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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Resurrection and Eternal Judgment, #17
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. (II Corinthians 5:10)
Second Corinthians 5:10, which is the climax of Paul's teaching concerning the receiving of the house from Heaven, has been misinterpreted by many Christian teachers. Its original strength has been taken from it as the believers have attempted to make it conform to their concept of salvation by grace.
It is being taught that no believer need be concerned about the judgment seat of Christ. It is unfortunate that the Apostle Paul did not realize this for he trembled when thinking of the judgment seat (II Corinthians 5:11). The believers of today do not tremble; they do not know the terror of the Lord. But they would if they would receive this verse as it stands.
The word "all" means all persons, not just the Christians. God the Father judges no individual. God has given all judgment into the hands of His Son, Christ. All persons who have ever lived on the earth must appear before the judgment seat of Christ (John 5:22).
The "white throne" judgment of Revelation, Chapter 20 is part of the judgment seat of Christ. The concept of two separate judgment seats is an error in Christian thinking.
The Greek word translated "judgment seat" is beema. The common evangelical attitude views the beema as a place where people are rewarded for their behavior. But the term beema never is used in the New Testament to mean a place where people are rewarded for their works. The beema is the court where the accused are brought to trial. The Lord Jesus stood before the beema of Pilate.
Evangelical theology states that the believer's sins have been judged on the cross and only his works will be judged at the beema of the Lord Jesus. A distinction is made between the sins of the Christians and the works of the Christians.
We agree that the bondage of sin is of Satan. This bondage was destroyed legally on the cross of Calvary and is destroyed in actuality as the Holy Spirit leads the believer in confessing his sins and turning away from them. Only the authority and power of the Divine redemption can forgive sin and remove sin from the believer. The believer will not be condemned because of the bondages residing in his flesh and soul provided he faithfully cooperates with the Holy Spirit in the progressive work of sanctification.
By one offering the Lord Jesus has perfected forever those who are being made holy, those who are abiding in Him and interacting vigorously with His Divine Person and Virtue.
But every human being on earth is judged according to the choices he makes while living on the earth. While we do not have the power to loose ourselves from sin, we do possess the power, as God leads and enables us, to choose to follow Jesus in the work of redemption. We can choose to read the Scriptures, pray, and serve the Lord. It is our diligence in these acts that leads to eternal life and treasures in Heaven. But the believer who neglects his salvation will not escape the wrath of the Lord.
To be continued.