Summary: The two judgments of the Bema seat judgment vs. the great white throne judgment. One will be the judging of our works while the other will be a damnation for the unconverted.
The Two Judgments
Introduction: In basketball there is what is called a shot clock, it is a clock that counts backwards allowing a team a set amount of seconds to shoot the ball. Life's “shot clock” began when we were born. God knows what year, month, day, hour, minute, second our time on earth is up. When we are born that clock begins to tick. Here is your life. . . Go. At some point our time is done and a judgment is coming for all of us.
The late Adrian Rogers shared a story about a mean spirited man from a small mill town where a he thought it was his job to humiliate and humble every preacher, he was a pseudo intellectual, his name was Bert Olney. And when the new preacher came into town, He spied out the new preacher and said “I understand you are our new preacher” the young preacher said “Yes. I am.” He then said “I want you to know I think you are a fake and a fraud. I don't believe anything you say and I think the church does more harm than good. So what do you think about that!?” the Preacher quoted Hebrews 9:27 “….it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Olney said “Don't quote that Bible to me I don't want to hear it. What do you think about what I said. The preacher said “….it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Olney got louder and said “I told you once to quit quoting that Bible to me I think you are to stupid to defend your position!” The preacher said “….it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Olney was infuriated “You stupid man you can't do anything more than quote the Bible.” The Preacher said “….it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Olney was so angry that he walked off because he couldn't humiliate this young preacher and get an argument going.
Later after he himself had come to Christ, he said that after he left that preacher and headed home that one word keep ringing in his mind and as he was crossing the old wooden bridge he said that even the frogs sounded like they were saying “Judgment Judgment” But that word transformed his life and brought to a point of repentance
It is good to know that there is a coming judgment! Judgment is coming for all of us. My prayer is that you make it to one judgment and escape the other.
Transition: Did you know that there will be two judgments? There is a judgment for the unsaved and there is a judgment for the saved. This morning we are going to look at the two judgments that are found in the Bible first for the saved and then for the unsaved. First is the judgment seat of Christ
The judgment seat of Christ
In Romans 14:10 we read “You then why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.” The judgment seat of Christ is also commonly called the Bema Seat judgment.
The Bema seat was a raised platform at the Greek Olympic games where an official, referee, umpire, or judge could clearly see who the winners and losers were and they would then determine who was awarded what prize (first, second, third, etc.) This is what Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 5:10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body whether good or bad.” 2 Cor. 5:10
Paul said “we must appear” the pronoun “we” refers to himself and the Christians that he was writing to, so the analogy here is that one day all Christian lives will be appraised. Those who are not saved will not go through this judgment, this judgment is only for those who are saved. All of the things we have done after salvation will be evaluated and brought before the judgment seat of Christ. There is some debate as to when this judgment will happen. Some say that it happens right when we die, but more than likely it will happen after the rapture of the church because your influence, though no one may remember your name will go on past your life and into others. Like dominoes the first one falls but the effect of it still goes on. We will be judged for what happens to those who we have influenced even after our lives are done, therefore it makes sense that this judgment will be after the rapture, when the dead in Christ will rise first and meet us in the air and while there will be tribulation on earth, our works will be judged before the judgment seat of Christ. So it wouldn't make sense to judge your works when the effect of your works are still living on past you.