Part 1 - The Judgment Seat of Christ
Part 1 - The Judgment Seat of Christ
“we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry (laborers), (and) ye are God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me (Paul), as a wise masterbuilder, I (Paul) 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 (with) gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 (Then) Every man's work shall be made manifest (become apparent): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s Work of what Sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide (survives the fire) 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.”
(1 Cor. 3:9-15 KJV, with emphasis added)
Most believers know of the pre-tribulation Rapture of “the church… the body of Christ,” and of “the Judgment Seat of Christ,” but few understand what that “Judgment” actually involves.
What exactly is this “fire” of “The Judgment Seat of Christ” and what part does it play in God’s eternal plan?
The “Judgment Seat of Christ” will occur soon after the Rapture of “the church… the body of Christ.” At that time, God the Son, Jesus Christ, will review the ‘sort’ or kind of labor was made by each of the members of “the Body of Christ” while they were on earth.
The above verses are one of three passages that deal with this subject. Rom. 14:10-12 refers to “the judgment seat of Christ,” describing this time when “every one of us (Christians) shall give account of himself to God.” Then, 2 Cor. 5:9-10 adds specific detail.
“we Labour (strive to honor Him), that, whether present (with Christ) or absent (while still in the world), we (by our labour) may be accepted (approved) of him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive (of) the Things Done in his body (while on earth), according to that he hath done, whether it be good (faithful and honorable labor) or bad (worthless vain labor).” (2 Cor. 5:9-10 KJV, with emphasis added).
Jesus Christ, at the “Judgment Seat,” will weigh the “sort” (v13) or kind of service we did while “in” our physical bodies while on earth. What we as believers did while “in” our physical body does not save us or cause us to lose our salvation. But, what we did reflects the degree to which we’ve learned, understood, believed and trusted in Paul’s eternal doctrinal truths, having stored them up in our “inner man (soul).”
The issue will be our work’s ‘motive.’ The living Word, which is the written word in the light of Christ’s “Spirit of life,” is able to discern our heart’s motive that was related to the things we’ve done. Was our work of a soulish self-honoring Christian or of a spiritual Christ honoring Christian who was walking in accord with the truth of the revealed “word of God” for today’s age of God’s ‘pure grace’… which truths will encompass eternity in heaven? Christ will dissect and expose the worthless works of the self-soul from that of the believer relying upon the guidance and empowerment of “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
“For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful (Gk. energes, effectual), and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents (motives) of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Was our “work” done as a faithful response to divine leading and instruction, which is a work seen as “gold (divine), silver (redemptive), and precious stones (transformative)”? Or, was our work based upon the corrupt doctrines of a performance based religious works requirement, seen as passing “wood, hay, and stubble”?
Works that are considered as “bad (useless)” works could be; if you were saved but still sting clung to your ‘works,’ thinking it will keep you blessed and favored by God. Such religious works are called “dead works” in Hebrews 9:14, they are not rooted in the work of His life flowing through the believer (cf. Philippians 2:13). Such a one has obviously not gotten hold of the ‘eternal truths of the Cross as demonstration of God’s love, grace, and mercy, as will apply eternally, in ‘the heavenly kingdom.’
You see, the Pauline truths of our grace age are eternal truths, and they will be seen as the standard in the heavenly kingdom.
“Unto me (Paul), who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I (Paul) should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 (This) According to the Eternal Purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” (Ephesians 3:8-11)
Our lives on earth should be a demonstration of God’s eternal purpose in “the fellowship of the mystery” that we have come to enjoy.… that we are one with Him in a joint-life (1Cor. 6:17) … to demonstrate the eternal truths of the “wisdom of God,” who conceived and brought to pass such the glorious “family of God” … through the Cross of Christ, who gave Himself to save us to the uttermost.
We need to be those who live by faith, holding to the divine viewpoint of His eternal purpose, no longer being distracted or troubled by the earthly issues. We’ve learned that this is a very simple life when this one fact has laid hold of our hearts … that the all-sufficient Christ lives within us now as the real us. Whatever situation we are in, we are then able to look away from it and recognize, in faith, that the Lord Himself has put us there, and in it is revealing Himself through us. He puts us in difficult places and with difficult people, so that He can love them through us. We are forced to keep seeing God working all things out in perfect love, even when the externals of life on earth are so imperfect.
So, the question will be… to what extent did we apply the eternal revealed Pauling Truths, by faith, during our earthly life? This will result in either reward or loss of reward.
- Did we allow the corrupt religious teachings that we’ve all heard to infiltrate and remain in our understanding, thereby corrupting our knowledge of God’s love and grace?
- Or, have we matured in our knowledge of the truth and of God’s value system … enough to be judged as being ‘fit to serve Him’ by ‘reigning’ with Christ eternally, in the heaven?
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10)
“If we suffer (endure with Him), we shall also reign (co-reign) with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us (from reigning): 13 If we believe not (distrust Him), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Tim. 2:12-13).
We will further discuss this further ‘reigning’ in the next 2 installments.