the unjust” that we might be saved and never come into judgment as sinners. The believer will never be condemned with this world, because Jesus was condemned in his place. “He was made to be sin for us” Jesus was made a curse for us on the cross, and “hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. So the believer will not come into condemnation because his sins have been purged; now that is the first judgment.
Now I want to talk about the Judgment of the believer’s self. Paul said, “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” This judgment is more than judging things in the believer’s life. When we judge self, the good and the bad will begin to come to light; and we must confess the bad and forsake it, then pursue the good.
When we judge self by the word, we will see self as God sees us, and we will renounce self. It is replacing the self-life with the Christ life. It begins with self-denial, denying one’s self of the gratifications of the flesh. If we practice self-denial only, it is treating the symptom and not the cause. But when we deny self, we are attacking the cause, for in self [that is in the flesh] “dwells no good thing.” To deny self is to take up our cross and follow Christ.
There is a song that says, “Let me lose myself and find it Lord in thee.” When we lose the self-life, we will find the Christ-life. We become conscious of a life that can be controlled because Christ is alive in us. As we judge self we no longer look at or life, but will esteem others better than ourselves. And as we judge self we begin to live a selfless life.
Now we will look at the judgment of the believer’s works. When Paul addressed the Corinthian church he stated that, “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.”
Now this judgment has nothing to do with you salvation, but everything to do with what we accomplished in His Kingdom while here on earth. The judgment seat of Christ is referred to many times, but only mentioned twice in the bible. The one I just quoted and the other is in Romans chapter ten and verse fourteen. When we read these two verses they reveal that only believers will appear at the judgment seat of Christ.