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Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday's Message: The Judgment Seat of Christ

II Corinthians 5:9-10 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 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.

Believer, did you know that one day you too will stand before God and give an account for your life? It is not just the unsaved that will stand before God and give an account for their lives. Everyone will stand before God. In the book of Revelation, chapter 20, the Bible speaks of two different judgments, one for the saved and one for the unsaved. In verses 4-6, it speaks of the first resurrection; this is where the first judgment, of the saved, will take place. Then in verses 11-15 it speaks of the Great White Throne Judgment where the Lamb’s Book of Life is opened and any whose names are not written in it are cast into the Lake of Fire, this is the second death. The first death was instantaneous, experienced by all at their physical death, as Paul wrote, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, this is for the Christian. But for the lost person the second death is eternal, eternal separation from God and torment in the Lake of Fire. I pray that you have trusted Christ as your Savior and if you haven’t I pray that you do that today, if you are not 100% sure that you would go to heaven please follow this link and we can show you how to be saved.

Let us now turn our focus onto that first judgment. This is the first resurrection spoken of in Rev. 20:4-6, described here in our text verse of II Corinthians 5:9-10, and further described in I Corinthians 3:10-15. Some biblical scholars differ on when this judgment will take place some place it at the end of the Tribulation as taken from Rev. 20:4-6. Some place it at the moment of death as taken from II Cor. 5:9-10. The question of when it takes place is not the important question. The important question is: are you prepared for it?
It is clear from the context of the passage that this judgment is for believers and not for unbelievers. It is not a judgment to determine salvation but a judgement of our good works to determine our reward. Jesus said many times that in Heaven the last shall be first and the first shall be last. This lets us know that God will determine our place in Heaven based on our actions on Earth. Then Paul further clarified in the letters to the church at Corinth exactly what will be judged and how they will be judged. In II Cor. 5:10 he states who will be judged: we “must all appear”, that is, every believer. Then he states what will be judged: “that he may receive the things done in his body,according to that he hath done”. These are our actions, or deeds.
However, at the judgment seat of Christ is it not enough to have done good deeds but to have a pure motive for doing them. Lots of Christians do good things so that they may receive glory, or out of obligation, or worse, they do no good deeds and continue in sin. Paul tells us in I Cor. 3:11-15 what will happen to those deeds.  “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.If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
So we see here that at this judgment our deeds as Christians will be tried by fire. We may be saved, but if our lives were nothing but sin and selfishness, it will burn away and we will have no reward.  However, if we live for God, win souls, serve Him with our lives in whatever He has called us to do, selflessly serving others, then the Bible says that will come out of the fire as gold, silver, and precious stones. This is also where the many crowns mentioned in the Bible will be given out. Not crowns for us to wear but to cast at the feet of Jesus, because truly it is only because of Him that we receive any reward at all. Many Christians will see the entirety of their lives go up in smoke, the only thing that will remain will be what we did for Christ out of a pure heart.
So what does this mean to us today? Well, I go back to my first question. Are you prepared for the Judgement Seat of Christ? Is your life filled with good works or sin? What will you have left of your life? Will you have gold and silver, souls to your account? Or will you have wood, hay, and stubble, a life of sin and selfishness? Live for Christ, serve Him here on Earth and your reward will be in Heaven.

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