Day 23: Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rapture Drill ~ Devotions

Day 23

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. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

Scripture is clear when it comes to grace. Our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, and nothing we’ve done will be held against us. Salvation is free, but that doesn’t mean our deeds won’t be evaluated and our faithfulness rewarded accordingly.

“So our aim is to please him always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body,” Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians. “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 our bodies” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). The word Paul referenced in his letter was bema—a seat of judgment. And in his words, “we must all stand before” it to be judged by Christ. And what will Jesus judge? The “good or evil we have done in our bodies.”

“But doesn’t Calvary cover it all?” people sometimes ask, and the answer is a resounding yes! If we could earn our way to heaven, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die. But that doesn’t negate the overwhelming evidence in Scripture that we believers will be judged for our actions after putting our faith in Christ. Works done in selfish pursuits will be destroyed; those done out of pure heart and motives will be rewarded. It is one of the most overlooked and under-taught elements of the Christian faith, yet you can’t get around it. In the words of Jim Elliff, “Such warnings virtually bleed from the pores to Scripture.”

So what is this bema of Christ? The theories are as scattered as they are confusing, but a few facts seem clear enough. It’s a ceremony of judgment reserved for believers, and Jesus himself will preside over the occasion. And I’m convinced that it’s an integral part of the victory dance awaiting us at the last day. For those who fought well, the day holds great honor and anticipation. Rewards and privileges will be given to those who selflessly served Christ in the body. For believers, it will be a day of unparalleled joy and commemoration—unlike anything we could possibly imagine on earth.

But there’s another sobering truth to the day that we can’t ignore. Although we stand before Christ knowing that our salvation is secure, our deeds will be judged. Both good and bad. What we do today will echo into eternity whether we like that thought or not. And eternal “crowns” will signify our level of reward.

 Daily Readings:

  • Matthew 5:14-16
  • John 14:12
John McSharry

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