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[Colossians 2:8; beware and take
heed are the same thing] A
statement was made at the ABA meeting along the lines of, ďIím afraid of
appearing at the Judgment Seat of Christ and that I havenít been good
enoughĒ. He wasnít talking
about salvation, he was talking about the Judgment Seat.
Is this something that we really need to fear?
I want us to compare and contrast three passages and take a look at this.
[1 Corinthians 3, 2 Corinthians
5, Romans 14] These are three
places where the Lord mentions the same thing, and Iíd like to bring these to
your attention. In [1 Corinthians
3:12-16], youíll be familiar with this. This
is a reference to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
At the end of this age, when the Lord comes again, and the Rapture
occurs, the next event that happens is that believers (all believers, and only
believers) will stand at the Judgment Seat.
If you look with me down in this
chapter, this has to do with the Holy Spirit.
[1 Corinthians 3:16] Here,
he speaks about an awesome scene, when menís work (singular) will be made
manifest, and their works will be tired by fire.
Now, with than in mind, [2
Corinthians 5:7-11]. Remember,
heís talking only to believers, and this is talking about the fact that every
believer will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
In this passage, weíre told that we will give account according to that
which we have done, whether it is good or bad.
Now, with that in your mind, this clearly has to do with your body.
It has to do with our human concept.
[Romans 14:9-12; Paulís
talking here.] So, there are three
references here to the fact that the believer is going to stand before the
Judgment Seat. (All believers, but
only believers.) One has to do with
the spirit (1 Corinthians 3), one has to do with the body (2 Corinthians 5), and
one has to do with the soul or the life (Romans 14).
Now, youíre thinking about these three passages of Scripture.
You know that this event is going to occur; itís going to happen!
Hold your finger here and look
with me at a very strange and unusual statement.
Before we look at this, how do
you think you will fare at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
Iím talking about reality; how do you really think you will do?
People may say, ďWell Iím no goodĒ, or something to that effect. Donít belittle yourself.
None of us are perfect; none of us are without the depraved nature.
But, donít flatter yourself either, because none of us can do anything
without the Lord Jesus, and without his leadership, and without the empowering
of the Holy Spirit.
So, how do you think you will
do? I may talk about you and say,
ďBoy I just hope Iím close enough to see how gracious the Lord is to you for
all youíve done and how precious youíve been to meĒ. The think thatís most important to remember is that you
donít take that too seriously. I
mean it when I say it, but Iím not the judge at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
How do you think you will fare? Being
hones with yourself, do you dread this?
Keeping your finger here, think about this as you turn with
me to [1 John 4]. Look at this
unusual and wonderful statement that He makes here. Sometimes, people say, ďboy I dread the Judgment Seat, but
read this statement: [1 John 4:17;
Herein is our love made perfect (mature or complete; why), that we may have
boldness (frankness; bluntness; forthrightness) in the day of judgment: because
as he is, so are we in this world.]
ďBut, youíve just told us about fire and the terror of
the Lord and about judgment, and now you want to tell us that we can have
boldness when we come before the Lord? You
can! Really! Because, if itís not true that you can have boldness, then
the Bible is wrong, and the Bible is certainly not wrong!
[1 John 4:18]
If we had to work for the Lord in the name of fear, then we would be of
all people, most miserable. Thatís
not the purpose of it; we are to love him and adore him and honor him, but we
can have boldness in the Day of Judgment; we can be blunt, and we can have
confidence in this, but how are we going to get around these things that weíve
[Turn back to Romans 14]
Let me call your attention to a word here. This is when weíre going to stand at the Judgment Seat;
youíre not going to stand there to see if everything was absolutely perfect.
Thatís not the purpose. The
Lord knows that everything we do is not perfect; itís not without flaws and
shortcomings. [Romans 14:12; So then every one of us shall give account of
himself to God.] ďAccountĒ is
our motive or our computation; it has to do with ďwhyĒ we do something.
Let me give you something in a roundabout way that will help you see why
we talk about boldness.
[Acts 4:13, 29, 31; emphasize
boldness] So, Romans 14 and our
appearance before the Judgment Seat and the boldness in 1 John 4:17 all hinge on
one thing: The Word of God!
Not the traditions of men, and not what men say, but the Word of
God. But, what does
this all have to do with our inner being or our soul?
[Hebrews 4] This
will give us the definition. I hope
you stay with me here and follow what Iím trying to say. I want you to be bold when you go to the Judgment Seat, and
you can be. Remember, in Acts 4 and
other places, Paul prays that he can speak with boldness and that the Holy
Spirit will open his mouth. [Hebrews
4:12; For the word of God is quick
(alive), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (What does it do?),
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit (It divides.
More than many theological professors.), and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents (motives) of the heart.] If
youíve centered your life around the Word of God and not the traditions of
men, and when youíve looked at the Lordís Word and youíve tried to obey
the truth of the Lordís Word, when you stand at the Judgment Seat, you can
stand there boldly because you have taught, listened to, and heeded the truths
of the Bible! Thatís what we
teach here at this church.
The Bible is the revealed Word of God!
Itís our instruction book that weíve been given to live our lives by,
and thereís nothing else; no other revelations that weíre to use.
If youíve patterned your life after this, you need
not fear. You can go with frankness
and boldness before the Judgment Seat.
Now, hold your hand here.
[1 Corinthians 3] Paul calls attention to the work (singular).
What is our work? This is the work of God the Holy Spirit in you; doing the
will of the Lord. This is why he
refers in [1 Corinthians 3:16] How
can we be bold in this way? Prayer.
