Summary: Every born-again child of God will one day stand before Christ to answer for his testimony in this life.
THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST
Rom. 14:12; II Cor. 5:10-11
INTRO. The judgment seat of Christ is for believers and it must not be confused with the Great White Throne Judgment which is for the unbelievers. The believer’s sins are judged on the cross of Calvary at the moment he is saved. (I Tim. 5:24) - "Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after."
At the Judgment Seat each believer will give account of his life and works for Christ and receive whatever reward the Lord feels the believer is worthy.
Picture 2 scenes: The first is a court of Law. A man is on trial for his life. The jury reads the verdict, "Guilty!" and the judge is about to pass the sentence of death. The guilty man turns pale, a hush descends on the courtroom and fear and awe reigns in every heart.
Now another picture. It is a flower show and everywhere beautiful plants are on display. The judge arrives. He has a word of praise for almost every exhibit even though only a few will win the most coveted prizes. The atmosphere is tinged with some tension, but it is not a matter of life and death, just reward.
The difference is that in the first case a person is being judged and in the second case it is a matter of works.
I. THE PLAN.
A. The greatest stumbling block in anybody’s way is the minding of another person’s business. The Bible is full of people who tried to avoid their personal responsibility to God.
1. Adam to Eve and Eve to the serpent.
2. Aaron in Exodus 32:22-24
3. Pilate in the trial of Jesus (Mat. 27:24)
B. We are not responsible for the actions of other people but we are responsible for our own actions.
1. Peter warns us, "Let none of you suffer as a busybody in other men’s matters."
2. And Paul says, "So then everyone of us..."
3. Everything we have, everything we are we owe to God who gave it to us, therefore our responsibility is to God and we will be called on to account for how we have used the things given to us.
C. II Corinthians 5:10. There are certain "musts" in the Bible.
1. Jesus said, "The Son of man must be lifted up" and "The Son of man must suffer many things" "I must work the works of Him that sent me" "Ye must be born again."
2. And our text: "We must all appear..."
II. THE PURPOSE.
A. The parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) note especially vs. 19.
B. The purpose of the Judgment Seat is for reckoning.
1. I Cor. 3:12-15 (this has reference to the building and workings of the church but it will serve as a proper illustration to this point.)
2. Christ has given us many "talents" to use during our time on this earth. He will measure each of us to see how wisely we have used them.
C. The Accounting.
1. Our time. (Eph. 5:16) - "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." No man is on earth by accident and no man’s life is to serve no purpose. We are all the handiwork of God and owe Him our time. "Go ye therefore into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
2. Our actions. I Sam. 2:3 Many church members find it easy to talk a good religion but actions speak louder than words and it is the actions that Christ will judge.
3. Our words. Matt. 12:36 Words are the manifestation of the condition of the heart. If the heart is filled with sin then the words we speak will show our hearts condition. Matt. 15:18-20
4. Our works. The way we live and the opportunity we seize to serve Jesus in this life are the works God will judge when we get to Heaven. Church attendance, prayer, encouragement and visitation, Bible study, witnessing are the things heavenly mansions are built with.
5. Our money. All that we have, even the life in our bodies, is the gift of God. Given as a loan to us. As an act of love and devotion God demands that we give back a portion of what He has given us.
D. The rewarding. "That every one may receive the things done in his body..." (II Cor. 5:10)
1. So, is that something to be afraid of? It need not be.
2. Matt. 25:23 Note -"Thou hast been faithful"
a. Faithful in prayer, study, worship, witnessing etc.
b. To the church at Smyrna, Jesus said, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."
c. (I Cor. 4:2) - "Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful."