READING: 2 Corinthians 5-9
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I remember as a young believer how grateful I was that I would never stand before God in judgment. At least, that’s the way I heard the message. Jesus paid the price for us, so we would never have to pay that price. He bore my judgment, so I would never be judged. All judgments were settled at the cross, others assured me.
But then I read 2 Corinthians 5:10 — “For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.”
Wait — that text says that I WILL appear before Christ’s judgment seat, and I WILL answer for my actions. My salvation is secure, and my sins have been covered in Christ’s blood, but Christ will judge me to determine whatever rewards I may or may not get. As one writer put it, “It [the judgment] is concerned with the assessment of works and, indirectly, of character, not with the determination of destiny; with reward, not status.”*
And, if the rewards I receive are the very crowns I will throw at the Redeemer’s feet in the future (Rev. 4:10), I desperately want to reflect His glory in that judgment. I do not want to have nothing to place at His feet.
Reaching that goal means making right choices today.
ACTION STEPS: Consider this question: “If I were to stand before Christ in judgment today, what rewards would I gain to give back to Him?” If you believe they would be few, turn more fully to God today.
PRAYER: “Lord, prepare me to stand before You some day. Change my decisions today that might affect my future tomorrow.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Corinthians 10-13
*Harris, M. J. (1976). 2 Corinthians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans through Galatians (Vol. 10, p. 349). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.