Will Christians be judged for all our works at the judgment seat of Christ?
2nd Corinthians 5 “10 For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive the things in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
But wait a minute. Wasn’t Jesus Christ already judged for our sins? Why is there one more judgment for our works?
Well let us read the context of Paul’s epistle:
Paul was trying to persuade the Gentiles about something:
2nd Corinthians 5 “11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are revealed to God, and I hope that we are revealed also in your consciences. “
Paul had tasted the love of Christ in salvation and was now compelled to tell others to be saved:
2nd Corinthians 5 “14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge thus, that one died for all, therefore all died. 15 He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again. 16 Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. 18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.“
Paul told the Gentiles that God is not judging our sins because He already judged Christ for our sins. Jesus became sin so that we become righteous by faith in Him. God had already taken the first step of reconciliation by forgiving our sins on the cross.
Paul was telling these Gentiles to reconcile back to God by faith in Christ and receive His righteousness freely without works by believing in Jesus.
If we read the next chapter, we see that some of these Gentiles in the Corinth Church were not fully convinced about Jesus and were worshipping idols:
2nd Corinthians 6 “Working together, we entreat also that you do not receive the grace of God in vain….Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation….11 Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians. Our heart is enlarged…. 14 Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship do righteousness and iniquity have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what portion does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk in them. I will be their God and they will be my people.”17 Therefore “‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. 18 I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.“
These Gentiles claimed to be believers but were going back to the pagan idols.
Therefore Paul was questioning if they were even saved:
2nd Corinthians 13 “5 Examine your own selves, whether you are in the faith. Test your own selves. Or don’t you know about your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”
Paul had told Gentiles all over the world to repent from worshipping false gods/idols (change their mind) and turn to Christ by faith to be saved:
Acts 17 “29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man. 30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.”
Gentiles were told to turn away from idols and sexual immorality. In those days, idol-worship and sexual immorality was very gross and rampant in the Roman empire.
Acts 15 ” 19 Therefore my judgment is that we don’t trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality”
1st Thessalonians 4 ” 3 For this is the will of God: your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who don’t know God, 6 that no one should take advantage of and wrong a brother or sister in this matter; because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also we forewarned you and testified. 7 For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification. 8 Therefore he who rejects this doesn’t reject man, but God, who has also given his Holy Spirit to you.”
If a Gentile permanently turned back to idols and sexual immorality, then they were probably not saved but will be judged as unbelievers. They claimed to be believers but never knew God.
There is only one judgment in the Bible: that is for unbelievers alone.
Once a person truly repents (changes the mind to believe in Christ), then there is no more judgment for the believer.
There is no secondary judgment of works for believers.
We have passed from death to life. We have eternal life.
John 5 “24 “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”