Gaining a Better Understanding of the Judgment

bema seat

There tends to be a great deal of confusion surrounding judgment day and the time we are judged. Even many long-time Christians are sometimes confused by it, though the bible isn’t at all unclear about the time of judgment. Part of the lack of understanding is probably due to the fact that many people don’t like to think about the day they will be judged and the world as we know it will end, to make way for something infinitely better. It is an uncomfortable topic, even though it will usher in a new, glorious time.

One point of confusion is about the judgment itself. Jesus will be the judge, which is only right since He lived a physical life as a man, with all the temptations and tribulations that all men face. He conquered death and was without sin. In fact, He was the only man who didn’t sin against God, which makes Him supremely properĀ for the position of judge for humanity.

A large part of the lack of understanding about judgment is because there is actually more than one judgment. Jesus will judge all people, regardless of who they are or where they live (2 Corinthians 5:9-11) and it is important to understand that the judgment will be a full evaluation of the works each person has done for God. Note that the bible is explicit in that this is a judgment of our good works, not of our bad ones.

This being the case, a person who does many good things for God and very few sinful ones may be judged favorably, even if they don’t know about God or have a personal relationship with him. This isn’t a contradiction. Every one of us was blessed by the holy spirit when we were born, and even when a person doesn’t know why they know the difference between good and evil, the spirit gives them that power. Thus, it is possible for them to do good works without ever learning about Jesus or God.

A sticking point, though, is that no person can enter the kingdom of God except through Jesus. Jesus was beaten, humiliated and died for all people, that they might be forgiven for their sins. He conquered death and arose, defeating Satan for the second time in the process, and it is only through his sacrifice that we have any hope of entering the kingdom. What about those people who don’t know Jesus?

Over-simplifying only a little, there are two groups of people and this includes those who’ve already perished, physically. One group has asked Jesus for forgiveness of their sins. They acknowledge that Jesus is their salvation and that He alone has conquered death. They have pledged their lives to Him. These are the true Christians and they are sometimes referred to as the born-again Christians, because they’ve asked for forgiveness, have truly repented and have become followers of Jesus, in their hearts, born again in his name.

The other group is comprised of everyone else. Again, remember that this doesn’t mean that only those from the first group will receive salvation, only that those of the second group have a much harder time ahead.

Their’s will be a separate judgment, though. Those in the first group must also be judged, however that judgment will be done before the Bema Seat of Christ. What is a Bema Seat?

The ancient Greeks gave awards to their athletes after athletic competitions, from a bema seat. This was also where charges were brought against people. The apostle Paul stood before a bema seat when he was charged. (Acts 18:12)

And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat

It is important to understand that in the context of being judged for the purpose of being allowed to live for eternity in the kingdom of God as heirs to the kingdom, the bema seat becomes a place where the greatest awards and rewards are given to the faithful, who’ve had works that support God.

This is why it is so important for every one of us to spread the wonderful news that is contained in the bible, that more people might have the same opportunity to be ‘awarded’ passage. The bible is extremely clear in the point that we are to love our neighbor as ourself and if that is true, we must try to explain to our neighbor, that is all people, who God and Jesus are. This gives them the opportunity we, as true Christians, have been given. If we show an honest Christ-like love for everyone, as we are instructed to do, we would want nothing less and would still feel that it is the least that we can do.

The hardest part is that we must especially focus on those people we are at odds with. This will reflect upon you when you stand before the bema seat, as an important part of your works on behalf of God. It isn’t always easy to do this with someone who rubs you the wrong way and whom you don’t especially like. You must do your best to love them and forgive them for their transgressions. Through Jesus, the Father has forgiven you despite the sins and evil you’ve done against God and now it is your turn to forgive those who have transgressed against you.

The question is, are you ready to do this? Each person must decide this for themselves.

Posted in Deeper meanings, Messages, misunderstanding and tagged , , , , by with 5 comments.


  • I don’t think it’s that people don’t understand Judgement Day. I think it’s more that they don’t want to accept Judgement Day as a FACT! But it is a reality and one day we will know it! God is not slack concerning His promises and Judgment will begin with the house of God. (2 Pet 3:9; and 1 Peter 4:18-19)

    • rextrulove says:

      @cmoneyspinner, you’re right…a LOT of people don’t want to accept Judgment day as fact, which it is. God has kept every one of his promises and judgment day is a promise. It will be an exceptionally bitter time for those who have not accepted Jesus, which means that it is all the more reason for us to try to spread the word. All we need to do is to plant the seed. God will make it grow.

      What I meant about people not understanding about judgment day is that there are actually two judgments; one for Christians and one for everyone else. People who don’t read the bible usually just think that there is a single judgment. Even a lot of Christians don’t know what the beema seat is, too.

  • Andria Perry says:

    Thank you! Next time people want to gossip about their neighbor I will tell them about Jesus. And yes, most of those people I don`t like or have did me wrong.

    • rextrulove says:

      That is definitely the best way, @andriaperry. When we hold on to bitterness and don’t forgive someone else, we are hurting *them* in the slightest. However, we are putting extra weight on our own shoulders. When we forgive them, we lift the weight and we put it all in the hands of God. Jesus will judge them, thus we don’t have to. If we tell them about Jesus, though, astounding things can happen. I’ve actually had a person that I absolutely couldn’t get along with who was finally able to open his heart to Jesus. The transformation was staggering and he became a good friend. When Jesus cleanses a person’s heart and they give themselves to Him, the person they were, dies. Telling those people about Jesus and praying for them is the only help they may need to open that door.

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