The “Marriage Supper Of The Lamb” In Rev 19:6-10 Implications For The Judgment Seat Of Christ -- By: J. Paul Tanner

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 26:1 (Spring 2005)
Article: The “Marriage Supper Of The Lamb” In Rev 19:6-10 Implications For The Judgment Seat Of Christ
Author: J. Paul Tanner

The “Marriage Supper Of The Lamb”
In Rev 19:6-10
Implications For The
Judgment Seat Of Christ

J. Paul Tanner

J. Paul Tanner is Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Studies at the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary in Amman, Jordan.

I. Introduction

One of the marvelous contributions of the Bible is to inform us of the truly significant realities of life. One such significant reality that ought to be of paramount importance to all of us is the fact that we must one day stand before the presence of the living God and hear him evaluate us. That is, we must face the judgment of God. The NT is quite clear that even those of us in Christ must face judgment. For believers, however, our sin has already been judged in Christ, and we need not be in dread of being judged for our sin (John 5:24; Col 2:13–14). Nevertheless, we who are Christians do face a judgment, as the Apostle Paul has clearly stated in 2 Cor 5:10. Writing to Christians and urging them to live lives pleasing to the Lord, he hastens to add: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” This judgment seems to be for the purpose of evaluating our faithfulness to the Lord and the dispensing of appropriate rewards (cf. 1 Cor 4:4–5).

Evangelicals are agreed that a judgment awaits believers, but they have not been in agreement upon the time and situation at which this occurs. Some hold that there is only one general judgment for all people (saved and lost) following the return of the Lord, while others hold that there are several judgments to take place with the saved being judged on a separate occasion from the lost. The main purpose of this article is to clarify the time and circumstances in which believers will experience the “judgment seat of Christ.” Though I presume a premillennial perspective in this article, my conclusion (and the arguments by which I arrived there) should be of interest even to those holding a different conviction. After a brief

historical introduction to the debate, I will focus attention on the passage in Rev 19:6–10 and examine the contribution this makes to the discussion of the judgment seat of Christ and rewarding of believers.

II. The Historical Backdrop

Throughout most of church history, there has been an expectation of a single judgment that would ...

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