Many people have this cartoonish idea that...At the moment of our passing from this earth...Or at the Moment of the Rapture... As we studied the last time we were all together! Everyone... Lost or Saved...Will stand at the Gates of Heaven... Maybe in line...Or at a massive Judgment Hall before God Almighty...
And each will be judged according to their life on earth...Each will be sentenced at that moment...And get a "Ticket IN"...Or eternal damnation...
The only problem with this scenario...IS THAT IT IS COMPLETELY
FABRICATED...AND NOWHERE IN SCRIPTURES!
THERE ARE THREE JUDGMENTS WHICH WILL OCCUR IN OUR FUTURE!
None of which... Are for the exact same reasons...YOU AND I... WILL...
STAND IN ONE OF THESE JUDGMENTS!GUARANTEED!
We will only study one of these Judgments in depth today...But the others will be thoroughly discussed as we walk through End-Time Events in the weeks to come together!
As an introduction...
Let's briefly look at ALL THREE... And WHEN they will each occur!
Then we will study the ONE which I hope and pray each of YOU will get to experience!
The Three Judgments To Come!
Here is a very abbreviated Timeline of the remainder of mankind's existence on earth...Before all that we know of this world and all of Creation...Is burned away...And the New Heavens and the New Earth are Revealed!
YOU ARE HERE! We are currently living near the very end of what many refer to as "The Church Age"... (In the Grace and Forgiveness of Christ) The very next Major Event we (Christians) are all looking for...Is the Return of Jesus Christ to take His Bride Home with Him...Before the coming Seven Years of Wrath on this earth! Immediately following our Journey Home...We (Christians) will be a part of this First Judgment...
Called "The Judgment Seat of Christ" or "The Bema Seat"...
(More on the meaning of the word in a moment...)
It will NOT be a Judgment to decide whether we have Salvation...THIS HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED... OR WE WOULD NOT EVEN BE AT THIS JUDGMENT! It is rather... A Judgment for Christians ONLY...To evaluate how we loved Christ with our hearts and lives here on earth! And to reward us with crowns and positions within the Kingdom accordingly! We will be with Our Groom during the Seven Years of Tribulation on this earth...
And at the end of this Tribulation Period...
Christ will Return to this earth... (Bringing US with HIM!) To destroy the armies of the anti-Christ gathered against Him! And to put an END to Satan's hold on this earth...Establishing God's Kingdom here on earth for a Thousand Years! (Thus the term, "Millennium!")
When He Returns at this time...There will be many people who have lived through these terrible Events...Some who have chosen the anti-Christ over Jesus...BUT also... Many who have come to know Jesus during the Tribulation... And have survived the slaughter brought against them! Jesus will take Authority as King over the whole earth at this Moment!! And His first act as King will be...To gather those remaining... And Judge between them...
Separating the Saved from the Rebellious and wicked!(The Sheep from the Goats... The Wheat from the Tares!)
Matthew 25:31-33 (NKJV)
31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
The Rebellious will receive their Final Judgment of the Damned...And cast into the Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his demons...Awaiting the rest of the unrighteous dead...Who will be raised in the Last Judgment, to join them!
The Redeemed will be rewarded...And be free to live on the earth with HIM through the Millennium which begins at this Time!
The ALREADY RESURRECTED SAINTS who Return WITH HIM... (IN THEIR NEW BODIES)... Will be the governing body of this Millennial Period on Earth!Ruling and reigning with Jesus for a thousand years!
And Lastly... At the end of the Thousand Year Reign on earth...Even in a perfectly governed... And beautiful world...Satan will turn many of those born in the Millennial Reign against God again!
And as Jesus' Final Act to remove ALL SIN... And SATAN HIMSELF... FOREVER...ALL PEOPLE who have lived and died in rebellion throughout the ages...And have been held in Hades awaiting Final Judgment...Will be raised to join those living at that moment in rebellion again...To ALL STAND before the Lord in what is called...THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT!
Revelation 20:11-12 (NKJV)
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
NO ONE STANDING BEFORE GOD IN THIS JUDGMENT WILL BE THERE TO RECEIVE MERCY OR REWARDS!! All of these souls will be rejected and condemned to eternal separation! And here... Satan and all of his demons will also be judged...WE... THE REDEEMED... WILL SIT IN JUDGMENT AGAINST THEM! At that Judgment... Satan... His demons... And all who rejected Christ will be cast away forever! And the entire Creation will be burned away... And Made New! And that unimaginable City which Jesus left to Prepare...New Jerusalem... Will descend onto this New Earth...Where He will Live, and Love, and Reign with US... FOREVER!
The Bema Seat!
