Summary: Types of judgments in the Bible, how God evaluates a believer’s work.
Types of judgments in the Bible, how God evaluates a believer’s work.
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Joke: Two funny brothers were building a big dog cage. Once the frame was ready both went into the frame; one started nailing the wood from one side and the other nailed from the other side. The one who was nailing from the left would reach into his nail pouch, pull out a nail, look at the nail and either threw the nail or nail it in. Looking at the wasted nails the other brother asked, “Why are you throwing those nails away?” The first explained, “If I pull a nail out of my pouch and it’s pointed toward me, I throw it away ’cause it’s defective. If it’s pointed toward the cage, then I nail it in!” The second brother got completely upset and yelled, “You fool! The nails pointed toward you aren’t defective! Give it to me, they’re for the other side of the cage!”
We are all in the process of building up something in life – we build our career, build relationships, build up marriage, build children up, build houses, build business etc. As we are involved in building things in life I want to ask you today – is your building strong? Will your building stand the test of time? Are you building something that will cease with this world or for eternity?
Paul is saying here, there is coming a time when all the works of all believers, will be subject to a test by fire to determine whether they are worthy of reward. One of the greatest motivating forces in the life of a believer is that is was coming back and that when He came it would be a time of reward. Revelation 22:12 Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
1 Corinthians 3:13 …their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. Jesus is coming and we will have to give an account of our work to him. Now this is talking about a judgment on believers’ works.
1. Judgments in the Bible.
a. Judgement of sin. The Scripture talks about the wages of sin as death. When did that occur? At the cross Jesus died and was judged for our sins. There’s no more judgment there for sin.
b. Judgment of self. 1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. If we take care of our own lives, God wouldn’t have to discipline us, self-judgment.
c. The judgment of Israel. Ezekiel 20. God is going to judge Israel through the nations during the Great Tribulation.
d. Judgment of the nations. Matthew 25.
e. Judgment of Satan and demons. Jude 6:6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
f. Judgment of the unsaved. Revelation 20, the Great White Throne Judgment.
g. The judgment of the believers’ works. There’s coming a day when we will be judged on the basis of what we have done.
Who is the judge? Jesus Christ.
John 5:22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son. That’s why it’s called the judgment seat of Christ.
The purpose of Judgement: Believer’s work will be tested. Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
Don’t run ahead of God and try to evaluate everything. You don’t know whether a man’s ministry is all it ought to be or not. Only God knows that. You say, but it looks good on the outside. God is more concerned with motive than He is with actual deed.
Now watch, when Jesus comes: You see every believer will have praise. There won’t be anybody condemned. There won’t be anybody shipped back to hell from heaven. There will be no one who will have to be punished. Christ bore all punishment. There will only be praise, but there will be varying degrees of praise depending upon the work of your life.
When it says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. it’s the word bema in the Greek. It refers not to a tribunal or a court. It refers to the Olympic stadium which was outside Corinth. The athletes went up the bema and were rewarded for the victories. Every believer will be at the bema, which means everybody’s going to get reward, a prize. Everybody will have praise, some more than others. Some will be more highly honored than others because some will have lasting and eternal work. Others will have worthless effort, but all will be saved. That’s this judgment.