30 April 2013

What God Will Judge

The next stop in this study of the Judgment Seat of Christ is 1 Corinthians 3.  Here the phrase is not mentioned, but the event is described in greater detail.  This passage will form the basis for a deeper consideration of three points relating to this judgment:

1.  What God Will Judge
2.  How God Will Judge
3.  The Outcomes of this Judgment

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


A.  Our Works

This is clear from the passage:

- Every man’s WORK shall be made manifest (v. 13).
- The fire shall try every man’s WORK (v. 13).
- If any man’s WORK abide…he shall receive a reward (v. 14).
- If any man’s WORK shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (v. 15).

Salvation is the free gift of God.  It is not a reward (Romans 4:4-8).  Getting saved and going to heaven has nothing to do with our works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

But the judgment seat of Christ isn’t about whether or not we’re going to heaven.  Everyone who appears there already has their reservation.  The judgment seat of Christ is about the rewards we will enjoy when we get to heaven.  And it has everything to do with our works.

2 Corinthians 5:10 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.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Proverbs 24:12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

Job 34:11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

Psalm 62:12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

B.  Our Words

There seems to be a lot of record keeping going on in heaven.  This ought to make us a lot more careful about what we allow to escape our lips. 

Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

Our words will most assuredly be analyzed at this judgment seat of Christ.  Here’s a passage that deserves more careful consideration and explanation than we’re able to give it at the moment.

Matthew 12:36-37 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

C.  Secret Things

If there’s a God in heaven, and there is, then two things are true:

(1) No one ever gets away with anything.
(2) No good deed will ever go unrewarded.

The problem is that you have to take a long-range view of the situation to see the truth in those two statements.  Oftentimes it seems that people get away with mischief; oftentimes, it seems that good deeds go unnoticed.  On the earth.  In this life.  In time. 

But the Bible says that every one of us will die, and after we die, we will stand before God (Hebrews 9:27).  And He will settle all the scores!

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Luke 12:3 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

1 Corinthians 4:5 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.

1 Timothy 5:24-25 24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

D.  The Heart

God sees what man cannot (1 Samuel 16:7).  He looks on the heart.  And that’s what He is concerned with.  Our passage says that “the fire shall try every man’s work of what SORT it is.”  The judgment seat of Christ is not just about what we did, but why we did it and how we did it.  God judges the heart. 

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

2 Chronicles 6:8 But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:

So God doesn’t judge us based on our results.  He judges us based on our works.  “Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.”  But it’s not just about the works.  It’s about the heart motive behind them. 

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

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