Doctrine of the Judgment Seat of Christ
11/11/2016

I. Definition
A. Greek Word bhvma; beœma —a raised place mounted by steps or platform upon which a judge sits and makes judgements. In the NT, it is used for both Roman officials (Jn. 19:13; Acts 18:12,16) and Jesus Christ.

B. The Judgment Seat of Christ is the place from which Jesus Christ will judge (2 Cor. 5:10) all believers for their deeds.

C. It is also called the Judgement Seat of God (Rom. 14:10).

D. In this doctrine, the Judgement Seat of Christ is being defined as both as an event in the future when all believers from Adam to the Second Advent are evaluated for their life and deeds in obedience and service to Christ.

II. Basis for Judgement

A. For how the believer lived his life on this earth.
(Matt. 16:27)

The next two passages are a general statements about the judgments of both believer and unbeliever without distinguishing between the different times and events of each.

Rom.2:5 But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Rom. 2:6 “who will render each according to his works:”
Rom. 2:7 to those who by perseverance in good work seek glory and honor and immortality, he will render eternal life;
Rom. 2:8 but to those who out of selfish ambition disobey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, he will render wrath and anger.

John 5:27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
John 5:28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
John 5:29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. NIV11

This John passage refers to a judgment after the resurrections of both believer and unbeliever in separate events.

2Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. NIV11

Note: Those who have done good, have already trusted in Christ, for only believers can do good, that is divine good. The religious unbeliever may think he is doing good for God, when in fact, he is not. It gains no merit with God.

Matt. 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
Matt. 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Rev. 22:12 ¶ “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. NIV84

B. For men’s secrets.

Rom. 2:16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of men according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

Eccl. 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
NIV11

C. For every careless word

Matt. 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

D. For how we respond to governing authorities.

Rom. 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

E. For the quality of the believer’s works and service

1Cor. 3:8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
1Cor. 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1Cor. 3:10 ¶ By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
1Cor. 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Cor. 3:12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
1Cor. 3:13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
1Cor. 3:14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
1Cor. 3:15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. NIV11

1Cor. 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.
1Cor. 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
NIV11

Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap, [reward]
Gal. 6:8 because the one who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh and he who sows to the Spirit will reap from the Spirit eternal life.
Gal. 6:9 Let us not lose heart doing good; for in due time, we will reap if we do not give up.
Gal. 6:10 Therefore, in conclusion, as we have opportunity, let us do good toward all people and especially to the household of the faith.

(See the Doctrine of Crowns)

F. For contributing the evangelism and spiritual growth of others

1Th. 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,
1Th. 2:12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
1Th. 2:13 ¶ And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

1Th. 2:19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?
1Th. 2:20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
NIV11

G. For endurance in suffering for Christ

Matt. 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Matt. 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. NIV11

Luke 6:22 ¶ Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
Luke 6:23 ¶ “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. NIV11

2Tim. 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;
NIV11

Rom. 8:17 and if children, heirs also—that is, heirs of God and heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him that we may also be glorified with him.
Rom. 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2Cor. 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

III. The Time of the Judgement Seat of Christ.
A. At the Second Advent

Matt. 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

1Cor. 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
NIV11

1Pet. 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

1John 2:28 ¶ And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
NIV84
1 Thess. 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

1 Th. 3:13 so that your hearts may be established blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones

B. At the First Resurrection of the Saints

John 5:28 ¶ “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
John 5:29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. NIV11

Dan. 12:13 But as for you, go your way to the end. You will rest and then rise for your allotted portion [reward] at the end of days.

C. At the Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet
(from the heavenly perspective).

Rev. 11:18 The nations were angry;
and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your saints and those who reverence your name,
both small and great—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

IV. The Judge is Jesus Christ

A. God the Father Appointed Christ to Judge

Acts 10:40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.
Acts 10:41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
Acts 10:42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
NIV84

Acts 17:31 For he (God the Father) has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

John 5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
John 5:22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, NIV11

Rom. 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise your brother. For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

B. Jesus Christ as the Son of Man will judge

1. Son of Man recalls the vision of Daniel where the Son of Man, that is God the Son, Jesus is approaching the Ancient of Days, that is God the Father.Dan. 7:13
2. Jesus Christ calls himself the Son of Man on several occasions (Matt. 8:20;9:6;11:19;12:32 etc.).
3. The Son of Man returns in the future (Matt. 10:23;16:28;24:27,30,37,:24:39,44;25:31;26:64,etc.).
4. The Son of Man will come to judge

