God’s judgment is thorough, fair, and gracious. For Christians, we will stand before our Lord Jesus at the Bema Seat to receive what is due us, not according to our eternal destiny but our faithfulness. Pastor Lutzer explains what each one of us can expect at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Will all Christians hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”? Originally Published: July 29, 2019
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. I’m so glad that you have joined us. We’re discussing the attributes of God; specifically, His attribute of justice. And if you were with us last time, you know that I spoke about the doctrine of hell—the difficult doctrine of hell.
In previous sessions, we’ve also dealt with issues regarding child salvation, and how God judges children, and whether or not they will be in heaven. Justice covers a multitude of issues. In fact, the Bible says in the 29th chapter of the book of Proverbs, verse 26: “Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.” Over and over again, the Bible presents God as a God of justice.
Now let me clarify. Those of us as Christians, we know that Jesus Christ bore our judgment. So we are no longer under condemnation. But it is true that we also are going to be judged on the basis of our works, to see whether or not we were faithful. I’m thinking, for example, of 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 10, where Paul says “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”—he’s speaking to believers—”We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive what is due him for the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil.”
We want to just pause and catch our breath. We, as believers, are going to be judged. It has nothing to do with our eternal destiny, that’s been paid for—Jesus paid it all. It has to do with faithfulness in this life.
That judgment is going to be individual. The apostle Paul says each one of us is going to be judged. It is even going to be thorough. “For the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad.” Imagine that.
You say, “Well pastor Lutzer, we aren’t going to see our sin, are we?” Well if we do see it, it will be represented to us as forgiven. I thought about this. Maybe God will take all of our works as believers and turn them into gold, silver, and precious stones; or wood, hay, stubble. And then, of course, He lights it; and this is the illustration that the apostle Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 3; and it goes up in smoke, and what is left: the gold, the silver, the precious stones. Well, not sure exactly how He’s going to do it, but it is a thorough judgment. And not only that, let us keep in mind: it is individual, and we shall all give an account.
Now here’s the reason I want to emphasize it. Even though we are exempt from final judgment, you and I should recognize that we are not exempt from a kind of judgment that is going to determine where we fit within the Kingdom, and where we fit in heaven. The seriousness of God’s eternal judgment is recognized in the fact that not everybody, I believe, not everybody is gong to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I know that there are theologians that differ from me on that point, but I can’t believe that a carnal Christian, living his or her life for themselves, is going to hear from Jesus, “Well done.” We could miss that.
I want to encourage you by reminding you that every single day is an investment—either gold, silver, and precious stones; or wood, hay, stubble; or a mixture of the two. Let us live our lives in light of the coming judgment seat of Jesus Christ.
Very quickly, let me tell you about a story that comes to us from India. There was a wealthy Rajah that was riding along in his chariot, and alongside of the road, there was a beggar. The beggar saw the chariot coming, and he took his bowl and he held it up, thinking, “I wonder if he’d stop to give me something.” To his surprise, the Rajah stopped, got off of his chariot, said to the beggar, “Beggar, give me some of your rice.”
The beggar was livid! “This man asking me for my rice!” Gingerly, he took one grain of rice and gave it to the Rajah. The Rajah said, “Beggar, give me more of your rice.” And the beggar now was very angry. He did give one more grain of rice, and then the Rajah said, “Give me more.” Finally, the beggar gave him another grain of rice, walked off in a huff, cursing. The Rajah gets on his chariot and rides away. The beggar looks into his bowl, and he notices something glitter. It’s a grain of gold, the size of a grain of rice. He finds only two more. He thinks to himself, “Oh if only, if only I had given him my whole bowl of rice!”
My friend, today, Jesus is generous. Why is it that we withhold our rice? For every grain of rice, a grain of gold. Someday we will stand before Him, not to be judged in terms of eternity, but to be judged in terms of rewards. Let’s make sure that we give Him the whole bowl of rice.
Thanks for joining us. Hope to see you next time, and today, go with God.