We are yet to experience the fullest measure of the grace of God towards us which began at Calvary. We will see another face of the grace of God when we stand before Jesus as our judge on that great day. Judgement in this context is a concluded final decision made as a result of an investigation for or against a person and no human being who has ever walked the face of the earth will miss this divine appointment with God.
We know for sure that there will be at least two types of Judgements at the end of this age; The Judgement Seat of Christ – for believers (2 Cor 5:10) and The White Throne Judgement – for unbelievers (Rev 20:11-15).
For believers, the judgement seat of Christ will be nothing like we’ve experienced with our loving Saviour. Everything we’ve said, done and thought will be brought to light to pass before the passionate eyes of fire of Jesus. And this fire will test each person’s works and if they pass/survive will lead to rewards but if they fail will be burned up and lead to losses to that person. If the thought of this day does not put the fear of God in you, then you haven’t got a revelation of it yet. Even the thought of appearing before a human judge for a minor offence such a parking violation/Speed driving is enough to cause anxieties for many for weeks preceding to their appearing. Now think about facing the God Almighty with your whole life at stake – for eternity. Of course, we will not be judged on our repented sins because the cross took care of that but rather our faithfulness to love and obedience. This judgement (decision) would be conclusive, final and eternal; It can never ever be altered. Now listen to what Paul said about this great day:
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NIV
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 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. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
The outcome of this judgement would range from having everything we did even the good things burned and suffer losses, all the way to having everything we did survive and rewarded fully. Nervous? Well, you should be but there’s great news. The bible is full of scriptures that tell us how we can be confident on that day without fear. 1 John 2:28. Paul said something interesting in 1 Corinthians 11:31…”For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged”, which is similar to what John said in 2 John 2:1. Paul said this in the context of taking communion however this is a Kingdom principle that applies to the way God judges. Why do you think most of Jesus teaching were on the Kingdom of God? Why did He say things such as It’s more blessed to give than to receive; blessed are the meek, poor in spirit, pure in heart, merciful, persecuted; to build up treasures in heaven, or that the greatest in the Kingdom is becoming like a servant? Why was His last messages to the 7 churches and to us today all about our works/deeds (Rev 2 & 3)?. If most of the 7 churches exist today, they’ll probably be one of the best churches in our cities?
You know I’m so glad that God made it possible for me to escape hell and now I’m bound for heaven and I’m sure you are as well but do you realised escaping hell was not the ultimate purpose for the cross; think about it; why would God create man (Adam) just so that one day He’ll come down and rescue them from damnation; hell is a secondary matter which only came about because God permitted the devil to deceived man. Man was made for God and it’s this reason Jesus died on the cross to put into effect the purpose/plan He had for man even before the creation of the world. And this is what Jesus is fighting for you right now. All of his commands and teachings are meant to help build you up so that when you stand in his presence, His fire will purify you and your deeds so that He can reward you with what He’d specifically prepared for you.
This is the way of His judgement; full of Mercy & Grace. He’s made the way of gaining GOLD (full reward) on that day plain so that when you stand before Him you don’t have to be overly shocked. I mean we are ALL going to be shocked on that day, some more than others but it’s meant to be more of shocks of awe and not of regrets. Jesus is like the school teacher who gives his students mock tests with the very same questions that are going to be given on the main exams day. He passionately desires for you to gain your full reward so that He can have you where He’d always wanted you to be, close by His side reigning with Him.
So when Paul said judge yourself so that you wouldn’t have to be judged by God; he’s pretty much saying what David said in Psalm 139:23…David was like “God, I’m only a man, sometimes my own heart can deceive me. Sometimes I cannot even discern my motives even the ones I think are selfless. So God please search my heart and everything about me and let me know if there’s anything wrong in my walk with you in this life and then direct me on the right path cos I desire to please you”…well that’s my take on that passage. But isn’t it interesting that David said that after he’d got the revelation that God knows him inside out, from the moment God formed him in his mother’s womb; his life has been like an open book before God…Psalm 139:1-18
So judge yourself, meaning live in love (obedience) and faithfulness to God’s word and His assignments for you, as you continue to ask Him to evaluate your walk and life so that you may turn away (repent) from anything not pleasing to Him and to turn to His ways. In this way He would not have to judge you; meaning your openness and purity of life before God would give you confident on that day that there’s very little of your walk in this life that He would bring to light which He hasn’t already made known to you.
Remember He wants you to succeed to receive your full reward on that day; He made you for them so He will show you anything that will hinder you from gaining them. Keep in mind that it’s only the things done with His approval that would survive through the fire of His judgement.
And this is the best part of it all. Sure there will be tears of pain and regrets and He said He will wipe them away but no matter the outcome on that day; whether everything we did and lived for, gets burned up and therefore, suffer great losses with NO rewards or everything we did survives and we receive our full reward; we will ALL come out of His Judgement Seat with our heads and hands lifted up in gratitude of His outrageous GRACE & MERCY, for there we will see like never before that we really don’t deserve His goodness towards us. It will be impossible to live in comparison to others because we’ll be so focused on how much good He is to us in comparison to what we truly deserve. It’ll all end up in joy in His sight. Heaven (The New Jerusalem) will truly be a place of everlasting joy and life.