After the remainder of God’s people are taken to the air in the final rapture near the end of the Great Day of God’s Wrath, they will appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Also the ones who were raptured to the throne of God, the male-child (overcomers), the firstfruits and the martyrs, will also come down to join all of God’s people in the air to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The Judgment Seat of Christ
Paul writes, “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:10-12). And again: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10-11a).
What is judgment?
We all experience judgment throughout our entire life. As we grow up, our parents, out of love, discipline us to become proper people. We go to school, do homework and take quizzes and exams to obtain the diploma to graduate. We go on job interviews, receive training and performance reviews to advance in our career. The trials, criticisms, and even persecutions are all judgments to perfect us. Each step we take to achieve a goal is preceded by judgment. If there is judgment throughout our human life, why would it be any different in our spiritual life in God’s kingdom?
Many only focus on and emphasize God’s love, but do not realize that His love always goes together with His righteousness. We see God’s love and righteousness in our initial salvation. In the first part of John 3:16 God’s love is emphasized “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Wouldn’t it be sufficient for God just to forgive us of our sins? Why did He have to send His only begotten Son? It is because of God’s righteousness. We “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). As much as God wants to save us, He cannot just forgive us. His Son lived a life without sin. When He was crucified, His innocent blood paid off our debt of sin. By believing in His Son, we are justified according to God’s righteousness. So, the second half of the verse shows God’s righteousness, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The judgment is: if we believe in His Son, we will receive everlasting life, and if we do not believe in His Son, we will not receive everlasting life but perish.
God’s judgment on His people is evident in many verses. Here a few:
- “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17)
- “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:30-31)
- “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom…” (1 Tim. 4:1)
- “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (1 Tim. 4:8)
Why does God judge His people?
When Christ returns, He will establish God’s kingdom of righteousness on the earth (Rom. 14:17; Heb. 1:8-9). He will make His people who are qualified to become kings and priests to reign together with Him in God’s kingdom (Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9-10; 20:6). The question is: Will we be qualified and ready?
What is God’s reward or punishment for Christians? Click HERE.