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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Expounding 2 Corinthians 5:10 — The Judgment Seat of Christ

Expounding 2 Corinthians 5:10
— The Judgment Seat of Christ [Print Document]

2 Corinthians 5:10
“[10] For 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.”

Many have heard about the judgment of unbelievers before God’s great, white throne (Revelation 20). But, probably fewer have heard of Christ’s judgment of believers. Before we go further, let’s stop and explain that Jesus Christ’s blood alone can save us from our sins and bring us into Heaven (Romans 5). Whatever good works we have done will mean nothing if we have not made Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our good works are actually filthy rags, if we have not made Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Isaiah 64:6
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

As you may know, Jesus Christ came to take our sins upon Himself and die, and He rose from the dead on the third day, according to the scriptures that prophesied of Him (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus Christ makes us righteous by His blood that He shed (Romans 5).

The Judgment of a Christian

When a Christian dies, he (or she) will go to Heaven and will stand before Jesus. When we enter Heaven, we will be embraced by Jesus. And, then, we will need to tell Him why we didn’t obey Him in certain areas of our lives, if we had resisted Him. We will not have to answer for sin that we confessed and forsook, but we will have to give account for sin we did not confess and forsake that He convicted us about.

1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

For example, a Christian may gossip about other people in his (or her) life. If this Christian doesn’t repent, and continues to do this sin, then after he leaves earth, he will stand before Jesus and will realize how it was wrong to gossip. Jesus will show him why He has to take some rewards away — rewards he would have received if he had obeyed God. Then, Jesus will wipe away his (or her) tears and receive him into Heaven.

If this Christian confessed and forsook gossip, including listening to gossip, Jesus would have washed that sin away, and chosen to not remember it (1 John 1:9). This Christian’s beautiful rewards would be awaiting him in Heaven. Also, when he gets to Heaven, because he would have forsaken gossip, he would not have grief over his sin. It would have been taken away from his account.

But, Jesus would feel sad to see a Christian’s pain over seeing that he lost his rewards, due to resistance to God’s Spirit. But, then the tears would be dried, and the pain taken away. And, the Christian would enter the joy of the Lord.

However, if a Christian became very hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3), and resisted God’s Spirit, and became very cold toward God’s Spirit, if that Christian did not repent, he (or she) would fall away from the faith, and be lost. See Hebrews 3 and see Hebrews 10:23-31, and Hebrews 6:1-8. (You can read more about this here.)

Jesus Reveals Our Hearts When We Look to Him.

John 8:12. “[12] Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Since Jesus is the Light of the world, He shines His light into our hearts and reveals what is in our hearts. This is one of the works or operations of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:8-11
“[8] And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: [9] Of sin, because they believe not on me; [10] Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; [11] Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

The Holy Spirit reproves us of sin. He reveals sin to us and convicts us of when we are resisting God. He shows us what is righteous and just. We cannot say to Jesus that His Spirit didn’t convict us of sin. Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 4:5. It speaks of how God “...will make manifest the counsels of the hearts…”

Rewards Can Be Taken Away.

1 Corinthians 4:5. “[5] Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

God will reveal the counsels of the heart. The Greek word for counsel is boulé. It means a counsel or a purpose. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines counsel as: “7. In a scriptural sense, purpose; design; will; decree.” This 1828 dictionary defines the noun design as: “2. A scheme or plan in the mind. …” So, God will reveal the schemes, plans, or purposes in our hearts when we did good deeds.

If our hearts truly were toward God when we did a good deed, we will be rewarded. If we were selfish in doing the “good” deed, we will not be rewarded.

In some cases, Christians will lose rewards that would have been given to them. This principle is found in the book of Job. Job was a righteous man, who did serve God, and God blessed him with lots of wealth. But, even though Job did do what was right, he was beginning to get a little proud. An example of Job’s pride can be found in Job 33:8-12, where Elihu reiterates what Job said in earlier chapters.

Job 33:8-12
“[8] Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying, [9] I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. [10] Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy, [11] He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths. [12] Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.”

Job accused God of doing wrong by him, and Job maintained that he was righteous and did not need to repent. Only a proud heart would say such things about God. But, after Job humbled himself and repented, the book of Job says that God blessed Job with more wealth than he had before. In Job 42:6, Job told God: “[6] Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Then, Job is told to intercede and make sacrifices for his proud friends (who accused him). After he does, we read: “[Job 42:10] And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

We see that the same principle of how God can remove and restore rewards is not just for the physical realm, but for the spiritual realm because most of our rewards are in Heaven.

But, some people will miss getting some rewards because they did works that were selfishly motivated. Their works will burn up because they were not pleasing to God. Others’ works will remain because they did good works by the leading of the Holy Spirit, and in the nature of Jesus Christ. Because they were not selfishly motivated when they did those good works, they will receive rewards for their work. Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
“[11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; [13] Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. [14] If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Rewards Will Be Restored When We Repent.

One may ask: “Can I get my rewards restored that I lost?” Many rewards we lost will be restored when we repent and confess our sin and selfishness to God. In the same way that Job was restored back what he lost, we will be blessed when we repent and turn back to God. Then, as we let the Holy Spirit lead us, and as we get to know Abba Father God, we will naturally do good works and lay up our treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-24).
Colossians 3 speaks of where a Christian’s focus should be.

Colossians 3:1-5
“[1] If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us forsake sin, and worldliness, and performance. God does not want us to perform for Him (Galatians 5:1-2, Galatians 4:6-7, Romans 4). He wants us to have intimate, personal fellowship (communion) with Him (1 John 1). Abba Father God wants us to feel in our hearts the truth that we are His sons and daughters (Galatians 4:6-7) and that He is our Abba Father God. Having a reverential fear does not mean we are afraid (Proverbs 14:26-27). It means that we respect God’s Name and His righteous ways. It means that we want to forsake sin, and fellowship with God. God promises in Psalm 36 to meet all our needs and to abundantly satisfy us.

Psalm 36:7-9
“[7] How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
[8] They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
[9] For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.”

If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



Is the “once saved, always saved” teaching correct biblical doctrine? Many teachers have taught that once you are saved from sin through Jesus Christ, you are always saved. They call this "eternal security." But, is this biblically sound? Does the Bible actually teach that born-again Christians can never fall away? We will examine this teaching in this second part of our article on Galatians 5:1. To learn more, please click here: Galatians Chapter 5, Verse 1 — False Grace Vs. True Grace (Part 2 of 2).


Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language. United Books Press, Inc., 2009. (i.e. Webster's 1828 dictionary)

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