1. Immediately after the rapture, all Christians appear at the Bema judgment to receive their rewards. “All believers must appear before Christ to be judged for the way they lived and served; some will receive rewards, others will lose their rewards” (2 Cor. 5:11, ELT).
a. Not for salvation, all in the rapture are saved.
b. Not for sins, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
c. They will be rewarded for faithfulness, not excellence.
2. We will testify to God about our life and works. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ . . . every one of us shall give an account of himself” (Rom. 14:10, 12).
3. What will they lose? “Everyone’s work will be examined by fire to see its honesty . . . some will receive a reward . . . the works of some will be burned up, but he shall be saved” (1 Cor. 3:13-15, ELT).
4. Will God have some reward for everyone? Yes. “Then shall every man have praise of God” (2 Cor. 4:5).
5. What will we receive? A crown of recognition. “Every man . . . is disciplined in all things . . . an incorruptible crown” (1 Cor. 9:25, ELT).
The Five Crowns
1. The Crown of Righteousness – 2 Tim. 4:8
2. The Incorruptible Crown – 1 Cor. 9:24-25
3. The Crown of Life – James 1:12; Rev. 2:8-11
4. The Crown of Glory – 1 Peter 5:1-14
5. The Crown of Rejoicing – 1 Thess. 2:19-20
B. PREPARATION FOR THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
1. Israel (Old Testament) is not in the marriage supper. “They which sleep in Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:14). “Shall be caught up together . . . to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17).
2. The church is a virgin espoused (pledged) to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2).
3. The marriage supper of the Lamb begins after the rapture and Bema and lasts for 7 years in heaven. On earth wrath is being poured out on creation, the unsaved rebels, and antichrist. Wrath is God’s anger expressed in punishment.
4. At the end of the Tribulation, there are 4 loud alleluias:
(1) People in heaven will shout alleluia because God has judged the evil nation of Babylon (19:1-2).
(2) Again they shout alleluia because her smoke from hell will last forever (19:3).
(3) The Old Testament and New Testament saints will shout alleluia (19:4).
(4) The voice of all believers will shout alleluia (19:6).
5. When the moment comes. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready” (19:7).
6. How was the bride dressed? (19:8).
a. Fine linen – expensive and exquisite.
b. Clean – separated from sin, i.e., imputed righteousness.
c. White – pure.
7. All who come to the marriage supper are called blessed (19:9).
a. Blessed means happy.
b. Blessed means adds value.
c. Blessed means set apart.
C. HOW SHOULD WE PREPARE FOR THE BEMA AND MARRIAGE SUPPER?
1. Realize Christ doesn’t want to judge you. “I come not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47).
2. God loves you and wants you to receive Him (John 3:16). “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
3. Make sure you are saved, more than in name only.
4. Be hard on yourself, get rid of sin. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:31).
5. Discipline yourself and strive to do your best. “Every one that strives for mastery will discipline himself in all things” (1 Cor. 9:25, ELT).
6. Let Christ’s faith empower you. “Christ lives in me and the life I live in this body, I live by the faith of Christ living in me” (Gal. 2:20, ELT).
7. Claim victory. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
For more information on the TRBC Pastor’s Bible Class, log on to the Internet for TRBC Home page at www.trbc.org/pbc.
Dr. Towns’ email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com