There is no way of knowing how long your day in court will last. It doesn’t really matter since the realm in which this court is held is beyond time. What we do know is that your case will not involve multiple appearances. Just one. The decision made by the judge will be final. There is no process of appeal, and no higher court to which an appeal could even be made. This is it! One day. One court. One judge. One decision…for all eternity.
2 Corinthians 5:10 is a Bible verse we should read often, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (1 Corinthians 5:10 NIV).
While eternal life is God’s gift of grace to the redeemed (Romans 6:23), heavenly rewards are another matter. Eternal life is given. Eternal rewards are earned. I will spend eternity in heaven as a result of believing in Jesus. But my eternal rewards are based on what I do for Jesus.
While all believers will spend eternity in heaven, not all believers will share the same rewards. The purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ is not to determine your right to enter heaven. The very fact you are there is proof that heaven is your eternal home. The Judgment Seat of Christ is about determining the degree of eternal reward, and that is based solely and completely on what is done for Christ in this life.
My purpose in writing this article is not to frighten you, but to motivate you. Knowing what is coming should motivate us to live for and invest in the eternal.
I believe that is how Paul lived. From what we know of Paul in the Bible, he did not get sidetracked with the things of this life. Worldly ambitions did not move him off target. I believe Paul lived each day under the constant awareness of his court date in eternity. He knew he was going to stand before Jesus and give an account for his life. I believe this, in part, explains his missionary zeal. He went on to explain in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others.”
While the idea of the Judgment Seat of Christ may be an ominous thought for some, it doesn’t have to be. Not now. Not while you can do something about it. So do something about it. Let the knowledge of an approaching court date in eternity inspire you to live differently. Let it influence your decision-making. Let it shape your calendar and arrange your priorities. Let it prompt you to set your heart on things above (Colossians 3:3).
Decide now to live each and every day for the eternal.
This Sunday at RLA --
I am looking forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:30AM as we continue our series on ETERNITY. Last week we learned about a wonderful place Jesus has prepared for those who love Him. It’s a place called Heaven. Just as Heaven exists, so does Hell. This Sunday’s message will focus on this place called Hell and the fact we are all born with pre-made reservations. Something must be done, and I will tell you what that something is this Sunday.
I encourage you to bring someone to church who needs to hear the message.
See you Sunday!