Not Home Yet: Judgment for Christians

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)

Wait a minute! What? I’m going to appear before the judgment seat? I thought the fact that all my sins are forgiven meant I would not be judged by God. I thought I was in the clear because Jesus paid for my sins.

nothome_350Well, if you have received God’s forgiveness through faith in Jesus—if you are a Christian—you will not be judged for your sin. The judgment seat Paul describes here is usually called the “judgment seat of Christ.” There our works will be judged, not our sin. Your salvation won’t be the issue. Jesus paid for all of that in full.

Instead, our lives will be revealed to show the value of our choices (good and bad) while we have lived “in the body” before we get to heaven—and there will be appropriate responses to those choices.

Paul said, “Until I get home, I’m going to live to please Jesus on the day there when my works, my heart, my true choices are all revealed.”

Think: Does the idea of this judgment seem like a burden to you or an opportunity? Does it motivate you to want to live this life to please God? Should it?

Pray: Ask God to help you want to live this life in a way that pleases him. Thank him for the power of the Holy Spirit in you to help you do that.

Do: Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.