Bema (judgment seat) in secular usage had four meanings:
1. Ones stride, or manner of walking (which reveals character).
2. A platform for a public official (cf. Acts 25:6, 10, 17).
3. A “rewards platform” in sporting contests. Because of this meaning, some claim the “bema” is only a place for rewardsnot judgment. But in secular legal contexts it also denotes
4. The place where litigants stood for trial. Paul repeatedly stressed this meaning; Acts 25:10, Romans 14:12.