God’s entire purpose in calling us is to place us back in the position for which we were originally created––to be a “joint-heirs” with Christ ruling and reigning with Him over the earth during His 1000-year millennial reign.
Furthermore, another purpose of our salvation is not only an earthly mission (to be conformed into the “image of Christ” for a witness to others), but also to partake in the blessings of a future heavenly and glorious kingdom.
All believers will face the Lord at the Judgment seat of Christ (also called the Bema seat of Christ).
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “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.”
At the Bema Judgment or Judgment seat of Christ we will be judged for what we, the believers have accomplished on earth after obtaining salvation. We will not be judged for our sins. From the time of salvation onward, God records all of our works that we have done for the kingdom of God (our deeds of righteousness while on earth.)
Our works can be categorized into two groups:
1) Gold, silver and precious stones.
2) Wood, hay and stubble.
Our works are categorized by what motivates us to do the works of God: “Am I doing it for the glory of God or am I doing it for my own attention or selfish gain? Works are the fruit and not the root. We work because we are saved, not because we are earning our salvation. Works demonstrate the reality of our faith
OUR SOLE MOTIVATION SHOULD BE BASED ON THE LOVE OF JESUS!
We will also be judged and/or rewarded for the following:
· How we treat other believers.
· How we exercise our authority over others. (Especially children.)
Matthew 19:14 “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
· How we employ our God-given abilities.
· How we use our money.
· How we spend our time. (This is the one commodity that is irreplaceable; once it’s gone, it’s gone.)
· How we endure persecution for the sake if the gospel.
Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
· How we “run the race.”
· How we control our old nature (strive to keep the flesh under subjection).
Romans 6:5-14 “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
· How many souls we win for Christ.
Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. The five crowns mentioned in the New Testament are:
· The Incorruptible Crown: For those who master the flesh or the old nature.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway
· The Crown of Rejoicing: For soul-winners.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.”
· The Crown of Life: For those who successfully endure temptation.
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
· The Crown of Glory: Given to faithful preachers and teachers.
1 Peter 5:1-4 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
· The Crown of Righteousness: For those who believe and love the doctrine of the Rapture.
2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Revelation 4:9-11 “And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
It is late in the hour and I want you to be sure of this: There is a crown reserved for each of us who love God, and who out of that love perseveres and remains faithful. And one day, we will certainly have to follow the lead of the 24 elders and lay—nay, cast—those crowns down before Jesus.
However, our faithfulness does play a role in all this. We will be given crowns; as we lay down everything that is us, and remain steadfast and faithful to Him and what He has done for us, we shall receive these crowns let alone eternal rewards. And as we remain faithful into eternity, we shall be forever entrusting our crowns back to our King.
Thank God we have the Holy Spirit. We know the role of the Holy Spirit is to help believers become sanctified and reach the goal of inheriting the kingdom. First of all, the Holy Spirit is sent to seal us, then to sanctify us and finally, to transform us into Christ’s image for our future inheritance.
Revelation 3:11 “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”