“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
It is sobering to think that we will all face a replay of our entire life when we see the Lord after this present life. We will be reminded of all our thoughts, words, and actions, good or bad. This Bema seat judgment is for those who have trusted only in Jesus’ substitutionary atonement for forgiveness of sin and eternal life. (Those who persist stubbornly in rebellion against God, trusting only in themselves, will face a different judgment. That will be based only upon their acceptance or rejection of God’s generous offer of forgiveness through Christ. )
We believers tend to minimize this Bema seat judgment or put it out of our minds. We rationalize our sins as minor or compare ourselves to others who seem outwardly worse than we are. We think that our secret sins of thought are hidden from public view and do not hurt anyone. But God says we cause ourselves great loss to continue on in such thinking.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
“Behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23
In the early church, some reckless livers felt that this supposed judgment was so far in the future they might as well live as if it were non-existent.
“3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” But . . .
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” 2 Peter 3:3-4, 9-11
This is a sober warning to us all. This is playing for keeps. “God is not mocked.” Now is the time to turn around and salvage the rest of our lives. Proud doer, drop from your hands your own accomplishments which you hope will make you acceptable in God’s sight. With your empty hands receive God’s free gift of forgiveness and eternal life, made possible by Christ. You who have believed this, trusting only in Christ’s death to save you, allow Him to live within you, empowering you to forsake sin and live an obedient life, one that will result in being able to hear, “well-done good and faithful servant.“