Now that we have a basic knowledge of the timing and purpose of these very different Judgments to come...Let's come back to the first one mentioned...
The Judgment Seat of Christ...Otherwise known as the "Bema Seat"...And let God's Words reveal what we are to expect...IF we are blessed enough to be present on this Incredible Day!
Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Romans 14:10-12 (NKJV)
10 But why do you judge your brother(Christian)? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NKJV)
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
The Greek term for Judgment Seat of Christ... Is "Bema Seat"... Which comes from Paul in his letter to the Corinthians...Bema means: Strong's #968:a tribunal (seat/bench for judge), a judgment seat, a throne.
And in the city of Corinth, a stone platform was constructed to set a large judgment seat for local officials...There, they often gave out awards to athletes...And also brought individuals for legal charges...
Paul was brought here for charges himself! As we said earlier... This is NOT a Judgment on whether we will receive Salvation from Christ...Because our Salvation was NOT decided by any works we could have accomplished anyway!! The ONLY reason we are even present for this Judgment...Is because Jesus Christ already BOUGHT our forgiveness and Salvation with His very Own Blood!
The Bema Seat of Christ is an Event created by God...To review how we've lived our lives as the beloveds of Christ... For the PURPOSES OF...
Bringing Glory to Christ before all of Creation...
By showing the love and sacrifice He was worthy of in our lives!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Offering us great rewards for every single little thing we have ever done as a result of our faith and love for HIM!!
Ephesians 6:7-8 (NKJV)
7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
Mark 9:41 (NKJV)
41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NKJV)
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Giving us positions and authority based upon that faithfulness in the New Kingdom of God!
Matthew 25:23 (NKJV)
23 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Luke 19:15-19 (NKJV)
15 And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.' 18 And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' 19 Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.'
Matthew 24:46-47 (NKJV)
46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
I have heard some people say…
"Well, doesn't it sound somewhat self-focused and contradictory to be working towards getting your own rewards... Rather than just loving Christ?!"
And if our only aim is to advance ourselves or gain status and riches... I would have to agree...But as we will see... Any reward gained from Christ...Will be based upon the fact that we have truly acted in love for HIM...Therefore... These rewards will only be treasured by us BECAUSE...
We know we would never have even desired to do good...Much less accomplish anything truly good...Without His Sacrifice and His Spirit in us!
Philippians 2:13 (NKJV)
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Because every reward earned is a REPRESENTATION...Of HIS JOY AND DELIGHT in what we have done... IT WILL BE HIS PLEASURE IN US BEHIND THE REWARD! That makes the simplest reward so PRICELESS!!! Just as the simplest gift given to us by an intimately loved person is treasured because of WHO it came from... And THEIR love and worth which it represents! THAT is why we see THIS reaction of the Saints around the Throne!!
Revelation 4:10 (NKJV)
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne...
When we stand before The very King of the Universe...The Creator of all things...The Most Powerful and kind-hearted Being in Existence...With a mixer of Fierce Holiness and Pure Love in His Eyes...
Not only will every OPEN action and word be revealed and reviewed...
But also... Every most hidden, secret, dark action and word...Will be revealed and reviewed...And even the very heart behind them... The deepest thoughts behind those actions...Even those thoughts that never became actions...
THIS... WILL BE THE BASIS FOR WHETHER ANY WORK ACCOMPLISHED WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR REWARD!! (ONLY TWO THINGS- LISTENING?)
Which was BEHIND every action...
Even seemingly GOOD ONES!
1 Corinthians 13:3 (NKJV)
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Romans 2:16 (NKJV)
16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Revelation 2:23 (NKJV)
23 ...and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
How many GOOD things are done for pride, recognition, necessity, and show?!
And secondly... OUR PASSION in Serving & Loving Him!
We have all been given different levels…Of skill, talent, giftedness and responsibility!! God WILL NOT REWARD OR JUDGE YOU...By the greatness or volume of your accomplishments... As COMPARED to others...But by the level of sacrifice and devotion...In which WE USED WHAT WE WERE GIVEN by Him!! It will be the PASSION SHOWN in how we used the Gifts given... Not the size of the accomplishment!
Luke 12:48 (NKJV)
48 ...For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
James 3:1 (NKJV)
1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 23 (NKJV)
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all... 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
Therefore... All stand on equal grounds for reward and praise before God!
Some of the seemingly least important and overlooked people in the Body of Christ...May possibly be some of the most rewarded and praised before Christ!And some of the biggest, most intelligent, most gifted, most successful, most influential people here today...Could possibly be the least rewarded at the Judgment of Christ! Because it was all accomplished with the wrong motivation and passion!
Matthew 19:30 (NKJV)
30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
So stop thinking you can’t offer God as much as another! And stop thinking you are more valuable because of bigger job!
