Over the past week, I have been doing annual reviews with those on staff at our church. While this might sound somewhat strange, I have always enjoyed review time. It is often good to hear things that we don't want to hear. That is how we grow. That is how we change. That is how we can work towards a better year. We can grow stronger in our strengths and even shore up some of our weaknesses.
As I have thought about these reviews, my mind has continually been reflected back to the ultimate review that will take place for all Christians at some point. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that every one of us will stand before Jesus to give an account.
"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." (2 Cor. 5:10)
Am I ready for the only review that matters?
This is sometimes referred to as the Bema Seat of Christ (for the Greek term that is used for judgment here is 'bema'). When Paul says that we will appear, it has the idea of being turned inside out. It means that I will be stripped completely open and my true character is being revealed. All of my hypocrisies will be revealed. All of my secrets that are easy to hide from a boss will be exposed. All of my intimate sins will be scrutinized by Christ.
I am fairly sure at this point I will be grateful for memorizing Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." I will cling to that promise when the One who knows me better than anyone finally looks into my eyes to give me my final review.
Can you imagine? Do you even want to imagine? What will it be like to look into the eyes of your Savior, the One who died for you, the One who loves you with a love that is so uncompromising that He died for you when you were still His enemy. To look at His scars on His hand, to think about the crown of thorns that He once wore and to know that you are completely laid open to Him of all your secrets, all your masks, everything you want to hide from everyone; they will all be fully known to Jesus.
It will not be a judgment of built-up anger, for the anger of God has already been poured out upon Jesus for all of my sins. So what is it? I think we get the best clue into what this is when we understand the word that Paul uses for "bad" in 2 Corinthians 5:10. It is a term that refers to being worthless. I think Paul is saying that we will be judged on the good things and the worthless things we do in life. It is a judgment of rewards, not condemnation.
And while it is not a judgement of condemnation, I still cannot imagine that it will be pleasant. Later this week, it is my plan to write a bit more on this subject. For while we are often eager to do things to please our boss or those we work with, how much more should we be eager to serve and take advantage of every opportunity we have for our King Jesus?
Are You Ready For The Only Review That Matters?