In Part 1 of this post, At the Judgment — Part 1, we learned that God’s Word is clear that the believers’ sins are forgiven, cleansed, and remembered no more.
But what about those verses that say things like we will give account of every idle word, etc.?
Let’s take a closer look at those.
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1) Matthew 12:36 —
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Which day of judgment? Judgment of the saved or Judgment of the lost? In the context of this verse, Jesus is speaking to evil men He has just called a generation of vipers.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34
So, in this passage Jesus is speaking to lost men, evil men. He warns them that their words are of eternal consequence, either condemning them or saving them. (Matthew 12:37, Romans 10:9) Jesus warns them, then, in verse 36 that when they are judged…at the Great White Throne Judgment of the lost…they will give account of every idle word.
Whatever you take “idle” to mean, it is certain that the injurious, blasphemous, malignant words that they had been speaking to and about Jesus (Matthew 12:24-37) would surely condemn them in that day.
This passage does not indicate that the saved will give account at the Judgment Seat of Christ of every idle word that we have ever spoken.
2) 1 Corinthians 4:5 —
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: and then shall every man have praise of God.
The context of this passage is dealing with faithful ministers and judgment of them by man versus by God. The “hidden things of darkness” is referring to motives of the heart, which we cannot see. It is not referring to sins.
This verse is saying that Jesus will judge His ministers based on secret heart motives that only He can see. And then grant them the praise due unto them.
This verse is not saying that Jesus will judge and reveal the believer’s sins at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
3) Luke 12:2 —
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
The context of this verse is referring to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Jesus is warning His disciples against the sin of hypocrisy. This verse simply means the same as
But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
Or, in other words, we will reap what we sow…eventually. (Galatians 6:7)
This verse is not proof that God will have some sort of a movie screen in heaven to “reveal” all our hidden secret sins at the Judgment Seat of Christ!
4) Romans 14:12 —
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Every one, saved or lost, will give account of himself to God, at one judgment or the other.
However, this verse does not say that the Christian’s sins are brought up for him to answer for, in that accounting.
I do not see anywhere in scripture a verse that contradicts the abundantly clear verses we looked at in Part 1 of this post that tell us…
God has removed our sins from us and will remember them NO MORE!
So, then how will we be judged?
We are told specifically that it is our works, or service to the Lord…as His children…that will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
It is our works, after we became believers…those built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ…that are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
I used to think that, besides our good works, our sins were also judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. So that would mean that the sins I committed after becoming a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ would be the ones judged.
Well, that didn’t seem fair. I was saved young, 13 years old. While my husband was saved at age 36. And while neither one of us were terrible teenagers, it didn’t seem right that his teen-aged sins wouldn’t be seen at the Judgment, but mine would! Praise God ALL of both of our sins are washed away, never to be seen or heard of again! (See At the Judgment — Part 1)
Now you may be wondering, like I did, what the bad works (2 Corinthians 5:10) are that get burned up, if they aren’t our sins. Let me give some examples—
A church solo sung to impress a boyfriend
Church attendance because Mom made me
Grudgingly given tithes and offerings
Bible reading for the sake of marking off your checklist
Anything in service to God and others done in our own self-confidence instead of the Spirit’s power and leading
Any works we do to be seen of men—Jesus said…
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:1
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:5
The bad works judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, then, are the works we did in ‘service to God’ that don’t deserve reward.
God, who alone can see our hearts, will judge the secrets of our hearts’ motives in our service to Him.
Did you serve him with gladness and faith because of your love for Him and for the souls He loved and died for?
Or did you serve Him out of obligation, fear of judgment, or to be seen of men?
That is what will be revealed at the judgment…our hearts’ motives. And not revealed as in shown to all in attendance. But rather…
“revealed by fire.”
Not a movie screen! Or even by talking about it with Jesus!
The fact that the work burns up, will reveal that it was bad, or worthless, worth no reward.
But, you ask…Without the fear of answering for our sins, won’t believers think they can just live the way they want to?
I hope not.
Just because our sins won’t be seen again, doesn’t mean we won’t suffer shame as we see our works burn up. Or suffer loss when we realize the rewards we have forfeited…for all of eternity.
Think of the sadness we will experience, knowing that we have no more opportunity to go back and make any changes in the way we lived on earth.
With that in mind, I see the fact that my sins are gone as the power I need to finally forgive myself completely.
And move on…To serve the Lord from a motivation of love for Him and overwhelming thankfulness…and a longing to hear Him say to me,
Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:21
What a burden has been lifted that I have felt when thinking about the Judgment.
Praise God! I am free! Free to serve Him without fear and worry. Or wariness. For “perfect love casteth out fear.” (1 John 4:18)
And look forward to the Judgment with joyous anticipation!
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
Will you be at the Judgment Seat of Christ? If you aren’t sure that you are saved, please contact me either through the LDN Contact page or by private message on Facebook or by Comment below. I would love to share with you how you can be sure that you are forgiven and headed to Heaven. You might like to also read…The Simplicity of the Gospel.
Child of God, what are your thoughts about the Judgement to come?