The Judgment Seat Of Christ

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012

The Judgment Seat Of Christ

“The Judgment Seat Of Christ”

Scripture Text: Romans 14:10-12

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. (Illus.- Several years ago I was talking to a fellow believer when the subject of “the judgment” came up. While I don’t remember how the subject arose, I do remember something that he said to me during the course of our conversation, He said, “Well, I’m saved, therefore I don’t have to worry about the judgment.” At first I thought he was merely referring to the judgment of the unsaved [Great White Throne Judgment], but after talking to him for a little while longer, it became clear to me that he didn’t believe the saved would be judged at all.)
1. This man was not alone.
2. During my ministry, I have come across a number of believers who were of the opinion that just because they were saved, they were NEVER going to be judged.
3. This, of course, is not true!
4. Now it is true that there is a SENSE in which those of us who are saved will never be judged for our sins, the reason being our sins have ALREADY been judged at Calvary.
5. Notice what the Bible says in 1 Pet. 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
6. The apostle John put it like this in 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:…And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
3. That word “propitiation” means atonement or payment.
4. And so, there is a sense in which those of us who are saved will NEVER be judged for our sins, because in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, our sins were judged at Calvary.
5. We could say it like this, “Because Jesus died for our sins, those of us who have trusted Him as our Savior don’t have to worry about our sins keeping us out of heaven!”

B. However, to say or to imply that believers will never be judged is contrary to the plain teaching of the Scriptures.
1. There IS going to be a judgment for the saved!
2. There IS going to be an accounting.
3. There IS going to be a reckoning.
4. It’s called the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST!
5. Notice again Rom. 14:10-12, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ….For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God….So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
6. Paul is not addressing unbelievers here, but rather believers.
7. And so, there IS a judgment that those of us who are saved will face one day.

C. This morning, I want us to notice at least three things about this coming judgment.

D. First of all, I want us to notice…

I. The Certainty Of This Judgment.

A. We’ve already looked at Rom. 14:10-12. Now I want us to look at 2 Cor. 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.”
1. But again, it says, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;”
2. It doesn’t say that…
-we MIGHT appear,
-MAYBE we will appear,
-PERHAPS we will appear,
but rather, we “must” appear!
3. That’s the certainty of this judgment.

B. Listen also to Heb. 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it
with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
1. These words of warning, of course, are intended for pastors, those who have been given the oversight of the Lord’s churches.
2. Paul is saying here that those who pastor the Lord’s churches will one day have to give account for how they have fulfilled their ministry.
3. Peter alluded to this in 1 Pet. 5:2-4. Notice what he wrote to pastors, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;…Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock….And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
4. And so, pastors (under shepherds) will one day have to stand before Jesus (the “chief shepherd”) and give account to Him for their service as a pastor.
5. But this is not limited to pastors.
6. Every believer has been given a ministry.
7. You may not be called to be a pastor, but every believer has been given a ministry by God and will one day have to answer to Him as to how well they have fulfilled that ministry.
8. This is the reality of this judgment.

C. Now let us consider…

II. The Timing Of This Judgment.

A. When will this judgment take place?

B. Notice what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim. 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing…”
1. When will this judgment take place?
2. It will take place at “his (Christ’s) appearing.”

C. There are actually several things, other than the judgment of course, that will take place at Christ’s appearing.
1. Notice 1 Thess. 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:”
2. And so, in addition to the judgment, several things are going to take place at Christ’s appearing.

D. When will the Judgment Seat of Christ actually take place?
1. At some point AFTER we meet the Lord in the air.
2. Some believe that it will actually take place in the air.
3. Others believe that it will take place in heaven.
4. Still others believe that the rapture will not take place until after the tribulation and that the Judgment Seat of Christ will take place here on this earth just before the beginning of Christ’s millennial kingdom.
5. Whichever of these views is correct, this much we know for sure, it will take place SOON after “his appearing.”

E. Someone asks, “Well, when can we expect Christ to appear?”
1. The answer is, when we least expect it.
2. Turn with me to Mat. 24:37-44, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be….For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,…And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be….Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left….Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left….Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come….But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up….Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
3. This is why we should live each as though Christ were returning tomorrow!

F. Finally, this morning, let us consider…

III. The Purpose Of This Judgment.

A. Thus far we have considered the…
-CERTAINTY of this judgment,
-TIMING of this judgment,
now let us consider the PURPOSE of this judgment.

B. The purpose of this judgment is two-fold.
1. First, it’s purpose is to CALL US INTO ACCOUNT.
2. In other words, to hold us accountable to God for how we have lived our lives.
3. Again, Rom. 14:12 says, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
4. And so, first of all, the purpose of this judgment is to call us into account.

C. The second purpose of this judgment is to determine to what extent we will be REWARDED in Christ’s coming kingdom.
1. In other words, to determine what our position will be in that kingdom.
2. Turn with me to Mat. 25:14-21, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods….And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey….Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents….And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two….But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money….After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them….And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more….His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

D. Jesus put it like this in His letter to the church of the Laodiceans, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me….To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:20-21)

E. Now before I conclude this message, I must warn you about a very sad possibility.
1. While everyone who stands at the Judgement Seat of Christ will end up in heaven (because Christ died for our sins), some, because of sinful choices and wasted lives will walk away from that judgement EMPTY HANDED.
2. 1 Cor. 3:13-15, “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.”
3. Just remember that the choices you make today will have a definite bearing on how you fare when, one day, you stand before your Savior.
4. How embarrassed it would be to come away from that judgment empty handed!

Conclusion:

A. What have we learned about the judgment seat of Christ?
1. We’ve learned the CERTAINTY of this judgment (it is going to happen).
2. We’ve learned the TIMING of this judgment (soon after the appearing of our Lord Jesus).
3. We’ve learned the PURPOSE of this judgment (to call us into account and to determine to what extent we will be rewarded in Christ’s coming kingdom).

B. Now what should knowing these things motivate us to do?
1. Paul answered this question in his letter to Titus.
2. Listen to Tit. 2:11-13, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,…Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;…Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
3. Realizing that one day we will all stand before our Savior and give account for the lives we have lived, we should “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”

C. If Jesus were to return today, how would you fare at His judgment???

D. Going to be another judgment (for unsaved).