And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
One of the topics the Bible speaks about is judgment. One day everyone will stand before God to give an account for their life. There is a tendency sometimes to lump all judgment into the same category, but there are actually two different types of judgment. The believer and the unbeliever will be judged but the experience will not be the same.
The unbeliever will experience the Great White Throne judgment mentioned in Revelation. For Christians, we will experience the judgment seat or Bema seat of Christ which is a judgment for different reasons and for a different purpose.
What Is the Bema Seat of Christ?
The term Bema Seat of Christ is a term that comes from 2 Corinthians 5:10.
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.
The word for judgment used in the Greek is the word bema. The word bema means judgment seat, judicial court or judicial bench. In the first century, the bema was an elevated platform from which political speeches or judicial decisions were made. If you can picture the imagery as it relates to Christ in this verse, Christ is seated on his elevated throne and one day we will stand before him. At that point, Jesus will deliver his judicial decision to all who are believers.
What I want you to focus on from this verse is the purpose of this judgment. The most important thing to point out is this is not a judgment regarding your salvation. The bema seat of Christ is not a judgment for sin or eternal punishment, this is a judgment of reward. As Christians, your sins have already been judged because of the sacrifice in Christ. Since the salvation question has already been settled God will not judge you again for that.
This judgment will focus on how did you live after you came to Christ? How committed were you to the cause of Christ and doing his will? Did you live to please him or live to please yourself? This is what the bema seat judgment is all about. That’s why you should pay attention to what Paul said in the preceding verse.
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 2 Corinthians 5:9
Because you will one day stand before the bema seat of Christ your goal should be to please him. This is a sobering thought which should cause you to reflect on how you are living.