In this post, and in the upcoming posts, I will be attempting to convey what happens in heaven immediately following the Rapture of the church. We will focus on the two major events: the judgment of the church at the Bema Seat of Christ, and the Marriage of the Lamb, which is the marriage of the church to Christ. These events will occur in heaven simultaneously with the events happening on earth from the Rapture until His Second Coming.
Most Christians, it seems, have very little concern about whether they will have to give an account for their life or not. They live as if what they do now will have little effect on eternity. Beginning here with all of the bible references provided, I will give proof that Christians will, in fact, stand before Christ at what is called the Bema Seat, and will be judged by Him according to their works. We will begin in this post to describe very briefly what the Bema is.
The Greek word, Bema, is a term used in Scripture to identify the place of judgment, and is the same word used for the place an athlete would be rewarded (2 Cor. 5:10; Acts 18:12-16). Thus, in the Greek games the Bema would appear as an elevated platform, with ascending steps, where a judge would sit overlooking the entire field of events. There he would preside over the games and would hand down decisions and rewards.1
Since the believer’s judgment will take place in the heavenlies and all that are judged will be in their translated bodies, there is no way we can know for sure what this judgment seat (bema) will actually look like—since in heaven everything will be different. However, regardless of its appearance, what we may derive from the term Bema is that it will be a high and lofty place, God’s throne of judgment, where He will sit to dispense judgment over each believer, and thus where He will gladly give to us our rewards.
1 Paul M. Sandler, “Part 1: The Judgment Seat of Christ,” at https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/the-judgment-seat-of-christ-part-1/.