Text: 1 Cor. 3:10-15
Title: "Jesus Christ: The Righteous Judge of the Judgment Seat"
Thesis: That Christ will judge Christians in righteousness
Expository message

Intro: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

There is little doubt in our minds of the chilling reality of the G.W.T. Judgment for those who have rejected the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We understand that the justice of God demands punishment for sin. But, what of those who, by faith, have placed their trust in Jesus Christ and, therefore, have had their sins forgiven? Is there still a future day of judgment for us? Many would say, "No," but the Bible says "we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ"! Unfortunately, many Bible-believing Baptists have turned the Judgment Seat of Christ into a sort of "Dinner-on-the-grounds"! But if you believe the bloodhound of God's justice has lost the scent of your sin­­you are wrong!! If you believe that there will be no final accountability for the Christian­­you are wrong!!

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

As sure as I am standing here, there is coming a Day in which the children of God will stand before the righteous Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ. In His presence you will witness a revelation of the totality of your life! From the depths of your subconscious memory every thought, every word, every motive, and every act of your life since the day of your salvation will be paraded before your eyes!

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Journey with me, this morning, to that future day of accountability for the Christian­­called the Judgment Seat of Christ. Here, the righteous Judge will reveal His perfect justice. Here, there will be no respect of persons. Here the just reward of your life will be revealed. Here, God will have to wipe away many tears!

1 Cor. 3:10-15­­"Jesus Christ: The Righteous Judge of the Judgment Seat"­­prayer

Note: Two verses state the fact of each believer appearing before Christ.

2 Cor. 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ...." You will be there!

Rms. 14:10 "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." You will stand before Christ!

Note: Two verses state the purpose of each believer appearing before Christ.

Rms.. 14:12 "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." You will give an account!

2 Cor. 5:10 "...that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." You will receive as you have lived!

1) the Righteous Judge's Provision BEFORE judgment, 2) the foundation for judgment, 3) the basis for judgment, and 4) the day of judgment.

I. THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE'S PROVISION BEFORE JUDGMENT (v10)
A. Grace, Given by God (Grace to appear and time to prepare)
1. Grace for salvation
Eph. 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it (salvation) is the gift of God."

Note: It is by grace, the unmerited favor of God, that you will even appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ. You deserve to be in Hell! If it were not for God's grace, you would be appearing at the G.W.T. Judgment, to be cast into the lake of fire. Sin must be paid for!!

a. The question is, ARE YOU SAVED?

Note: Do you remember a time and place when you realized that you were guilty before God; that you repented of your sins; and put your faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life? If not, you need to repent and believe today!
Yes, bro. Darst, I believe I did that once (waitress, "I prayed that prayer"), but I am still not sure if I was really saved.
Let me ask you something. Did your lifestyle, your attitude, your desires, change? If there has been NO CHANGE in your lifestyle, there is NO CHANCE you are saved! NO CHANGE, NO CHANCE!!
2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

2. Grace for sanctification (your daily conformity to Christ)
Phil. 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
3. Grace for glorification (your transfer to glory)
Rms. 8:30 (in part) "...and whom He justified, them He also glorified."

All is by God's grace, and all is for God's glory!

B. Wisdom, Given by God (v10) ("wise")

Note: Ja. 3:17 says that "wisdom is from above." Wisdom is the Godly application or use of [Bible] knowledge. Here is what we have been given to get wisdom:

1. Word of God
Ps. 119:130 "The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."
a. We can know exactly what God wants us to know!
2. Mind of Christ
1 Cor. 2:16 says, that, "we have the mind of Christ."
a. We can think exactly like Christ wants us to think!
3. Holy Spirit's filling
2 Tim. 1:14 "That good thing, which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."
a. We can act exactly like the Spirit wants us to act!

Note: We have the instruction Book, the Mind of the Master, and the Holy Spirit's presence to keep the commandments of God.

C. Ability, Given by God ("masterbuilder")
Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
1. "Masterbuilder" has the thought of one who sees the results in his mind, building as he goes! He keeps his eyes on the prize!
a. Our Lord has not asked you to do something that can't be done, and He will not judge you for something you couldn't do! The Christian life is "mind over matter,"­­Christ's mind over your matter!

D. Encouragement, Given by God ("another")
1. Through the example of the humanity of Christ
Jn. 13:15 "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
2. Through the lives of other believers, from Adam to this present hour. If they could live a Christ-centered life, so can you!
Ja. 5:10 "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience."

E. Warning, Given by God
1. "Take Heed" = see to it how you build
a. You can build, but God's way, not yours
2. A continuing watchfulness & continuing building

The Righteous Judge's Provision includes grace, wisdom, ability, encouragement, and a warning. God has made every provision for you to be able to stand before Jesus Christ and not be ashamed. You have grace to appear and time to prepare. If you stand ashamed, you stand alone!

II. THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE'S FOUNDATION FOR JUDGMENT (v11)
A. Jesus Christ-the Settled Foundation
1. The use of the Name indicates that the actual Person of Christ is meant, and not someone's perception of Christ. All He represents!

Note: Knowing that there is a judgment to come, a wise man builds his life on the Rock! A prudent man builds his family on the Rock! A Scriptural church builds its assembly on the Rock! A prosperous nation builds its values on the Rock!