Look back at [Hebrews 4:16].
Thatís what the Holy Spirit is here to teach us.
To teach us the Word of the Lord and to teach us as we pray.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to pray, if to the best of our ability we
have come before the Lord. You
donít have to go in and be a great orator or anything.
Itís amazing how beautifully some men pray; all thatís nothing!
Dr. Wilson was a guest at a church one Sunday, and one of the elders
started praying, and apparently felt the need to show off a bit.
After praying for about 20 minutes, Dr. Wilson stood up and said,
ďWeíll go on with our lesson and let this fellow keep on talkingĒ.
Iíve heard of some people who can simply end their day by saying,
ďAmen!Ē We should all strive
for that. Billy Sunday, who was a
great evangelist a long time ago, would shave his face and he would talk to the
Lord, and was often overheard and he would say, ďDear Lord, this it Billy and
you know who I am and you know what I am and you know what I need today.Ē
He would put on no faÁade; not superficial or artificial face.
He did not cover up his human feelings in flowery talk.
He simply stated things as they were.
This is what the Lord means.
Come before the Lord with frankness.
Come before Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pray! The things you do under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and
the things that you do in the fact that you pray; donít simply give in to the
will of man for convenience.
A man of whom I am very fond had
to start a new church because of the wills of men and their actions.
They wanted him to do things that just didnít quite fit in with the
Word of God. The politics of the
church he left just became ungodly. He
hadnít done anything wrong as far as mistreating people or anything, and he
doesnít mind facing the Lord, because heís tried his best.
He made mistakes, just as we all have (and I donít want to air mine our
yours today). You donít have to
be afraid of making mistakes, and I donít want you to; I want you to stand
with boldness. It doesnít matter
if men agree or not.
What does matter is that you
have the confidence to know that youíve done the right thing to the best of
your ability, and that youíve been under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
If you do this, you can stand before the Lord in boldness.
After you used the Word, after
you know the Word, and after youíve allowed it to rule in your life, you can
do what it says in 2 Corinthians 5:7: ďFor
we walk by faith, not by sight. Iíll
tell you something about the world. People
say, ďwe walk by faithĒ. You
canít cash that at the bank; they donít take checks like that.
But, we are to be walking by faith.
Letís start here in verse 5 and keep in mind that weíre studying
boldness at the Judgment Seat. [Ephesians 3:5-9] Itís
talking about the Kingdom and itís talking about the truth that the Gentiles
and the Jews will both be participants in the Kingdom.
This is not talking about simply being saved, as that has always been
available to all; itís talking about the Kingdom. This was hidden and it was not revealed before, and this is
what he means by ďmysteryĒ.
He says something in [Ephesians
3:10] we need to be aware of. The
people who believe the Word of God, and know the mystery of God, and believe in
the Kingdom Rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that one day, Satan will be
bound, and that one day the Lord Jesus will ruleÖ That wisdom is being revealed to the principalities and
powers by the church! Theyíre
seeing this and theyíre hearing this.
The angels have looked into this
salvation and desired to know about it; we have it! [Ephesians 3:11-12] This
is not your faith, itís His. We
have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
When we are placed in him, there is the faith to know that he will
accomplish what His Word has purposed to do.
Thatís how we can have
boldness. Itís by faith.
His faith. These three
passages (Hebrews 4:12 and 16, and Ephesians 3:12) bring to bear the three
places where the Judgment Seat is mentioned as it concerns our motives, as it
concerns our boldness, and they also bring to bear the fact that we can stand
before the Lord in boldness at the day of Judgment.
ďBut, Iíve sinned.Ē
So what? Thatís not
mentioned. 1 John 1:9 tells us
ďif we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.Ē
What Heís talking about in these passages that weíve looked at is our
work, the things that weíve done in the body, and the things that concern our
relationship in Romans 14, and Heís teaching us that we can stand
before the Lord in boldness. And if
thatís not true, then 1 John 4:17 is not true.
As we saw in Colossians, we need
to beware or take heed so that we can stand boldly at the Judgment Seat of
Christ. Iíve even heard someone
call it the Judgment Seat of God, but itís the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The Great White Throne Judgment, which does have God the Father judging,
takes place about a thousand years later, and I donít have to worry about that
judgment. There wonít be any
rewards being handed out there; thatís where the records are opened, and the
lost are sent to the everlasting lake of fire; only the lost are judged there,
and they have judged themselves already by not accepting the free gift that has
been offered to them. But, we need
to access the free gift of grace that God has given us, and we need to confess
our sins, and we need to take heed so that we can stand boldly in every aspect:
body, soul and spirit; complete.
[Hebrews 10] to close.
Underneath all this, and as a foundation for everything, [Hebrews 10:19].
Aaron didnít have that. Do
you remember what Aaron had to do when he went into the tabernacle? The Lord told him, ďIf you donít do it just like this,
you will die.Ē
Now, you know, if the Lord told
me this about just unlocking the door to the church, Iíd be more than a little
nervous every time I unlocked the door. I
donít know how Gary, Larry or Dick feel, but I have a feeling that they might
all want the other to unlock the door, just in case.
ďLord, I want to do this just right, now.Ē
But, if Aaron didnít wear the
right clothes, or if he didnít take off the clothes he wasnít supposed to
have on, or if the priests didnít wash their hands, or if they didnít wash
their feet, the Lord said, ďYou will die.Ē
We donít have to worry about
all that. We can enter into the
Holiest by the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior.
And itís all because [Hebrews 10:20-25].
And this is indicative of the fact that you can see that day approaching, and you will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and He wants you to stand with boldness.