Friday, December 02, 2011

The Bema Judgment

I recently was reacquainted with a doctrine called the “Bema Judgment of God.” The Bema judgment is the teaching that says that at the end of time, before the final judgment of God all men will be judged for what they have done in this life, whether good or sinful.

The teaching comes primarily from Romans 14:10 which says “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” and 2 Cor. 5:10 which says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

From these, Christians have concluded that though their sins may actually be forgiven (according to 1 John 1:9), they will still have to face God in the end, and explain all the crazy, sinful things they did in this life. They will stand before God and be embarrassed for all eternity because of their shameful behavior.

But the Bible does not teach this doctrine. The bible clearly and plainly teaches that those who have put their trust in Jesus have an advocate in Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1), Jesus intercedes for those who come to God through him (Heb. 7:25), Jesus is our representative (Heb. 2:17), and because Jesus is our high priest (Heb. 4:15) we will stand before God bathed in the righteousness of Christ.

There will be a judgment in the end, but what the Bible teaches is that something like this will happen. God’s people will stand in the box and God will start to ask us to give an account of ourselves. That that point Jesus will step forward and shout for all creation to hear, “This is my brother. I died for him.” “This is my sister, I shed my blood on her behalf.” “This is my father and my mother, they are mine. They belong to me.”

And God will say to Jesus, “That’s good enough for me.” Then, he will turn to us and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into my rest” (Matt. 25:21).

The Bible does say that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), but it goes on to say that if we sin after having confessed them already, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous (1 John 2:1). Once confessed, they will never be brought up again. They will be forgotten never to be remembered (Heb. 10:17).

With this in mind, as you are able, join me in kneeling before the Lord of glory to confess our sins.

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