Paul says believers must stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Why?
One reason is because of the simple fact that we belong to God.
Our lives are not our own. Paul tells us in Romans 14:7, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might b the Lord both of the dead or the living.” We, each one of us, have been given a certain stewardship by God. We have in other words been given a life to manage. Your life is different than mine. You come from a different place than I do. You have been given different talents than me. You have a different life to manage than I do. But the one thing we have in common is that my life and your life is not my life or your life, it is Jesus’ life, it belongs to Him and because He is Lord, He will evaluate the life He gave us.
A second reason that believers must stand before the judgment seat of God is so that God can put His glorious grace on display in the way that He transformed and changed His people to become and more like Jesus Christ.
Anything good in my life, anything good that comes out of my life, what caused it, why did it happen? Is it because I was something, because I was a good person, no if God left me to myself, I would have absolutely nothing to show Him on judgment day. If there’s anything that pleases God, you know what? Everybody is going to look at that thing and they are not going to be thinking how great is Josh, look at what Josh did, no, there are going to be saying to themselves and to others, isn’t GOD GREAT? Look at the way He was able to take someone like that, with all those weaknesses and all those sins and all those problems and He was still able to accomplish something through him.
It’s kind of like you can imagine an artist with a broken paint brush, whose able to take that broken paint brush and somehow even though it is all warped and funny and its even missing hair for the brush, he’s able to take it a paint a beautiful picture; you don’t at the end of that say, wow, what a paint brush no you say, man what an artist and that is part of what God may intend in the judgement of believers, the revealing of His glorious grace in transforming our lives completely.
A third reason God must judge the believer is because it is necessary to carry out His plan of honouring us as believers.
He’s going to show the world, these people you have despised and thought of as nothing are in fact, my sons and daughters, they belong to Me, they are my precious possession.
This is going to be an awesome day for believes. Charles Spurgeon he once put it like this, What a day it will be for the righteous! For some of them were—perhaps some here present are—lying under some very terrible accusation of which they are perfectly guiltless. All will be cleared up, then, and that will be one great blessing of that day. There will be a resurrection of reputations as well as of bodies!
Men call the righteous fools—then shall they shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father! They hounded them to death as not being fit to live. In early ages they laid to the Christians charges of the most terrible character which I should count it shame to mention. But then they will all be clear—and those of whom the world was not worthy, who were driven and hunted about and made to dwell in the caves of the earth—they shall come forth as worthy ones and the world shall know her true aristocracy, earth shall own her true nobility! The men whose names she cast out as evil shall, then, be held in great repute, for they shall stand out clear and transparent without spot or blemish! It is well that there should be a trial for the righteous, for the clearing of them, the vindication of them and that it should be public, defying the ridicule and criticism of all mankind.”
Another way to put it and I like it a little better actually is that one of the reasons it is necessary for God to judge us is so that Jesus has the opportunity to complete the work He came for in the first place. In Colossians 1, Paul tells us Jesus’ goal in coming and dying on our behalf. Listen to this. “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross, through Him I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death…” why? Here it is, “IN order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
We don’t see believers on the last day being shamed. Instead we see them being presented holy, blameless and above reproach and that’s because Jesus didn’t come and die simply that you might be forgiven now, He came and died for a great day in the future, when your bodies will be raised up, glorified and you will be made able to stand before the judge of the Universe with confidence and joy because of Jesus’ work on your behalf.
A fourth reason is to vindicate/demonstrate the reality of their salvation!
2 thoughts on “Why Do Believers Need to Stand Before the Judgment Seat”
To Him was the glory.
To Him is the glory.
To Him all the glory will be.
I remember when I first started coming to the Bible study at your house in Quakertown, I asked you about this and could not find peace or comfort knowing that God, who is kind, loving, and compassionate, would expose me in front of all mankind.
It’s beautiful to know God is growing you, and strengthening your understanding of who He is so that you can write something like this that gives answers to the questions that have the capacity to haunt the soul.