- THE BEMA SEAT JUDGEMENT & THE JUDGEMENTS TO FOLLOW
After the Rapture, the next major event for the church will be the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven. All believers from the church age—the time between the Day of Pentecost and the Rapture—will appear individually before God to receive rewards or loss of reward, based on their life, service, and ministry for the Lord. The purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ is not to determine whether people will enter heaven or hell or to punish sin. The issue at the Judgment Seat is not salvation but rewards. Salvation is based wholly on grace through Christ’s work for us (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rewards are based on our works for Christ after we received Him as our Saviour. It is the fruit we bear as a result of our salvation.
Corinthians 5:10 says every believer must face judgment “according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
The New Testament focuses on five specific rewards, sometimes called crowns, that the faithful will receive at the judgment seat. These crowns represent the kinds of conduct and service that the Lord will reward.
- THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN (1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27)
This is the reward for those who consistently practice self-discipline and self-control. It is the crown that will not fade away.
- THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (2 TIMOTHY 4:8)
The crown of righteousness is the reward for those who eagerly look for the Lord’s coming and live a righteous life in view of this fact.
- THE CROWN OF LIFE (JAMES 1:12; REVELATION 2:10)
The sufferer’s crown is given to those who faithfully endure and persevere under the trials and tests of life.
- THE CROWN OF REJOICING (1 THESSALONIANS 2:19)
The soul winner’s crown is given to those who win people for Christ.
- THE CROWN OF GLORY (1 PETER 5:1-4)
The shepherd’s crown will be given to those pastors, elders, and church leaders who lovingly, graciously and faithfully shepherd and oversee God’s people.
The redeemed will fall down and worship the Lord, “and they [will] lay their crowns before the throne and say, ‘You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased’” (Revelation 4:10-11).
In addition to these crowns, there appear to be two other main rewards the faithful will receive. The first one is greater responsibility and authority in the coming Kingdom. Believers will occupy various positions of authority in God’s Kingdom based on how well we lived our lives here on earth (Luke 19:13-26). The second reward may be an increased capacity and ability to reflect the Lord’s glory. Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.”
THERE WILL BE SEVEN JUDGEMENTS IN FUTURE:
- The Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Church-age believers will appear before the judgment Seat of Christ in heaven for reward. This will happen soon after the rapture of the church.
- Old Testament Believers (Daniel 12:1-3)
All Old Testament believers will be resurrected and rewarded after the Second Coming.
- Martyred Tribulation Saints (Revelation 20:4-6)
Those who trust Christ during the Tribulation and are martyred will be resurrected and rewarded at the end of the Tribulation.
- Jews Living at the Second Coming (Ezekiel 20:34-38)
All Jews who survive the Tribulation will be judged right after the Second Coming. The saved will enter the millennial kingdom, and the lost will be purged.
- Gentiles Living at the Second Coming (Matthew 25:31-46)
All Gentiles who survive the Tribulation will be judged immediately after the Second Coming when Christ sits on His glorious throne. This is often referred to as the judgment of the “sheep and the goats.” The righteous will enter the millennial kingdom, and the unrighteous will be cast into hell. This will however not be their final judgement.
- Satan and Fallen Angels (Revelation 20:10)
The final judgment of Satan and fallen angels (demons) will take place after the millennial kingdom (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
- The Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15)
The final judgment of all unrighteous people will occur at the end of the Millennium. They will be judged according to their works and cast into the lake of fire.