What is the Judgment Seat of Christ?

There is a good deal of confusion regarding the judgments that follow death. Many people believe that Christians are not subject to any kind of judgment because all their sins have been covered by the blood of Christ, which is true. However, certain Bible verses declare that Christians will indeed be judged at what is called the Judgment Seat or Bema Seat of Christ. One such verse is Romans 14:10-12: “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God … So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Paul is speaking here to the Roman believers. He has a similar message to the believers in Corinth: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). In the context, it is clear that in both incidents, Paul is addressing Christians, not unbelievers.

Unlike the Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers, the Judgment Seat of Christ is not for the purpose of condemnation. We know that believers cannot be punished for sin because Christ bore that punishment on the cross and “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Rather than a judgment of condemnation or a determiner of salvation, there are two purposes for the Bema Seat. First, according to Romans 14:10-12, believers are to “give an account” of ourselves to God. What kind of account will we have to give? According to 1 Corinthians 3:10-13, we will be judged based on what we have built upon the foundation which is Christ. We make choices throughout our lives as to the kind of things we add to the foundation of our salvation. Have we built upon the Rock with gold, silver and precious stones—those things that last for eternity—or with wood, hay, and stubble which will be burned up. Have we rejoiced in trials so that our faith is proved genuine to the glory of God (1 Peter 1:6-7)? Have we escaped the “corruption that is in the world” (2 Peter 1:4) or have we succumbed to “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life” that characterizes the love for this world which is passing away (1 John 2:16-17 NIV)? Have we controlled our tongues (James 3:1-9)? These are the kinds of things that will be exposed at the Bema Seat.

A second function of the Judgment Seat of Christ is that of God rewarding us for our service and good deeds. Believers will receive “crowns” for different things based on how faithfully we have served Christ. Among the crowns we will receive are an “imperishable crown” for faithful endurance through trials (1 Corinthians 9:24-25); a “crown of rejoicing” which Paul speaks of as the presence in heaven of others in whom we have invested ourselves as he did (1 Thessalonians 2:19); a “crown of righteousness” for our faith in Him as our only source of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8); a “crown of glory” with which we will participate in the glory of God (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17); and the “crown of life” which is the promise of eternal life through Christ (1 John 2:25; James 1:12).

Unlike the Great White Throne judgment, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be a time a great rejoicing for believers, those who have waited patiently for the day when we will hear those precious words from our Savior, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).


The Bible Says:

  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6)
  • And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
  • And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
  • Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3)
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
  • But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
  • Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12)
  • Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
  • And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)
  • For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.(2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT)
  • Pray This Prayer if You Would Like to Receive Jesus

    "Dear God, Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die for me. Thank You, Jesus, that because You suffered and died in my Place. I can be completely forgiven of all my sins and have eternal life with you forever. Forgive me for everything I have done that is not Your will and Your way for my life. Cleanse me with Your forgiveness so that I can be free of all guilt, shame, and any sense of failure. I believe that after You were crucified, You rose from the dead and now live in the hearts of all who receive You. I believe “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I receive Your love and Your life – . You to live in me today by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help live in a way that is always pleasing in Your sight so that I can all You created me to be. All glory be to Your name and “let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalm 18:46). “Lord, I thank You for Your love and Your mercy, thank You, Lord, for the word that has reached my heart today. I ask for Your forgiveness. Forgive me. Wash me with Your precious blood. Write my name in the Book of Life. Accept me as Your child, Lord. Right now, I forgive anyone that I had not been able to forgive. I renounce to my lack of forgiveness. I renounce all things that have hindered Your flow, and I ask You to transform me and to fill me with Your presence every day. Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

  • Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God
  • In God We Trust, Pray Hard, Keep Watch, Stand Firm - Love God, Live Crucified, Serve Others, Share Christ, Show Grace, Shun sin, Stay Pure Be Holy, Walk Humbly, Act Justly - Bear Fruit, Obey Christ, Get Wisdom - Fear God, Fight evil, Forgive all Help the Poor, Equip the Saints, Preach the Gospel, Praise the Lord, Protect the Innocent - Be Ready, Finish Strong & Overcome ! ! ! Souls, Souls, Souls for Jesus!
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