II Corinthians 5:10

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Text: II Corinthians 5:10

THE BEMA SEAT JUDGMENT

INTRODUCTION:

What is it that moves you? What is it that really gets you going, that motivates you to get something done? In II Corinthians 5 and 6 we see a number of things which motivated the Apostle Paul to serve the Lord faithfully. We previously noted one of those things. He was motivated by his knowledge of being absent from the body and present with the Lord. Therefore, he made it his aim in life to be well-pleasing unto the Lord.

In II Corinthians 5:10 we see that there was something else which motivated him. He was motivated by his knowledge of the Bema Seat Judgment, and it is this judgment we want to look at in this message.

I. WHAT DISTINCT JUDGMENTS ARE FOUND IN THE BIBLE?

There are seven of them.

1. The judgment of sin resulting in the death of Christ - John 12:31

This judgment occurred at the cross.

John 12:31 - Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

2. The self-judgment of the believers

I Corinthians 11:31-32 - 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

3. The judgment of the believer's works

II 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.

Verse 10 provides the reason Paul makes it his aim in life to be pleasing to the Lord.

For introduces the reason and is understood in the sense of because.

We must all appear, where we includes Paul and the Corinthian believers as well as all believers everywhere, is that we all must appear is necessary. There will be no choice in the matter.

All means that there are no exceptions. No believers will escape this judgment.

Where all believers must appear is before (i.e. in front of) the judgment seat of Christ.

The judgment seat refers to the Bema seat judgment of believers, which will occur after the rapture. It refers to a judicial bench.

Of Christ suggests Christ's. He will be the One sitting on the judgment seat, judging believers.

This judgment is also referred to in I Corinthians 3:11-15 as well as Romans 14:12 .

I Corinthians 3:11-15 - (11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (13) 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. (14) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Romans 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Back to II 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 indicates the purpose for which all believers must appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

That is in order that or for the purpose that.

Every one is each one and refers to each believer.

May receive is may receive as a recompense.

The things done in his body is literally the things through the body.

The things refers to his deeds or his actions. Done has been supplied from the next phrase where it is actually stated.

In his body suggests in (or through) his physical body during his lifetime following his salvation. The body is thus viewed as the intermediate agent of the actions he, i.e. every one, the direct agent, has done. It is through the body he has carried out what he has done, whether good or bad. It furthermore suggests that he, the real person, is responsible for the actions done through his body and that the body is not actually responsible.

According to that he hath done indicates the basis of the judgment.

According to that is according to what things in the sense of in accordance with (i.e. with reference to, with regard to, or pertaining to) what things.

He hath done is he did or he accomplished, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

Whether it be good or bad refers to the things done in his body.

Whether . . . or suggests two possibilities.

As indicated by the italics, it be has been supplied by the translators to aid the understanding of the English reader.

It be good suggests something that has worth or something that has merit.

Bad is understood in the sense of worthless.

It is a reminder of I Corinthians 3:11-15 in which one's deeds are described by various building materials ranging from valuable to worthless and from less combustible to most combustible: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble.

Those works that are good or of worth will receive a reward. Those works that are bad or worthless will not receive a reward.

This does not mean that believers will receive punishment or be punished at the judgment seat of Christ for things they have done in this life. Their punishment was completely paid for at the cross by Christ. By the time believers appear at the judgment seat of Christ, their old sin natures will have been forever removed; and their physical bodies will have been replaced by their resurrection bodies which are sinless.

Also, when God says in Hebrews 8:12 , For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more, it leads to the conclusion that this passage is speaking only of rewards or loss of rewards, i.e. of receiving rewards or of not receiving them. It does not speak of punishment for sins.

4. The judgment of individual Gentiles at the Second Coming of Christ to determine which Gentiles will enter the Millennial Kingdom

Matthew 25:31-46 - 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations (- These are all Gentiles) : and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand ( - These are saved Gentiles physically alive at the Second Coming), but the goats on the left ( - These are unsaved Gentiles physically alive at the Second Coming). 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand (i.e. to the sheep, the saved Gentiles), Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous (i.e. the sheep, the saved Gentiles) answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ( - These are Jews during the tribulation), ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand (i.e. the goats, the unsaved Gentiles), Depart from me, ye cursed ( - They are cursed because they are unsaved), into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The Gentiles are not saved by treating the Jews well during the tribulation; rather, they treat the Jews well during the tribulation because they are saved.

5. The judgment of individual Israelites to determine which Jews will enter into the kingdom blessing, i.e. into the Millennial Kingdom.

Ezekiel 20:36-38 - 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

6. The judgment of the unsaved dead after the Millennium will determine the degree of punishment each unbeliever will receive in the lake of fire.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:11-15 - 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (i.e. hades) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

7. The judgment of the fallen angels

Jude 6 - 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.

II. WHAT IS UNDER JUDGMENT AT THE BEMA SEAT JUDGMENT IN II CORINTHIANS 5:10?

Romans 14:10-13 - 10 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. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

I Corinthians 3:10-15 - 10 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. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 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. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

III. MIGHT BELIEVERS BE CAST INTO HELL AS A RESULT OF THIS BEMA SEAT JUDGMENT? - NO!

I John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Hebrews 10:17 - And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:6 - Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:14-15 - 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 21:8 - But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

IV. WHEN WILL THIS BEMA SEAT JUDGMENT OCCUR?

I Corinthians 4:5 - Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

II Timothy 4:8 - Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:12 - And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 4:4 - And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Elders who seem representative of believers in this age are pictured at the beginning of the Tribulation as wearing crowns of gold which would appear to be symbolical of rewards. Thus, believers in the church age will have their works judged shortly after the rapture.

CONCLUSION:

Inasmuch as we know that we are going to be judged according to our works, that should motivate us to be living for the Lord now.