No. 3: The Bema Seat Judgment

bible prophecy that will take you from the rapture through the judgment of God the rise and fall of the antichrist and false prophet all in chronological order.  Learn the prophetic signs leading up to the end times and how it will all end at the battle of armageddon

Learn what will happen during the tribulation period from beginning to end
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As discussed in earlier articles, the Laodicean church represents the final form of the professing church. The timeframe of this church age is generally thought to exist from the early 20th century until now. This church is rejected of God and is vomited out of His mouth because of its lukewarmness. It has the outward appearance of spirituality, but have denied the Lord in their hearts.

Prior to the tribulation period, the true church is separated from the apostate church. The Philadelphian church is raptured, leaving behind the Loadicean church and the seven-year tribulation period will begin sometime thereafter.

What happens to the true believers during this seven-year period? Those who are raptured, both who were dead and alive, will be judged. Not condemned, or stripped of salvation, but judged to determine rewards (II Corinthians 5:10). The Lord Himself will judge the works of the redeemed on an individual basis. The works that the child of God has done will be judged, not for good or evil, but to determine motive and character. Whether done in the flesh or for the glory of God. The believer will either receive a reward or lose a reward. The determination of gain or lose will be trial by fire. Paul writes in I Corinthians 3:13, “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 a believer’s works are built on self-indulgence (hay, wood and stubble) he will suffer lose, or lose his reward. If a believer’s works are done through the power of God (gold, silver, or costly stones), he will receive a reward. The passage in I Corinthians three goes on to state that the believer will suffer loss, but it is not to be taken as a loss of salvation. Paul further says that although this person will lose his reward he will be saved so as by fire.

Let me explain it in this manner. When a vain of gold is discovered, it’s usually embedded in a rock, so the goldsmith will take it and set it to fire. This process causes the rock to heat up, separating the gold from the impurities of the rock. As a result, the only thing that remains is pure gold. The same process will be applied at the judgment of the Christians. God will separate all your sins (they’ve been covered by the blood of Christ) from your works. He then will apply fire to what works we have done. All works that are made of gold, silver or precious stones will remain, and we will receive a reward accordingly. But all works that were done with the wrong motive or out of selfish ambition will be considered hay, wood and stubble. They will be burned up and no reward will be given.

The rewards that a believer may receive are found throughout the New Testament, and for each a crown will be awarded. Here is a list of possible rewards:

1. The incorruptible crown: “Know ye not they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (I Cor. 9:24, 25). This is the crown to be given to believers who faithfully run the race, who crucify every selfish desire in order to win souls and point men to Jesus.

2. The crown of rejoicing: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy” (I Thess. 2:19, 20). This is the soul-winner’s crown, and it may be earned by every born again believer who faithfully witnesses to the saving grace of God and leads souls to Jesus.

3. The crown of life: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him” (James 1:12). This crown is for those believers who endure trials, tribulations, and severe suffering-yes, even unto death (Rev. 2:8-11).

4. The crown of righteousness: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (II Tim. 4:8). This crown is for believers who love the appearing of Christ, who anxiously wait and look forward to the day when He will return for His saints.

5. The crown of glory: “When the Chief Shepherd hall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (I Pet. 5:4). This is the pastor’s crown and will be given to the ministers who faithfully feed the flock of God.

The recipients will not keep their rewards, but will gladly place them at the feet of Jesus. But make no mistake, your faithfulness on earth will be directly related to your stature in heaven, and your place and rank during Christ’s earthly reign. Many in that day will be saddened to learn what their potential for the Lord was, but due to selfish ambition, failed to measure up. When I say “saddened” it should not be taken as a feeling of rejection, for every Christian is made completely acceptable to God through Christ and are joint heirs in His kingdom. It should be taken more as a feeling that they could have achieved more with the talents that they were allotted. For example, it will be like settling for a Chevy Cavalier when it was completely within your God given talents and means to get the Cadillac.

But it should be noted, that this judgment will also be a time of rejoicing and shouldn’t be looked at as a time to fear, unlike what scores of Christians believe. Many have this distorted view of God sternly looking down on a Christian, who incidentally is saved by Grace, as He viciously scolds him for past sins he has committed. They see this time as a horrible moment when we get what’s coming to us. They picture that awful sin that they hoped nobody would ever see, being plastered across some heavenly big screen for all to behold. I think many times we get the judgment of the saints mixed up with the judgment of those whose ultimate end is the lake of fire. Yes, their sins will be counted against them and it will be a most horrible moment. But the vast majority of the time that the Bible speaks on the coming of the Lord or the judgment of Christians, it usually ends with the statement “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Matthew 25: 21).”

God is not an unjust God who would forget your labor of love or Christian service (Hebrews 6:10). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).”

We can be confident that what God has begun in us He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). It is His good pleasure and He is ever searching for ways to bless us, both here on earth, and when we finally meet Him in the air. For this reason, we can look forward to that day when we will finally see Him face to face.

The marriage of the lamb will follow the judgment of the church (bema judgment). The church has been depicted many times as the bride of Christ. Only New Testament Saint’s will take part in this event. This will take place in heaven as those on earth go through the tribulation period.

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