What Happens At The Judgment Seat Of Christ?

Each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
–Romans 14:12

While becoming a Christian exempts us from the condemnation of God, it does not exempt us from God’s evaluation of our life. Every person will someday be judged by God.

The judgment for non-Christians is the Great White Throne Judgment. Those who did not trust in Christ are cast into the Lake of Fire. But those of us who are Christians will stand before an evaluation of our lives called the Judgment Seat of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul said, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” The phrase “judgment seat” refers to a raised platform from which an official rewarded those who had done well in a contest. One day, believers will stand before God to receive rewards for what we did in this life.

To explain what happens at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Paul used three analogies. First, he used a trustee analogy. Romans 14:12 says, “Each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” That word “give an account” refers to a financial manager. A trustee does not own anything; he simply manages the assets that have been entrusted to him. You and I are also managers. We do not own our money. God does. We do not own our lives. God does. He has entrusted to us a certain amount of treasure, time, opportunities, and gifts, and we are to further His agenda, not ours. One day we will give an account to God for what we did with the things we managed.

Second, Paul used a construction analogy. In 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, Paul said, “Like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Your life is like a house you construct. You have the same foundation as every other Christian, and that foundation is Jesus Christ. But you choose what kind of life you build on that foundation. “If any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work” (3:12-13).

Third, Paul used a race analogy. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-26, he said, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim.” This was an allusion to the Isthmian Games, which were held in Athens every two years. Paul was saying, “If you want to win the prize, you have to run in such a way as to win.” Then he alluded to the fact that those who ran at the Isthmian Games did it to receive a perishable wreath. But we do it for an imperishable reward that we will receive from God.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Will Heaven Be The Same For Everyone?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)

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