READING: 2 Corinthians 5
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:10
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 judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
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 want my life to give clear evidence of God’s work in my life, and I do not want to have nothing to place at His feet. Reaching that goal means making right choices today.
- 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.
- Worship the Lord with all your heart today.
PRAYER: “Lord, prepare me to stand before You some day. Change my decisions today that might affect my future tomorrow.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Romans 1-4, Acts 20:1-3
*This devotion was first posted in 2015.
**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.