Our Just Rewards
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
There is a misconception going around that we're going to stand before Jesus Christ and all of our sins are going be blown up on a big screen. Some have even decided that everything happens at one big moment, the judgment seat of Christ happening together with the great white throne. This a misunderstanding of what the term means when it talks about the judgment seat of Christ.
There are some major judgments in Scripture and God is very specific with each one having its own time and its own place recorded for us.
The judgment of sin is recorded in all four gospels. The payment for sin happened on Calvary's cross. It was there that He who knew no sin became sin for us. God judged sin completely in the death of Jesus Christ.
The judgment of self in I Corinthians 11:31, Paul said this: "If we judge ourselves we shall not, be judged.” What did Paul mean by that statement? If we are careful to judge ourselves here on earth, we will not be chastened by God but, if we do sin and are not careful to bring our lives under the control of the Holy Spirit of God, He will discipline us.
The judgment of believer's works will take place after the rapture, in heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:10 ~ For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Every believer is going to give account of himself to God. A man once asked Daniel Webster what was the greatest thought he had in his life and he said, "The greatest thought I ever had was my personal accountability to God." God knows that we need to be accountable to somebody. Our highest goal in pleasing God is that we as believer’s realize we are accountable to God for our life. Some deeds we have done in our bodies will bring eternal reward and other deeds, will be burned up because they are of no eternal value. This does not include our sins, they have been paid for already on the cross and Christ remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12). We as Christians should not be afraid of the judgment seat of Christ. Paul wrote, And then shall every man have praise of God (I Corinthians 4:5). There are no losers in Christianity. We will all receive praise of God. The Bema is a place of honor, reward, dignity and prominence.
Most of our time should be spent on things which bring eternal rewards. I Corinthians 3:8-14 ~ Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (The word bad does not mean sin but worthless. God sorts the good or valuable from the bad or the worthless.)
The judgment of the earth, at the end of the tribulation, is very clear according to, (Peter 3:10-13). The judgment of the Gentiles is explained in Matthew 25:31-46, where the Lord comes and separates the believing Gentiles from the unbelieving Gentiles. The unbelieving ones are cast into hell. The believing ones go into the kingdom. The place is earth and the time is the end of the tribulation.
The judgment of Satan and his demons in Jude 6 says, And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. God has planned a special judgment for Satan and his angels. It is at the end of the thousand- year kingdom. Satan is loosed for a little season at the end of the millennial kingdom, and then God takes him and the Bible says, And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
The judgment of the unsaved recorded in Revelation 20:11-15, is called the great white throne judgment. Right after the thousand-year reign of Christ, there is a resurrection. All of the ungodly are brought before the throne and Christ judges them out of the books that are written. They cannot make it on the bases of their own good deeds and are thrown into the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Thought: Some people say that the judgment seat of Christ is the judgment in which God is going to punish believers for all the sins they did after they were saved. They teach that when you got saved that took care of the sins up to your salvation, but when you get up there to the judgment seat all the sins you did since you've been saved are going to be flashed up on the screen. If one thought about that long enough, no one would want to go to heaven under those conditions. This makes the cross a travesty, a false representation of what Christ did for us, and that God can only handle our sins up to a certain point.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was for past, present and future sins. All sins have been forgiven to the one who has repented of their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just one sin unforgiven would send them to hell. According to Romans 6 through 8 we are not under law, we are under grace. There is no way that any sin in the life of a Christian is unforgiven but, it does cost the believer in loss of fellowship with the One who died to pay for their sins.
The payment for sin is complete but, we can be ashamed at His coming. 1 John 2:28 ~ And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. Our lives should be characterized by our walk, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.