Summary: An examination of the Scriptural teaching concerning the judgement of believers
The Judgement Seat Of Christ
Before we really get into this wonderful subject, I would like to look at two expressions that are used in the Word of God, and which are often confused and misunderstood. They are:
The Day Of Christ, and
The Day Of The Lord.
What do we understand by these two expressions? Are they the same? Or are they different? What do they mean?
Without going into great detail, let me simply say that the ‘Day of Christ’ refers to His Coming for the Church, and the ‘Day of the Lord’ is His Coming to earth. For the believer the judgement of our sin took place at Calvary, so we can welcome the ‘Day of Christ’ because we shall see our wonderful Lord Jesus. The ‘Day of the Lord’ is the time when He returns to judge the world, and that will be a righteous judgement. If we understand this difference, then we will understand more of what the Lord would say to us through His Word.
In this study we are only looking at what will happen for those who are believers after the return of the Lord for His Church – the beginning of the ‘Day of Christ’. So, what will happen?
I think the first thing for us to see is
WE WILL BE CHANGED
I John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. [MKJV]
Philippians 3:20-21 Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
I Corinthians 15: 52-53 For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
WE SHALL BE JUDGED
The thought of being judged brings fear to many people, so I thought it would be good to see what the dictionary says about this word!
1 to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of assumed truths
2a to sit in judgement on; try
2b to decide the result of (a competition or contest); act as a judge in
3 to determine or pronounce after enquiry and deliberation
5 to form an estimate or evaluation of <~ the distance>
6 to hold as an opinion; infer, think
1 to form a judgement or opinion
2 to act as a judge
In the legal senses one judges a case, judges a prisoner guilty; one judges an accused person, and adjudges (i.e. awards) legal costs. In the more general senses one judges something to be true; one judges a flower show or beauty competition, and judges (i.e. estimates) time, distance, temperature, etc.
[Penguin Hutchinson Reference Library Copyright (c) 1996 Helicon Publishing and Penguin Books Ltd]
We need to bear in mind that correct judgement can only be for good, and can bring rewards, as in prizes or certificates being presented on completion of some task. If as the result of correct judgement we are judged to be below a given standard, that also can be good, for it will give us a sense of purpose.