The Judgment Seat of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Corinthians 13:13-15
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11,
9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
In a book a few days ago I came across a statement that gripped me. The statement was this: Do you realize that we are only a heartbeat away from a fixed state of reward, be it joy or shame. The phrase that really got hold of me was that phrase a fixed state of reward. Just one heartbeat, just one breath away from what I will be throughout all eternity. More and more I began to think about this fixed state, realizing that where I take off in time, I take up in eternity. As a man lives, he dies; and as he dies, he lives again in that condition throughout all eternity—just a heartbeat away from a fixed state of reward. The thought that came to me is if this heart should take its last beat, and I come into that fixed state of reward, is it what I want it to be? Realizing that there is nothing that can change it after that, that all I am going to do to determine my life, my existence in eternity, must be done this side of that heartbeat, what would it be? Would it be of joy or of shame? Paul realized that this life is just a prep room for eternity—that everything we do in this life, everything we do in our bodies in some way or another determines our fate, our condition, on the other side of that heartbeat. As he writes to these Christians at Corinth, his mind is traveling to that judgment seat, and he recognizes that all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and there receive for what we have done, good or ...
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