The Daily Word of Righteousness

Fifty-two Kingdom Concepts, #42

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. (II Corinthians 5:10—NIV)

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Paul tells us we all must be revealed before the Judgment Seat. The Judgment Seat of Christ began when the Lord rose from the dead, according to Peter, and will conclude when Christ and His saints sit on the great white throne and judge mankind, at the time the earth and the heaven flee from the face of God.

What we have done while on the earth will be examined at the judgment seat. The good we have done will be returned to us at that time. Also, the bad we have done will be returned to us. It is not our heart that is at issue here, it is what we have actually done. As humans we like to believe we really are good in our inner nature even though our deeds are wicked. This is a game we play with ourselves. The truth is, a liar is an individual who lies, not an individual who believes in his heart that he lies.

There is enormous confusion today over the fate of the Christian at the Judgment Seat, most Christian teachers claiming the believer has nothing to worry about because he or she is "saved by grace." This is little more than Satan saying "You shall not surely die."

The reasoning behind the contemporary position is that Christ judged sin on the cross, therefore we cannot be judged for our sins at the Judgment Seat.

While this reasoning is understandable, it is superficial. It is incorrect.

It is true rather that what Christ accomplished for us on the cross made it possible for us to be delivered from sin. The blood atonement is not an eternal amnesty for those who continue to sin. The most casual study of the Epistles will prove my statement to be true.

What, then, is the answer?

The answer is, Christ removed the authority of Satan on the cross. Then Christ set in motion a program of salvation that leads to total deliverance from sin so in the day of resurrection we will reap life instead of death.

First, we cannot release ourselves from the chains of sin. Only the power of God can break the chains of sin. We were born in sin. We did not ask to be born with sinful tendencies. God, who always is equitable, does not condemn us for being born in sin. Even though God does not condemn us for something over which we have no control, it still is true that sin always result in spiritual and physical death.

Second, Christ on the cross made an atonement for the sins of the whole world.

Third, when we receive the blood atonement by faith, our sins are forgiven. However, the sin nature remains.

Fourth, the Holy Spirit begins to lead us to confess our sins and turn away from them.

Fifth, when we diligently confess, denounce, and renounce our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is an eternal judgment. The particular behavior we have confessed and turned away from will never be mentioned at the Judgment Seat.

Sixth, in addition we are to pray each day, read our Bible, gather regularly with fervent believers, give, serve, and otherwise obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, receiving help to do this from God as we come boldly (although politely) before His Presence.

To be continued.