Summary: The Judgment Seat of Christ. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Matthew chapter 25 verses 14-30.
• 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 9-10.
• Two dads were having a drink together;
• And conversation turned to their children and their children’s school-work.
• The first dad said; “I helped my daughter today with her religious homework”.
• “You did what?” replied the astonished second dad.
• “But you don’t know anything about religion;
• In fact, I bet you don't even know the Lord's Prayer,"
• The first dad angrily replied; "Why everybody knows that,"
• The second dad said; “Well, what is it then?”
• So the first dad paused for a moment;
• And after racking his brains for several minutes replied:
"It's, Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."
• His friend looked at him astonished! And said,
• "You win! I didn't know you knew so much about the Bible."
I am assuming tonight that your knowledge of the Bible is better than those two dads:
• But one topic that many Christians are ignorant about;
• Regards our topic tonight ‘The Judgement seat of Christ’.
• To some here tonight you may not even be aware that there will be such an event.
• I guarantee that you will not hear many sermons on it (ill: count on one hand)
(1). What is the judgement seat of Christ?
• The term ‘judgment seat’ comes from the Greek word ‘bema’,
• At the time of Paul most Greek towns had a ‘bema’.
• And Corinth where this letter was received and being read out;
• Had a large, richly-decorated rostrum (ill: remains are they today for tourists to see!)
• It was an elevated platform;
• And was used for civil matters and also for sporting ceremonies.
(A). FOR CIVIL AFFAIRS:
• The important rulers and leaders of the city used this ‘bema’;
• To make public speeches and declare official decrees to the citizens of Corinth;
• War heroes were honoured and rewarded at the bema.
• A person on trial could be condemned or acquitted at the bema.
(B). IT WAS ALSO USED IN THE CONTEXT OF SPORT.
• It was the place where the winners in the annual Olympic Games.
• Would received their awards; they were publicly honoured and rewarded.
• So in the apostle Paul’s day:
• The ‘bema’ or ‘the judgement seat’ was a familiar concept:
Now notice how Paul takes this very familiar image and applies it to Jesus Christ.
• By saying there is coming an actual day in the future;
• When every Christian (like every winning athlete).
• Will stand at God’s ‘bema’;
• (That is the ‘the Judgment Seat of Christ’.)
• And at this judgement seat ALL God's people;
• Will have their lives judged, evaluated and many will be rewarded.
It is important to understand the correct meaning of the word "judgment" in this passage: