Summary: The person you are today will determine the rewards you will receive tomorrow.
INTRODUCTION: Although all Christians have been saved by faith, Christ will still judge them for the “deeds [done] in the body…whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10). How well or poorly we do here might indeed determine our status in heaven for all eternity.
God is seeking a bride who can sit with Christ on His throne and rule forever. But in this life we are being tested to determine whether wer are worthy of such high honor. I believe that only those who hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!” will be given the highest privileges available. Many others will be given a rebuke from Christ and have “shame at His coming” (I John 2:28).
The person you are today will determine the rewards you will receive tomorrow. Those who are pleasing to Christ will be generously; those who are not pleasing to Him will receive negative consequences and a lesser reward. Your life here will impact your life there forever.
Join me on a journey today that will challenge your understanding of the judgment seat of Christ challenged, provoked and perhaps permanently changed. I am praying that no one who is hear during this service will ever see the experiences in life in quite the same way. Let’s start today preparing for that day when you and I will be alone with Christ; just reality and no pretense.
I. What will happen at the judgment seat of Christ? (v. 10)
A. We must all appear here after the rapture - 1. The word “appear” means to “to make manifest or
visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way; make actual and visible, realized; expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear.”
2. Wuest Expanded Translation says it this way, “…to be openly shown as to our true character….”
B. The evaluation of the believer’s works will include the works themselves, the quality with which they have been done, and the motivation of the heart -
1. What one does for God really does count. Malachi 3:16 speaks of a “book of remembrance” in which God keeps track of al that has been done for Him. Scripture promises specific rewards for differing works. Suffering insults, persecution, and false testimony for the sake of Christ and the cause of righteousness will bring great rewards in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12; Luke 6:21-22).
2. Luke 14:12-14 records Jesus’ instruction to reach out to the underprivileged. He includes this promise, “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Although certain works are singled out in various passages, the implication is that God will reward believers for all their works that have eternal value or merit.
3. Believers will judged concerning these types of works:
c. Carnal, worldly and Selfish Un-Christlike traits that have continually produced bad fruit in their Christian” life failing to bring glory to God (Colossians 3;
Romans 1-2; 8:1-13; 14:1-23)
e. Things that affect others: slander, quarrels, idle words, foolishness, inappropriate and carelessjoking, debts, broken promises, wrong dealings, etc. (Romans 1:29-32; 12:1-21; 14:1-23;I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3; Ephesians 4:1-32; 5:1-33)
2. The quality of the works -
a. Christ will test the genuineness or character of believer’s works. Paul wrote the fire of God’s judgment “will test the quality of man’s work” (I Corinthians 3:13). The imagery of gold, silver, and precious stones as opposed to wood, hay and stubble reveals that the quality of the works themselves will be tested.
b. What distinguishes one work from the other is its eternal value. Works that have no eternal significance do not merit eternal recognition. In Paul’s illustration, an adequate foundation, the quality of the materials, and the proper methods of building are the symbolic components for quality work for God.
(1) Works will be judged to be either good or bad. Good (agathos) meaning “being "good" in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect; as being morally honorable, pleasing to God”. As defined by God, good works are designated by gold, silver, and precious stones. They are produced by a believer who is walking in fellowship with God and who is controlled by the Spirit. Good works are also called “the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11). The power to produce good works comes directly from God, not from within man (Philippians 2:13)