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The Judgement Seat of Christ

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2021 8:00 am

The Judgement Seat of Christ

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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July 12, 2021 8:00 am

When we became Christians, Jesus saved us from hell. But in this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans says that doesn’t mean we won’t find ourselves standing before what the Bible calls the judgment seat of Christ. Don’t miss this look at what you can expect when that happens and what you can do about it today.

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God is looking at the life we live to determine the benefits we receive. Dr. Tony Evans says for Christians judgment isn't about salvation but compensation. Ephesians 6 says that God will repay for the good things done well. He will burn up the things he can't use. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. When we became Christians, Jesus saved us from hell, but that doesn't mean we won't find ourselves standing before the judgment seat of Christ. Today Dr. Evans will tell us what to expect when that happens and what we can do about it today.

Let's join him. Many of us have paid for our children to go to college. We have picked up the tab for them to get a higher education.

In light of the high cost and expense of college and beyond, it is the concern of most parents that their money not be wasted. You probably have told your kids, I didn't send you to college to party. I didn't send you to college to get pregnant. I didn't send you to college to get on drugs.

I didn't send you to college to hang out with the wrong people. That's not why I sent you there. I sent you there to learn. I sent you there to study. I sent you there to maximize this opportunity for the reward that a possible education can bring you.

So there's probably more than one parent that's been ticked off that your kid is wasting your money, because the price is too high for them to be playing around with the gift of the education you yourself are paying for. What God wants you to know is that He picked up a high tab for your salvation. It comes at a mighty high price. The price of the second member of the Trinity giving his life on the cross for our sins to give us the free gift of eternal life.

That's a high price tag. And God wants you to know today that having given you that higher gift, He didn't give it to you for you to leave Him out, exclude Him, live independently of Him, reject Him, or simply go to church. Just like you don't pay for a student just to go to class, he doesn't pay for you just to come to church. That in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, He has left you here from the time of your salvation to the time of your death or the rapture, whichever comes first, for you to live a life that brings Him glory and advances His kingdom. And because that is the main reason He has left you here, there is coming a day when He is going to have a private and personal conversation with you about the life you lived between the time of your salvation and the time of your death or rapture, whichever comes first, and that event is called the judgment seat of Christ. It's called the judgment seat of Christ.

He says we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. The Greek word there is the word bima. The word bima is a platform that still exists over right outside of Corinth, over in the Middle East.

We've had the privilege of seeing that platform. It still exists when they did archaeological work and they came across the bima or the judgment seat. You see, Corinth was heavy into sports.

That's why Paul uses so much athletic analogies because the environment he was in was heavy in the sports. And they would have games called the Isthmian Games—you and I would call them the Olympics—where people would compete for prizes, for awards. They would compete and there would be the honored citizens seated at this raised platform known as the bima. This judgment seat was where awards were handed out to winners. So whoever won the gold or the silver or the bronze, to use our terminology, would be publicly recognized for their performance in that particular event. And they would come up to the bima to receive their award. There would be judges on the field to judge the activity being competed on. These judges were designed to make sure that when you competed, you competed consistent with the rules.

We have seen athletes stripped of their medals because while it looked like they won, they were found to have not run according to the rules. God is big on rewards. First Peter 1 17 says that God will reward your work. God is looking at the life we live between salvation and death or rapture to determine the benefits we receive. He goes into this in more detail in 1 Corinthians chapter 3.

Notice what he says beginning in verse 10. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation and another is building on it. Each man must be careful how he builds on it, for no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, and precious stones, wood, hay, and straw, each man's work will become evident for the day will show it because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on, it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire or, Evan's translation, by the skin of his teeth.

He says there's only one foundation, Jesus Christ, but you decide the kind of building you put on the foundation, meaning the kind of life you live. This building, your life, God will look at whether you use destructible or indestructible material. Gold, silver, precious stone, indestructible, wood, hay, and stubble, and it will be tested by fire. So the holiness of God's eyes are going to look at the life you live to determine whether it was quality or whether it was cheap. That is, you did not value. You see, when you put fire against gold, silver, and precious stones, you don't hurt it, because it can withstand the heat.

If you put fire against wood, hay, and stubble, poof, it's gonna burn up, because it's cheap stuff. God is saying, I gave you an expensive foundation, Jesus Christ. I don't expect you to live a cheap life based on that foundation that will burn up when my eyes penetrate it with the fire of holiness.

When he examines us, he's going to look at, he says, the quality of every man's work. Have you ever had anybody who worked for you who cut corners? They worked for you and they used cheap material, and you were not happy. Why? Because you didn't pay for cheap.

You paid for quality. God saved you with quality, redeemed you and me with quality, and he doesn't want a cheap life being lived on top of an expensive foundation, because it cost him too much. He says that he's going to examine. What is he going to examine? Scripture says he's going to examine, we just saw your deeds. He's going to examine your desires. He's going to examine Matthew 12, the words that you said, and he's going to examine the dependability that he had, your faithfulness.

