Summary: This message compares the "Judgment Seat Of Christ" to the Olympic games, where rewards will be given.
“Welcome To The Christian Olympics”
INTRODUCTION: Did you catch any of the Olympics? I always enjoy the gymnastics, the swimming & the diving, and the boxing. The 1980 Olympics where the U.S. Hockey Team beat the Russians will always be a highlight of my Olympic memories. Did you catch any of the closing ceremonies the other night?
Whenever I watch the Olympics, I always wonder what it would be like to stand on the winner’s podium, with a gold medal around my neck, and hear the National Anthem being sung.
This morning, we are going to CONTINUE the series on “The Rapture Of The Church”. We have seen that Jesus IS coming … His coming may be soon … He’s coming quickly. There will be no second chance after the Rapture for those left behind … who have had the opportunity to be saved before the Rapture.
We have seen what’s going to take place in Heaven for those of us who have been raptured … AND … for those who have been left behind. THIS MORNING, we are going to take a look at one particular event that will happen soon after the Rapture … that you and I will be involved in. It reminded me of the Olympic games.
TURN with me to 2 Corinthians 5:6-10.
SOMEDAY, we will all have to stand before Christ and give an account of ourselves to Him. At that time, we will receive our REWARDS … our MEDALS, if you please.
1.- THE TIME – This will occur sometime after the Rapture … PROBABLY … the first thing. Remember Rev. 4:10 – “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne …” By this time, we will have received our crowns … our rewards … our medals.
1 Cor. 4:5 – “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” When Jesus comes, the award ceremony will begin.
2.- THE PARTICIPANTS – See 2 Cor. 5:10 – “all”. This means EVERY CHRISTIAN … no exceptions. You made the “team” when God saved you. You WILL BE at the medal ceremony. You WILL BE judged on how you competed.
3.- THE JUDGE – 5:10 – This is the “judgment seat of CHRIST”. So often, a sermon on the “Judgment Seat Of Christ” is preached in a negative way. Scare tactics are used to give Christians a “guilt complex” … condemnation from the Judge.
This morning, I want us to see a different side of the “Judge”. Who is this “Judge”? He is no other than Jesus … our Savior … our Redeemer … the One Who loves us … died for us … took our punishment and penalty on the cross … He shed His blood, gave His life, for you … we are His BRIDE. Jesus won’t be venting His anger at the “Judgment Seat Of Christ”. He might be DISAPPOINTED … BUT … He won’t be VENGEFUL. He won’t be seeking REVENGE for how you lived your Christian life.
Let’s not look at Jesus, at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”, as One who is finally going to punish you for the way you failed Him. Let’s look at Jesus, as the One who will reward us for our Christian life.
4.- THE CRITERION – What will be judged? NOT … our SINS. Our sins were judged on the cross of Calvary. Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus …”. We WON’T be judged for whether or not we pleased our spouse, our parents, our children, our boss, our Pastor, other Christians … or even if we pleased ourselves.
We will be judged as to how we pleased CHRIST. Look at 5:9, 14-15.
So, WHAT THEN will be judged? 5:10 - “things done in his body” … i.e., our WORKS. Rev. 22:12 – “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” 1 Cor. 3:13 – “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
What kind of works will be judged? There are too many to name, but here are just a few examples:
• How did we use the talents and Spiritual gifts that God gave us?
• Did we “redeem the time” that God gave us … and use it wisely?
• How did we spend the money that God had entrusted to us?