THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF GOD

Scripture Reading: Romans 14:10-12

“For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10c,12)

Two facts are clearly stated in these verses. First, we must all appear before the judgment seat of God. For unbelievers this involves God passing His final judgment upon them — a guilty sentence and a just condemnation. For believers it means rewarding them for their faithfulness and service.

Second, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. We are accountable to God for everything we do. But what about our justification? Are we not already pardoned? Do we have to go back and face the fear of judgment again? The answer is no. We have been justified by faith and our sins have been forgiven.

So what do we tell God? I have no definitive answer from Scripture, but here is what I imagine will happen. I will stand before God in awe and wonder. I will thank Him for His love and grace. I will acknowledge the supreme sacrifice He made to save me — the death of His Son. He may ask me about my service for Him. He may reward me if He sees fit — “If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward” (I Corinthians 3:14). I really do not understand what the rewards will be, but I know there are some.

One final comment needs to be made about this passage. Many escape the just punishment for crimes they have committed in this life because we have an imperfect justice system. But they will receive the just condemnation they deserve when they appear before the judgment seat of God.

Lord Jesus, thank You for bearing the condemnation that I rightly deserve. Thank You that I will be able to stand in the judgment as a forgiven sinner. My desire is to hear You say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

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