1 Corinthians 4, 2, it's an encounter of the steward to be found faithful. So your deeds, your declarations, your desires, and your dependability. He's going to look at the quality.

So how does this work? Okay, it gets a little scary right here, because your whole life is on tape. Ever since you accepted Jesus Christ, it's been recorded. When you sit before Jesus Christ at the judgment seat of Christ, he's gonna play the tape. He's gonna play the tape of everything you've done. He's gonna play the tape of every word you've said. He's gonna play the tape of every thought you've thought. He's gonna play the tape of your time, your talents, and your treasures, and he's going to play the tape.

Now I don't know about you, but that's scary right there. Especially when he's gonna look at not only what I did, but what I said and what I thought. Since he will test, the Bible says, the motives of every man's heart.

Okay? So he's gonna look at all of that. He's running the tape. He comes to something in the tape that interests him.

He pushes pause. He says, explain that to me. Explain why you did that, why you went there, why you said that, why you said that that way, why you hurt that person, why you undercut that other person. Explain that to me. Explain to me the language you use, the words you said.

Explain that to me. I want you to interact with me. Are you getting a little nervous right now? He's gonna play the tape of your life, and he's going to look at it with you. Nobody will be able to speak up for you.

Nobody will be able to defend you, and even if you try to defend yourself, he will be able to get behind your defense. And so it will be a moment where you and I stand before him to explain how much you value the cross and the price paid for the life lived at the Bema Seat of Jesus Christ. That will explain why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 11, knowing the fear of God, knowing that this is gonna be a serious meeting, because in verse 10 he just talked about the judgment seat of Christ, knowing that this is no small meeting, that this, in fact, is a big deal.

And it is a big deal to him, Hebrews 4 says, to him whose eyes will lay bare all the motives of men's heart. Some folks gonna say, but I went to church. To what Jesus gonna say, I didn't save you to go to church, I saved you to impact. I didn't save you to sit, soak, and sour. I didn't save you to hold up a space in a sanctuary. I saved you to be my representative in history. I saved you to use your time, the talents, the giftedness I've given you, the resources I've provided you to advance my cause.

Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with some practical advice about how we can live up to our calling and produce a return on God's investment in us. But first, this personal reflection from Tony on seeing God's hand of faithfulness even during rough times. There were times when I was overwhelmed with the burdens of life, when I didn't know that I could keep going, and yet God would bring someone or something to speak words of encouragement to me during difficult times. Of course, 2019 was one of those times when I lost my wife over 49 years.

And how do you keep going during that season? One month after I'd lost my father. And yet God provided the strength that I needed to keep proclaiming His Word during those difficult days. And I'm very grateful that for 40 years we've seen His kind hand of favor on this ministry. The growth and impact God has blessed this ministry with is nothing short of a miracle, and none of it would be possible without the faithful contributions of people like you. And that's why I want to let you know about a special package we put together as our way of saying thank you when you make a donation to help keep this outreach going. It starts with our current two-volume 12-message audio collection, Prophecy and Our World. It also includes a copy of Tony's popular book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare. Together this powerful package will help you better understand what's in store for our future and give you the tools to help overcome spiritual attacks as you walk through his unfolding plan. We'd like you to have a copy of Prophecy and Our World and Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare as our gift when you make a donation to help support the work of the alternative.

But don't wait, this offer will only be around for a short while. Details are available for you at, where you can also sign up for Tony's free weekly email devotional. Again, that's, or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our friendly team members help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Right now, Tony's back with part two of today's lesson. When this judgment seat of Christ comes that we all will face it'll be a time of reckoning and reward. Hebrews 11 says, he that cometh to God must first believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. He believes in rewards.

Jesus even believes in rewards because he says in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 2, for the joy set before him he endured the cross. So I want to take a moment and speak to those of you right now who are hurting and who are suffering, and life has not been fair. It's not fair that you were raised the way you were raised. It was not fair that you were abused the way you were abused. It's not fair that somebody walked out on you. It's not fair that you were mistreated at work.

It's not fair and you're living under the brunt of unfairness. You are on a cross. What you have to understand is what what God is saying is if you have to suffer now, if you have to go through some stuff that doesn't get fixed in this life, the reason that he doesn't fix it in this life is his increasing reward in the life to come.

So you have to understand that. That's why Paul says, I reckon that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed under me. The Bible says if we suffer with him we shall also reign with him. So when God allows you to go through something that's not fair on earth, and you remain faithful to the Lord, he has decided to hold that off until he gives you a bigger reward later. So you do not lose when you're losing.

If in your losing, you remain committed to him through the loss. So for the joy set before him, even Jesus endured because he knew the great reward, the kingdom would be his on Resurrection Day. So God is in the rewards, and he's in the big rewards. On the other hand, the Bible says in 1 John 2, 28, I don't want you to be ashamed of him in his coming. Many of us don't want Jesus to come back today because the tape wouldn't look pretty. We don't want Jesus to come back today because there wouldn't be much on the tape.

