I have been writing on the Bema seat of Christ, which is the place of judgement for Christians at the end of time, when we will be judged for our works, whether they be good or bad, and where we will be rewarded for all our good works. In this blog I am writing on who the judge is and what the setting will be like.
The Judge of The Bema
The judge at the Bema will undoubtedly be Christ; for in 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul teaches that “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…” And we know that this judgment is exclusive to the second person of the trinity, Christ the Son, because the Father has given Him that designation. In five different gospel references we see this bestowal. It is termed as a “handing over,” or a “giving” of “all thing,” “all authority,” and “all judgment,” from the Father to Christ the Son (Matt. 11:27; 28:18; Jn. 3:35; 5:22; 5:27).
With this in mind, no one is to pass judgment on anyone (in terms of a person’s thoughts or motives). We are to wait until Christ the Lord comes. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:5,
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
The Setting of The Bema
What we are after here is to identify, as best we can, what this place of judgment will be like. What will it look like? What will the process of judgment be? What will we experience?
As we have already mentioned, the place of the Bema will be in heaven. And we really don’t have any idea what it will look like. We know that it will take place after the Rapture, so we know that we will all be in our new, transformed bodies. That means that time will not have the same meaning; also, we will have perfect recall of our lives. We will remember everything we ever did or thought.
It is likely that our judgment will not be as a group, but individually. Both Romans 14:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 make that plain. “Each one” will appear before Christ to be questioned by Him and to give an account of himself. And it is also clear that there will be a complete and thorough review of our lives. He will bring to light every secret thing. Every thought and motive of our mind and heart will be exposed (1 Cor. 4:5).
As I mentioned, the judgment is on an individual basis; however, I am not sure if others will not witness it. Will it be like a courtroom, where all will be watching? Or will it be a private judgment just between Christ and me. Whatever it is, it will be a fair and just process.