We have had several questions lately dealing with the judgment seat of Christ.  I am thankful to see that this important event is on the hearts of the Lord’s people. 

We read of this event in several places in the Bible, such as:

  • Romans 14:10, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
  • 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.” 
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 

I am intrigued by your question because you asked, “WHY do Christians have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ?”  To be sure, this seat is a place where the Lord Jesus sits and all believers will appear before Him.  In reality, the judgment seat of Christ is something for believers to look forward to.  The ‘judgment’ seat is literally in the Greek, the ‘Bema’ Seat.  The concept of the Bema Seat comes from the ancient Olympics, where a judge would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line of the race. The judge’s purpose, sitting on the Bema Seat, was to determine what position the runners came in…first, second, etc. and then to give out the appropriate rewards.

The Bema seat is not a seat of judgment or punishment, it is a seat from which rewards are determined and given.  Speaking of believers, 1 Corinthians 4:5 tells us, “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.”

We have answered several other questions dealing with the judgment seat of Christ.  To learn more about this event, simply go to our website: www.answersfromthebook.org and type ‘judgment seat of Christ’ into the Search box.  (CC)  (540.2)