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Judgment Seat of Christ

Q. Since God forgives us when we confess our sins, what is there to deal with at the Judgment Seat of Christ'

A. You are right in thinking that we stand before God as people who are cleared of all charges (Romans 8:1). Nevertheless, when we die we leave unfinished business. God intends to evaluate our lives as Christians and share the information with us.

Paul’s conscience was clear, but that did not make him innocent. At the Judgment Seat (the Bema), Paul says, the Lord “will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:4-5). The passage ends with words of encouragement, not terror: “At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

A review of our lives as believers, with praise, not rebuke, as the main objective, is the purpose of the Bema. If we collect all that is written about it we see that the emphasis is on rewards. God want to commend us, not punish us. See also ! Corinthians 3:10-15.

C. Donald Cole, “Questions & Answers,” Today in the Word, February 1997, pp. 12-13.