Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prophecy series #5: Bema Judgment

The Bema Judgment is the judgment Christians will face at the return of Christ. It will not be a judgment of condemnation for sin, but a throne from which Christ will reward the way Christians have served Him. For some Christians it will be a joyful experience. For others who lived only for themselves, it will be a time of shame and sorrow.

Before we proceed any further, understand that for those of us who have put our trust in Christ there is absolutely no condemnation. Christ has paid the full penalty for our sins. We stand clothed in His righteousness. II Corinthians 5:21 Romans 8:1 John 3:18 John 5:24

Christ is the foundation of our lives. We rest in His finished work on the cross. However, how we build on that foundation and live our lives as Christians is of great consequence.
I Corinthian 3:9-15 II Corinthian 5:9-15. Not only does He judge our works for Him, but also our motives. Romans 14:4, 10-13 He examines and rewards our faithfulness to Him. Luke 12:35-48 19:12-26. In these Luke passages it is evident that rejoicing awaits some Christians and shame and incalculable loss awaits other Christians.

It is an awful thing to lose our home and possessions in a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood or earthquake. It is an painful loss to see our retirement savings disappear in a bad investment or through inflation. It is a sorrowful loss when a beloved spouse, child or loved one dies. But all these losses do not compare to the loss of rewards at the Bema Judgment Seat.

This judgment determines our responsibility and authority in Christ’s Kingdom for one thousand years. II Timothy 2:12 says, “If we suffer (for Christ now in this present age) we shall also reign with Him (in the Millennium): if we deny Him (now in this present age) He also will deny us (authority in the Millennium).”

To the Church of Thyatira Jesus says in Revelation 2:26-27 “And he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power (authority) over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron.” Psalm 2 says that Jesus is going to rule with a rod of iron, but we rule with Him with His power and authority.

In Revelation 5:10 we read that Jesus has made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign over the earth.

Revelation 20:4 assures us we shall reign with Christ a thousand years.

In I Corinthians 6:1-8 Paul clearly warns us that it is shameful sin for Christians to sue other Christians and take them to court. Christians are to work out their differences as brothers and sisters in Christ. In this passage Paul reminds us that one day we will be judging the world in the Kingdom Age. In fact, he states in this passage that we will even be judging angels! Imagine that! I doubt that Christians who cannot work out disagreements today in a spirit of love and fairness are going to be given authority to judge and rule in the Kingdom Age.
Read Luke 12:41-48 again. I cannot see how this refers to unsaved people in any way. The entire passage speaks of the conduct and attitude of God’s servants. In this passage it is unmistakable that when Christ returns to judge us at the Bema Judgment; not only will there be crowns and rewards, but there will also be tears of loss and sorrow. It even speaks of stripes and pain.

You say, “I thought that when we go to Heaven, that is the end of tears and sorrow and pain.” Turn to Revelation 21:1-4 and you will see that at the end of the Millennium as we enter into the New Heaven and New Earth, that it’s then that God wipes away all tears. Then there will be no more sorrow or pain. But I believe that during the Millennium, there will be Christians who because of their unfaithfulness to God in this life, will experience pain and shed tears of sorrow and great loss.

Though eternal life can never be lost by a Christian, crowns and rewards can be lost. That is clearly stated in Revelation 3:11 II John 7-11 I Corinthians 9:24-27. Many think that when one puts his trust in Christ, he is saved. That’s the end of it. From then on it doesn’t matter how he lives. They think they can live as they please with no eternal consequences, but they are wrong.

Yes, salvation is a gift of God’s grace given to those who put their trust in Christ. We can do nothing to earn it or keep it. We are kept by the power of God. But there is much more to salvation than just having a ticket to Heaven.
There’s a race to be run and won. Hebrews 12:1-2
There’s a battle to be won against Satan. Ephesians 6:10-17
There’s a life to be lived for God’s glory. Ephesians 1:12

Perhaps you are thinking, ” I don’t care about judging and reigning in the Kingdom Age. I’m just glad to get into Heaven. I’m going to take my chances and just live for myself on this earth and then enjoy eternity when I die.” One who talks or thinks this way is like a two year old who chooses shiny worthless trinkets rather than a certificate that would give him an inheritance that would make him a millionaire.

I close by paraphrasing II John 8 “Watch out how you live your life as a Christian Don’t lose the gains you have made. Live for Him to the very end so that you receive a full reward!”

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June 3, 2006 - Posted by | Prophecy Series

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