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Summary: The Judgment Seat of Christ. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading:

• Matthew chapter 25 verses 14-30.

• 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 9-10.

Ill:

• 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?

Ill:

• 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:


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