The TWO Judgments Every Believer Must Face
“10 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.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
There are TWO judgments that a Christ follower must face at one time or another. I have heard about one preached and taught about all the time in church, but the other, not so much.
1 – My sin will be judged at the Cross
I have often heard pastors preach about the time we stand before God and are judged according to our sin. At this time, the grace of Jesus Christ on the cross will cover our sin which separates us from God and we will be allowed entry into Heaven based on Jesus’ sacrifice. Romans 8:1 says, “1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” This is the most common judgment that I hear spoken of in church. Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior is the emphasis in order to enter into the gates of Heaven by His grace. The sin of the Christ follower has been judged at the cross and will not be brought up again in order to condemn him or her. The cross of Jesus covers sin.
2 Corinthians 5:10 shows me ANOTHER judgment that believers must face, which is less often talked about. This is the judgment seat of Christ. At the judgment seat of Christ, Paul says that the works of the believer will be judged before God
I enjoy hearing about the grace of God. I love to hear that I am saved by His grace. I love knowing that God loved me so much that He gave His only Son so that I could have eternal life. I am not so glad to hear about the other judgment that 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells me about.
2 – My works will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ.
A bible commentator said, “Although his sins have been judged at the cross and will not be brought up again, at the judgment seat of Christ his works or service will be judged.” The basis of the judgment seat of Christ, according to scriptures will be to judge the WORKS of the believer. Other versions of this passage state:
“10For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering [a]what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has [b]achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].” 2 Corinthians 5:10, Amplified Bible
“9-10But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, The Message
“10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” 2 Corinthians 5:10, NLT
The message of this verse is clear. While my sin has been judged at the cross, my works as a Christ follower will be judged before Him too. That is a scary thought! I face judgment first as a sinner, then as a servant.
What does this mean for me?
In short, I learn from 2 Corinthians 5:10 that while I am a sinner saved by grace, I am also a servant, rewarded by works. This reminds me that I am not to get comfortable and sit back as a believer, but that I MUST constantly be about my Father’s business. It also forces me to ask myself the question, “what am I doing to serve God today?”
I read that a pastor wrote this recently, “One of the myths that has been crippling to Christianity for years is that Jesus has called us to “play it safe”…when that is not taught OR modeled by Jesus OR His followers in the Scriptures. (See Acts 20:24 and Galatians 2:20).” I agree.
The truth is that the world has NEVER been impacted by Christians who spend their whole lives at home or even at church and begging God to never let anything bad happen to them! 2 Corinthians 5:10 is a call for believers to rise up and give the King of Kings, our very best today.
Thank You for saving my soul by Your grace. Redeem my hands to be busy at work for You. Lord give me courage to step out when I feel like “playing it safe.” Grant me the boldness to keep pressing forward to make an impact for You in the world around me. Amen.