Our Life on Christ

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Will We Be Judged on at the Day of Judgment?

Every Wednesday my six-year-old daughter, Truth, goes to AWANA. For those of you who don’t know (don’t feel bad, I only know because I have a kid in it), AWANA is like a Christ-based scouting program where kids memorize Bible verses, do art projects, and play games. While she’s in her little meeting, the church that offers the program has adult Bible studies. I decided to attend the study on the book of Revelation because 1) I’ve never really understood the book (is it literal or figurative?) and 2) it was the only class that didn’t require me to buy a workbook!

I had no idea what I would learn and I how scared I would be!

A few weeks ago we studied about the Rapture, the Second Coming, and the Day of Judgment (I wonder if it’s really only going to take one day!).

Apparently, based on several scriptures, believers and unbelievers will be judged separately. It seems that the unbelievers’ judgment is really just going to be an opportunity for God to show himself to the people who doubted him and basically say, “You guessed wrong. Too bad for you.” They really don’t have a chance to plead their case or try to change the outcome; they are going to spend an eternity in the “lake of fire.” This is all based on Revelations 20:11-15.

Since I am a believer, I was more interested in the judgment of believers. This is the interesting, scary, motivating part. Now, for those of you who have a stronger Biblical background, help me out here—let me know if you agree with what I am about to write!

The Judgment of Believers will determine their gain or loss of rewards in heaven. Sometime between the Rapture and the Second Coming, believers will be judged on how their faithfulness in Christ played out in their life in the below bulleted areas (the facilitators of the Bible study called this the “Bema Judgment” but I’m not sure if that’s in the Bible). The church provided scriptural support but when I looked the verses up, it seems like the scriptures only support some of the judgment items.

How we treat other believers (I’m doing good in this, I think)
How we exercise our authority over others (I don’t really have this as an issue)
How we employ our God-given abilities (hmm…I’m trying!)
How we use our money (don’t really have much but I think we are good stewards of it)
How we spend out time (I don’t just sit around but I’m not out serving everyday, either)
How much we suffer for Jesus (hmm…I live in America, how much do we really suffer?)
How we run God’s appointed race (uhh…)
How we control the old nature (well, I am doing my best!)
How many souls we witness to (umm…I only have “Christian” friends, really)
How we react to temptation (again, trying my best)
How much the rapture means to us (I think it’s great…I hope I’m part of it!)
How faithful we are to God’s word and God’s flock (I really do try!)

So I looked up the scriptures that they gave and this is what I found.

Romans 14:10
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

To me, this is where they decided that we would be judged on the first two points (how we treat other believers and how we exercise our authority over others).

I am not sure how they pulled the last ten areas of judgment out of these next two verse blocks but here they are, anyway.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

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.

I can see how, after reading 1 Corinthians 3:10 through 15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10, you can say, “Yeah, those verses support the remaining ten judgment points,” but I don’t think you could read the above verses first then come up with specific areas that God is going to judge us on. I don’t know, that’s just me.

I do, however, think that God will look favorably upon us if we strive to seek strength in him to live out all twelve judgment areas that the church offered in our Bible study. I would rather have God say, “Hey, you really didn’t have to do all of that but great job,” than for him to say, “Yeah…umm…you were really kind of a sucky follower. Eternity of shoveling the heavenly hay for you.”

What do you think? Do you agree that these are the areas to be tested at the final judgment? How do you think you will measure up?! Leave a comment.

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