Matt. 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
NIV84

Luke 18:8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
NAS95

Luke 21:36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
NIV84

5. The Son of Man will share with twelve disciples judgement over the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matt. 19:28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
Israel. NIV84

C. It is Called the Judgment Seat of Christ

2Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. NIV11

1Cor. 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.
1Cor. 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
NIV84

V. The Purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ and reward

A. To bring out everything in the believer’s life for an evaluation.

1Cor. 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

B. To bring glory to God

Eph. 1:11 ¶ In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
Eph. 1:12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
Eph. 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
Eph. 1:14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession— to the praise of his glory.

VI. Motivation to Serve Faithfully for Reward
Scripture repeatedly encourages the believer to glorify God both in his life and service with the goal of eternal rewards.

A. Judgement begins with believers

1Pet. 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1Pet. 4:18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”a a
1Pet. 4:19 ¶ So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

B. In reverent fear, expecting judgment

1Pet. 1:17 ¶ Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners [sojourners] here in reverent fear.

C. Remain steadfast in the faith as to not lose reward.

1Cor. 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
NIV11

Heb. 10:34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. NIV11
Heb. 10:35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
Heb. 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. NIV11

D. So we will not be condemned like the world

1Cor. 11:31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.
1Cor. 11:32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
NIV11

E. Be motivated from the heart

Col. 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Col. 3:24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Col. 3:25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
NIV11

Matt. 6:19 ¶ “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Matt. 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matt. 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. NIV11

G. To win the prize.

Phil. 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
Phil. 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
NIV11

1Cor. 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
1Cor. 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
NIV11

2Tim. 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
2Tim. 2:6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
2Tim. 2:7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
NIV11

H. God rewards those who seek him.

Heb. 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him
NIV11

J. Believers of the past looked forward to their reward

Heb. 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Heb. 11:25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
Heb. 11:26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
NIV1

K. God has great reward waiting for believers

1Cor. 2:9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” —
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Eph. 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

VII. Losing rewards

A. Lack of production
Matt. 13:22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Matt. 13:23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Cf. Mk. 4:18-19;Lu. 8:14

B. Misled by phony religious types

Col. 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. NIV11

C. If one’s work carefully built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ

1Cor. 3:10 ¶ By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.
1Cor. 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Cor. 3:12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
1Cor. 3:13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
1Cor. 3:14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.
1Cor. 3:15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

D. By being deceived into false teaching

2John 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.
2John 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

E. Not being faithful and wise with what spiritual gifts and opportunities God gives us

See the parables of the wise and faithful servants, the ten virgins, talents (Matt. 24:45-25:30), mina (Lu. 19:11-27).

Parable of the Mina

Luke 19:11 ¶ While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.
Luke 19:12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.
Luke 19:13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
Luke 19:14 ¶ “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
Luke 19:15 ¶ “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
Luke 19:16 ¶ “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
Luke 19:17 ¶ “ ‘Well done, my good servant!’a his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
Luke 19:18 ¶ “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
Luke 19:19 ¶ “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
Luke 19:20 ¶ “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
Luke 19:21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
Luke 19:22 ¶ “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?
Luke 19:23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
Luke 19:24 ¶ “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
Luke 19:25 ¶ “ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
Luke 19:26 ¶ “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
Luke 19:27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’ ” NIV11

F. Just to be seen, a hypocrite

Matt. 6:1 ¶ “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Matt. 6:2 ¶ “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Matt. 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Matt. 6:4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matt. 6:5 ¶ “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Matt. 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NIV11

Matt. 6:16 ¶ “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Matt. 6:17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
Matt. 6:18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. NIV11

G. Not giving yourself fully to the work of the Lord

1Cor. 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
NIV11

VII. The Giving of Rewards

A. One’s social status does not affect one’s reward

Eph. 6:7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,
Eph. 6:8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

B. Contrary to the way the world sees believers

Luke 13:29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
Luke 13:30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

C. Based upon God’s generous grace

Those who served only a short time, receive as much as those who served the maximum time.

Parable of the Landowner Matt. 19:30-20:16