Lesson 14: Judgement Seat of Christ

"Is There a Judgment Day for Christians, and What will I Be Accountable For?"

The Christian life is a series of paradoxical truths. The Bible says God's ways are not our ways because man looks on outward physical matters, while God looks at the heart attitude and operates in the spiritual realm. If you are going to serve God effectively, you must take your focus off of physical matters and concentrate on the spiritual and eternal matters.

This lesson is designed to keep your focus on these eternal matters by detailing your final accountability to the Lord Jesus Christ as His servant.

What Is The "Judgment Seat of Christ?"

    1. God will judge every human being who has ever lived (Proverbs 29:26; Hebrews 9:27)
    2. God judged the sin of the world at Calvary. By placing your faith in Jesus Christ, you do not have to fear judgment of your sins, because He took your judgment upon Himself. (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13)
    3. Your judgment will be for your service to the Lord Jesus Christ after your salvation. this event is called the "Judgment Seat of Christ." (2 Corinthians 5:10; romans 14:10).

What Will I Be Judged For at the Judgment Seat of Christ?

    1. You will be judged for your work as a servant of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
    2. Your work will be judged for the motive behind it and the quality as opposed to the quantity.
      1. It will matter "of what sort (what kind) it is" (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
      2. Heart attitudes will be more important that actual works. if the proper attitudes are developed, the proper works will come naturally (1 Thessalonians 2:4; Ephesians 6:6).

What Are the Negative Consequences of This Judgment?

    1. Paul said in speaking of the Judgment Seat of Christ that it is the "terror of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:11). A Christian should never fear going to Hell, but there are some things to beware of in relation to the final judgment.
    2. Some Christians will be found:
      1. Ashamed for not living for the Lord Jesus Christ at His appearing (1 John 2:28)
      2. Suffering loss because their works were temporal and not eternal (1 Corinthians 3:15)
      3. Losing rewards because they lived in sin rather than for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:7-8).
    3. Remember that appearances are many times very deceiving.
      1. Don't be fooled by outward appearances, in your own life as well as the lives of others. Many people only appear to be servants of the Lord (Luke 16:15; 1 Corinthians 1:27-31).
      2. Be sure to invest in heavenly rewards instead of earthly rewards. The real servants of the Lord will be revealed at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Matthew 6:19-20; Colossians 3:1-4).

What Rewards Are Obtainable?

The rewards obtainable at the Judgment Seat of Christ can be seen by studying the five crowns in the New Testament:

    1. The Crown of Righteousness will be given to those who love the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:8)
      1. The Bible closes with "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelations 22:20)
      2. Your overriding desire should be, at all times, to be with the Lord (Philippians 1:23-24)
    2. The Crown of Life is the martyr's crown (Revelation 2:10).
      1. It will be given to those who endure temptation (James 1:12).
      2. This is the same as the martyr's crown, because you overcome temptation by dying to self (Romans 6:6-11).
    3. The Incorruptible Crown will be given for temperance or moderation (1 Corinthians 9:25).
      1. The context of 1 Corinthians 9:18-27 deal with temperance or moderation in all matters (physical, spiritual and mental) to be a testimony to others.
      2. This is balanced by remembering that some have infirmities for the purpose of glorifying God. Paul is a great example (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
    4. The Crown of Rejoicing is the soul-winner's crown (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
      1. It will be given to those who win people to Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:1)
      2. It is called the crown of rejoicing because it produces rejoicing in Heaven when someone gets saved (Luke 15:7)
    5. The Crown of Glory is the shepherd's crown (1 Peter 5:4)
      1. It will be given to those who pastor or shepherd in the word or God.
      2. The New Testament is very clear that all saved people are to be actively teaching someone the Word of God, not just preachers (Ephesians 4:11-16)
      3. It requires great wisdom which can only be obtained through the Word of god (Proverbs 4:7-9).

Why Should I Worry About the Judgment Seat of Christ?

    1. The focus on the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most practical doctrines for everyday living in the Bible. Notice in the following verses how many practical character qualities are produced by focusing on the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
      1. Patience (James 5:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 3:5)
      2. Peace (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
      3. Joy (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
      4. Holiness (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 John 3:1-3)
      5. Confidence (Philippians 1:6; 1 John 2:28)
      6. Righteous living (Titus 2:11-14)
      7. Faith even in difficult times (1 Peter 1:5-7)
    2. The rewards you receive on Earth are all temporal and will perish. The rewards you receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ are eternal and will never perish (2 Corinthians 4:17- 5:4)
    3. By constantly focusing on the Judgment Seat of Christ, you will naturally develop a desire to please God rather than men. Developing this attitude is the surest way to handle criticism and opposition (2 Corinthians 5:6-9; 1 Corinthians 7:23).

Key Memory Verses

"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him" 2 Corinthians 5:8-9.

"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" 1 John 2:28.

"And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but god knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" Luke 16:15.

Additional Thoughts

In many churches today, some popular teaching are:

    1. God will judge Christians for the sin.
    2. Christians will be judged for what they have done without regard for their motives.
    3. Our rewards and losses are all received in this life.

From the Bible principles taught in this lesson, you should understand that these teachings are false, and why.