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Summary: 7 letters to the churches

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Spirit of the overcomer pt 6

Jesus Christ is Judge (vv. 10–12 ).

Ecclesiastes 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Paul asked the weak Christian, “Why are you judging your brother?”

Then he asked the strong Christian, “Why are you despising your brother?”

Both strong and weak must stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and they will not judge each other—they will be judged by the Lord.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is that place where Christians will have their works judged by the Lord.

It has nothing to do with our sins, since Christ has paid for them and they can be held against us no more ( Rom. 8:1 ).

The word for “judgment seat” in the Greek is bema, meaning the place where the judges stood at the athletic games.

If during the games they saw an athlete break the rules, they immediately disqualified him.

At the end of the contests, the judges gave out the rewards (see 1 Cor. 9:24–27 ).

First Corinthians 3:10–15 gives another picture of the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul compared our ministries with the building of a temple.

If we build with cheap materials, the fire will burn them up.

If we use precious, lasting materials, our works will last.

If our works pass the test, we receive a reward.

If they are burned up, we lose the reward, but we are still saved “yet so as by fire.”

How does the Christian prepare for the Judgment Seat of Christ?

By making Jesus Lord of his life and faithfully obeying Him.

Instead of judging other Christians, we had better judge our own lives and make sure we are ready to meet Christ at the bema (see Luke 12:41–48 ; Heb. 13:17 ; and 1 John 2:28 ).

The fact that our sins will never be brought up against us should not encourage us to disobey God.

Sin in our lives keeps us from serving Christ as we should, and this means loss of reward.

Paul explained that they did not have to give an account for anyone else but themselves.

The phrase “idle word”

in Matthew 12:36 means “words that accomplish nothing.”

If God is going to judge our “small talk,” how much more will He judge our deliberate words?

It is by our conversation at unguarded moments that we reveal our true character.

So they were to make sure that their account would be a good one.

He was stressing the principle of lordship—make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, and let Him be the Lord in the lives of other Christians as well.

Two of the most famous Christians in the Victorian Era in England were Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker, both of them mighty preachers of the Gospel.

Early in their ministries they fellowshipped and even exchanged pulpits.

Then they had a disagreement, and the reports even got into the newspapers. Spurgeon accused Parker of being unspiritual because he attended the theater.

Interestingly enough, Spurgeon smoked cigars, a practice many believers would condemn.

Who was right?

Who was wrong?

Perhaps both of them were wrong!

When it comes to questionable matters in the Christian life, cannot dedicated believers disagree without being disagreeable?


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