Many Christians today...Take for granted... And take advantage...Of the fact that Jesus has paid for their sins! They feel they will not be held accountable for sins forgiven and forgotten...So they live carelessly... And take sin lightly...But please understand what I am about to say...How can your actions be Judged according to the heart and motives behind them...And your sinful heart NOT be reviewed and revealed?! How can all of your works be put through the fire of testing...And NOT be put on display before the Lord?
Listen to the events of this Moment:
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NKJV)
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
NO... The Bema Seat Judgment is NOT about our sins...We will not receive punishment... BUT we will receive LOSS… Because of that SIN!! MAKE NO MISTAKE... EVERY ACT... GOOD AND BAD...WILL HAVE TO BE REVEALED…IN A REVIEW OF OUR LIFE LIVED FOR CHRIST!
AND MANY OF US... WHO HAVE SELFISHLY TAKEN GOD'S MERCY FOR GRANTED...WILL STAND IN EMBARRASSMENT, HEARTBREAK AND EVEN FEAR...AS OUR PRECIOUS JESUS... WHO PAID SO MUCH TO SAVE US...
HAS TO LOOK AT THESE MOMENTS OF OUR LIVES...
If you do not agree that Jesus will review the bad along with the good in Christians lives... Please listen very closely to these verses!
1 Corinthians 4:5 (NKJV)
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness (darkest secrets) and reveal the counsels of the hearts (private motivations). Then each one's praise will come from God.
1 John 2:28 (NKJV)
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Romans 14:10-12 (NKJV)
10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt (not your job) for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (His Job). 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NKJV)
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;
1 Corinthians 11:31 (NKJV)
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
It will NOT be any punishment from Jesus for these sins that give us embarrassment or pain... But our own acknowledgement before Him...Of our selfishness... Our wasted time and opportunities... Our mistreatment of the very God of our Salvation!
NEVER will there be a moment in our eternal lives... When we will probably be more thankful and humbled...Over all Jesus Christ has taken upon Himself in shame and wrath on OUR BEHALF... As when we have to see these moments... And then hear Jesus tell us they are paid for and gone... Because of HIS PAIN AND SUFFERING! And when the embarrassment and the fear are burned away with the hay and stubble of our selfish acts on this earth...
Our King Jesus Himself... Will... In great Love, Joy and Pride...Reward you with a Robe of His Righteousness! Give you crowns and rewards to show His Joy in all of the ways you loved Him with your life...Will honor you with a position of authority in His Kingdom based upon your accomplishments in love...And excitedly usher you into a life beyond anything you could ever begin to fantasize about in your wildest dreams!!
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
And I personally believe... This Moment above any other moment...Will most likely be when we receive the White Stone promised in Rev. 2:17...
Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." '
In ancient Greece...A white stone was often given to signify acquittal in a court case... Free from the charge... Not Guilty!! It was also used in ancient Roman athletic games...The winner of a contest was awarded a white stone with his name on it! Used as a special ticket to an awards banquet that would follow!! Marriage Banquet?! WOW!
And where else...Than after hearing all of the personal, unique ways you have served God in your life... All the unique rewards you will receive... Would it be more appropriate to give you a NEW NAME that no one knows but those who receive it?!!
Some say it seems unfair to give such unimaginable, eternal rewards for such a short time of testing and works...I tell you... Just the opposite is true!!
Luke 16:10 (NKJV)
10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
Jesus asks us to stand fast in love for Him just a few short years...And He will reward you with treasures and positions forever...And many still cannot find it in themselves to sacrifice for Him even this short time...I ask myself this everyday now... "Was this a day of wood and stubble; or gold, silver and precious stones?"
1 Corinthians 3:15 (NKJV)
15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Not too long ago... I woke up to what could have... Probably should have...
Been a tragic accident for Micah, Ben and Dakota! Not too long before that... I woke up to Dougie internally hemorrhaging to death... Barely lived!
It can all change, at any age... In an instant...And that thing that always happens to someone else... Happens to you.
Besides this fact... Never has any human being lived as close to the sound of the Trump calling us Home as we do now!! If your story ends today...
What will you feel when you look Jesus Christ in the Eyes as He reviews your life lived for HIM?!
And which one will you hear? "Well Done! My good and faithful servant!" Or..."You have been saved... But as by fire... Your life was wasted?" Or... Will you even BE at this Judgment? Will it be the Great White Throne Judgment to come?
HE is so Worthy... So Loving... So Sacrificial... So Humble...Live the same way for HIM... That HE has lived for YOU! Very, very soon…All will be revealed…And the rewards will be set for eternity…IS HE PLEASED WITH YOUR LIFE?
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