The Judgment Seat of Christ
Jesse M. Hendley
II Corinthians 5:10
Friends, I want you to turn in your Bibles to Second Corinthians 5:10, and today we are studying one of the most important truths that come to the human mind, The Judgment Seat of Christ, when Christians shall stand before the Lord Jesus to give an account of their lives since they were saved.
There is confusion in the thinking of people about this matter of “Judgment.” When judgment is mentioned in the Word of God, most people think of only one judgment, when the saved and unsaved shall stand together. But that is not true. They shall never be judged together. The Christian has already been judged for sin AT THE CROSS, where Jesus took his judgment for him. The matter of salvation (whether he is going to heaven or not) has already been settled and he cannot “come into judgment” (John 5:24) for that because he has passed from death unto life. The word judgment there in John 5:24 means condemnation; he cannot come into condemnation. Romans 8:1 assures the believer that “there is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus.” But there IS condemnation for those who are out of Christ Jesus, the unbelieving. So Christians will not stand with the unsaved about the matter of SALVATION. Whether or not you are saved is determined in this life.
The other Sunday I tuned in on a preacher and caught a few of his words. He seemed to be an able speaker. He enunciated clearly. It was a delight to hear his voice. But you can imagine my surprise when he made the statement (quoting another preacher) that “on the Day of Judgment” the “one question” that God will ask “everyone” is this: “What did you do with YOUR POSSIBILITIES?” My heart began to sink within me. That is error!
There are two common errors in the statement. The first is that ALL would stand together. He was preaching to an audience composed largely of Christians. He himself was a Christian, and he was quoting a preacher who was a Christian. But, evidently, they were not careful students OF THE BIBLE, because the Bible says there is more than one judgment and they take place at different times, for different purposes, and different people are involved. We must understand the Bible teaching on Judgments if we are to understand the Mind of God on this subject. The Bible does not teach that all of us will be in judgment together.
The second error was that “The Judgment Day” involved the matter of salvation, whether or not the person would be saved. He implied that Salvation was dependent on the results of the question, “What did you do with your possibilities?” As a matter of fact, the one great question that will face the unsaved at the Judgment Bar of God, will be: “What did you do with My Son?” not “What did you do with your possibilities?” Now, for CHRISTIANS at the Judgment Seat of Christ that WILL be the question: “What did you do with your possibilities?” Not only possibilities, but with sins.
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