The Day Is the Judgment Seat of Christ -- By: Bob Wilkin

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 20:39 (Autumn 2007)
Article: The Day Is the Judgment Seat of Christ
Author: Bob Wilkin


The Day Is the Judgment Seat of Christ

Bob Wilkin

I. Introduction

Several years ago at a Pre-Trib Study Group Conference I heard Dr. Richard Mayhue speak on the day of the Lord. He suggested that the day of the Lord has been (in the OT) and will be (in the Tribulation) a time of judgment followed by a time of blessing for Israel.

As an aside, Dr. Mayhue suggested that there are similar expressions using the words day and Lord that do not carry that meaning. He said that the expressions the day of the Lord Jesus and the day of Christ always refer to the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema, and never to the Tribulation.

This study will examine those expressions and will show that they indeed refer to the Judgment Seat of Christ. It will also show that even the single word day (hēmera in Greek) often refers to the Bema.

For years I missed the point of all these texts because I didn’t understand these important truths. My thesis is that we will miss what the Lord is telling us in these various passages if we fail to recognize that the day of the Lord Jesus is His Judgment Seat.

II. The Day of the Lord Jesus Christ and The Day of the Lord Jesus

Let’s begin by looking at two closely related expressions, the day of the Lord Jesus and the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are three such passages in the NT.

A. First Corinthians 1:8

Paul’s prayer for the believers in Corinth was that they “may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (emphasis added). This is typically understood by commentators as a desire that they prove

to be true believers who ultimately make it into the kingdom. Morris writes, “No charge can be laid against those whom Christ guarantees (cf. Rom. 8:33).”

Such an interpretation is, of course, inconsistent with the free gift of eternal life. Believers need not do anything in order to enter the kingdom. Even believers who fail to persevere in faith or good works are guaranteed to spend eternity with the Lord Jesus. While not all believers will be blameless on that day, all believers will enter the kingdom.

Recognition that Paul is talking about being blameless at the Judgment Seat of Christ allows this passage to make perfect sense. When this passage is linked to other texts in First and Second Corinthians (cf. 1 Cor 3:13; 5:5; 9:24–27;...

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