B. Jesus Christ-­the Only Foundation
1. None other (not one of the others!)
Jesus asked the 12 disciples, "Will ye also go away?" Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life" (Jn. 6:67-68).
2. Eternally laid
1 Pet. 1:20 "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."
a. Christ is the Foundation of the foundation!

Note: It was determined in eternity past that the Second Person of the Godhead would be the Foundation upon which all judgment would be made. He is the forever Foundation!

3. Divinely laid
Isa. 28:16 (repeated in 1 Pet. 2:6) "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, 'Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tried Stone, a precious corner Stone, a sure Foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste."

No man can change the Foundation, but you can sure work to improve on the building!

III. THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE'S BASIS OF JUDGMENT (v12-13a)

Note: Two words are used for "judgment seat" in the N.T. "Criterion" is found in Jam. 2:6 and 1 Cor. 6:2,4. This "judgment seat" is the place of the criteria/standard by which judgment is meted out, or the place where it is meted out.
The other word for judgment, "Bema" is found in Rms. 14:10 and 2 Cor 5:10. This is a raised platform where rewards were given out to those who had lawfully contested or competed. Associated with this idea are "prominence, honor, and reward" rather than the idea of justice or judgment.

A. His Ideal For Your Life
Col. 1:23 "If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel..."
1. Live and die by the Word of the Eternal God

B. His Illustration of Your Life
1. In 2 types of building materials
a. The rich & durable (Gold, silver, precious stones)
1) Works that abound from your daily walk with Christ, despite hardship and persecution
Jesus told the Laodicean church (our day), "to buy of Me gold, tried in the fire."
b. The paltry & perishable (Wood, hay, stubble) (read the surrounding context of chapt. 3)
1) Works that abound from your preoccupation with self and the things of this world

C. His Illumination of Your Life
1. WORKS made manifest (stated 4 times)
Phil. 2:12 says to "...work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling."

D. His Cleansing For Your Life
1. Repentance!
1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

IV. THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE'S DAY OF JUDGMENT (v13b-15)
A. THE Day of the Lord (v13)

Note: He doesn't face you, you face Him! You don't impress Him by your presence, He humbles you by His Person. You don't explain to Him what a great servant you've been, He exposes to you exactly what type of servant you've been!

B. Day of Declaration (v13)
1. "Declare" = to make manifest or evident, visible or clear. You will clearly see what you've done, how you've done it, and why you've done it! The light of Christ shall declare it and compare it (to Him)!
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts..." (1 Cor 4:5)

C. Day of Fire (v13)
1. "Reveal/prove" = to remove the veil or covering away from. Fire is almost always associated with judgment. The fire will purge all the dross and reveal the true residue.

D. Day of Trial ("testing") (v13)
1. For every man
2. For every man's work
3. Of whatever sort (kind) it is

Note: Every man's work is brought to light, and every man's work is tested! Abiding work (v14), and burning work (v15)

E. Day of Reward (v14)
1. Note: "Reward" = wages, payment. (See v8)
2. We see 2 requirements for reward.
a. That it be built upon the Foundation ("thereupon")
b. That it be enduring ("gold," etc.)
3. What you have earned, you will be paid!

F. Day of Loss of Reward (v15a)
1. "Loss" = casting off or away from. What you thought was gain, Christ counted but loss. It is not earned rewards taken away, but rewards not gained because they could not stand the heat!
2. "Suffer loss"

Note: Many scholars hold that the "loss of reward" means loss of ruling and reigning with Christ during the millennium.

1 John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."

2 Cor 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive [to preserve] the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

Col 3:23-25 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward [recompense, payback] of the inheritance [millennial service]: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive [in full] for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."

2 Tim 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"

Rev 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

G. Day of final salvation (v15b) ("shall be saved," finally saved!!)
1. Salv. is based on the Foundation! Rewards are based on the results of your life!

H. Day of Burning Shame (v15c)
1. Saved, though the fire reveals a worthless life
a. Your life reduced to its bare minimum, ashes

In conclusion, consider with me the soon coming of your Lord and Saviour. "The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Now you stand before the awful majesty of the eternal Son of God, in the presence of a multitude of angels chanting "Holy, holy, holy." We must all stand and we must all give an account!
At your feet will appear a likeness of the Foundation Stone, chosen of God, and precious. On that Foundation, upon which rests your faith in Christ, will be erected the temple of your life as lived for the Lord! This temple will be fashioned from the product of your life; what you've laid in store. Gold, silver, and precious stones, representing the outworking of Christ in your life! Wood, hay, and stubble, representing the outworking of your flesh in serving the Saviour. The temple rises like a Phoenix before your eyes. You hold your breath, and in one last self-serving thought, you are more impressed with this temple than you thought! At this instant, the gaze of Him Who's eyes are as coals of fire, passes through your temple, searching your heart. The wood, hay and stubble ignite with consuming flame reducing the visible product of your life to its true worth and value. And the Lord says, "Well?" And you reply, with a broken heart, "Done."
What sin is so important when viewed in the light of Christ's judgment? What thing in your life is holding you back from serving Christ with a whole heart? Christian, there is grace to repent, and time to prepare. It is not too late, but it is late. Will you get your heart right with God?
When you consider the majesty of this judgment, are you saved? Do you remember a time and a place where you received Christ as your Saviour? Has there been a change in your life since then? Christians give an account, but the lost are brought to account!

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