That is a value to him. John says, I don't want you to be ashamed that his coming. He shows up and says, no, not now, not now, I'm not right. Not now, I have nothing to show you. I've lived for myself. Yeah, I went to church, but I don't have anything that has eternal value. I don't have anybody I've witnessed to that's in heaven because of me. I don't have any lives that have been improved because of my relationship with you. I don't have any sins that I've gotten victory over. And I don't want you to come back now.

A shame that is coming. He says, I don't want that to be your legacy, your witness. Ephesians 6 says that God will repay for the good things done well.

He will burn up the things he can't use. A woman died, went to heaven, she was very wealthy on earth. St. Peter said, let me show you your new home, and it was a shack. All of her friends were much poorer than her had mansions.

She said, wait a minute, wait a minute, how come I got this little old raggedy shack up here? Peter said, well, we only use the material you sent up. And if all you sent up is junk, stuff that was only for you, stuff that had no benefit to God, no glory to God, no kingdom benefit, then that's the stuff he's going to use. You see, heaven is not equal. The place is equal, but the rewards are not. Just like hell. Hell is not equal. Every person in hell is not in the same location. There is maximum security, minimum security, and medium security.

Okay? Heaven has different levels. Everything is not equal. I know we got that concept, but the Bible does teach us just the opposite.

That's why he's concerned that you don't lose your reward. A scripture that brings this out is a story Jesus told in Matthew 25. In Matthew 25, it's the story of the talents, and I can't go through the whole story, but I want to highlight something to you, because it's about rewards.

He talks about the kingdom, and he says in verse 14, for it, the kingdom, is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each to his own ability, which means God is not holding you accountable for what he gave somebody else.

You're only accountable for what he's given you. So one with five went out, and he made five more, because the master returned, verse 19, and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five came and brought five more, and the master said, well done, you're good and faithful servant.

I put you over a few, now I'm gonna put you in charge of much. Now, verse 22, the one who received two talents went out, and he came up with two more. The master said, well done, good and faithful servant, faithful of a few things, I will put you in charge over many. Verse 24, the one who had received the one talent came and said, Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you do not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.

See, you have what is yours. But his master answered and said to him, you wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reaped where I did not sow, gathered where I scattered no seed, then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. The master says, you wicked, lazy slave, you don't want to give any of your effort for me.

You're not lazy for you, you're lazy for me. Now, watch the strategy of this one. He's a shrewd guy. He buries it. Why?

Because he's playing the end against the middle. If the master returns, I still have his talent, so I'm gonna give it to him. But what happens if the master does not return?

I got the talent. So let me hide it to see whether he's gonna come back. Because if he comes back, then I didn't lose it. If he doesn't come back, I got it.

Some of us are playing the end against the middle. We didn't heard about this return to Jesus, but he on his long journey, and I don't know if Jesus is coming back or not. So let me play. Let me not invest too much in him. I'll give him a little church. I'll give him an hour and 45 minutes on Sunday.

So in case he comes back, I got something. But I ain't gonna go whole hog in this in case this isn't real. Then I won't have spent my life wasting my time.

We're playing the end against the middle. See, so it depends on how strongly you believe this is real. When you are serious about the future, it affects what you do in the present. See, if you want to be a doctor, you don't wait till you're 80. You gotta start with college and medical school and all that.

You gotta do that. If you want to make it into pro sports, you don't start working out when you're 50, because your dream of the future will affect your activity now. And the reason why so many Christians are lazy and wicked is because this is not important to their future. They don't believe this future's real, so they don't live in light of that future. And so that's why they're not concerned about their sin.

That's why they're not concerned about their compromise. That's why they're not repentant. They're not repentant, because they don't put a lot of stock in this return that the master's coming back. But the master did come back, and Jesus is coming back. And when he does come back, it's gonna be a day of reckoning. He said, you lazy slave, you could—if you were serious about me at all—you could at least have put it in the bank.

There wasn't even enough concern about my return that you weren't even to give me cheap bank interest. See, once you have made the decision that heaven is real, Christ is real, the judgment of the seed of Christ is real, it's gonna shift what you do with time, talents, and treasures, decisions, sin, circumstances. It's gonna affect you because it's being recorded. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about preparing for the day when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ. And if you'd like to get the full-length version of today's message to review on your own or share with your small group, family, or friends, it's available as a part of Tony's two-volume series, Prophecy and Our World.

And don't forget, for a limited time, we'll send you all 12 messages in this collection as our way of saying thanks when you make a contribution to help keep this program coming your way. Get the details before time runs out when you visit And as an added bonus, we'll also include a copy of Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare, a proven resource that's already being used by over a hundred thousand readers.

And this special keepsake edition includes a luxury cover that looks and feels like leather. So don't wait, contact us right away to make all the arrangements at Again, that's Or if you prefer, team members can help you with your resource request when you call any time of the day or night at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Biblical prophecy tells us that in the end, God wins and His kingdom lasts forever. But it also says there are some pretty scary things destined to happen along the way. Dr. Evans will tell us about one of them tomorrow as he explores the coming tribulation. Don't miss it. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 05:44:33 / 2023-09-23 05:53:54 / 9

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