Rom 14:10-12 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
A couple of verses previous to this Paul has told us that, whether we live or die, we belong to Christ. If we stand or if we fall, we belong to Christ. He has paid the price for us, and He alone has the right to claim us as His. In this, we are all the same: we are His as the result of what He has done and through no strength or our own.
Knowing this to be true, why are often so ready to condemn our brother? If we understand that He belongs to Christ, we should be seeking ways to help him rather than condemn him. How can we despise our brother who belongs to Christ, and indeed, why should we? If we despise our brother, we have forgotten what manner of man we are.
There is a very simple truth here. We may think that we judge our brother. However, this judgment has not been given to us. All of us shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
I realize there are different views as to what this means. In the mind and purpose of God, his people were chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). Christ finished the work on the cross. God has established us together in Christ, sealed us in the same, and given us the earnest of the Spirit (2Co 1:21-22).
Nothing in eternity has changed since we were chosen in Christ. No one has been added and none have been plucked from His hand. We are cleansed of our sins in His blood, and there is none to lay a charge against us (Rom 8:33). God’s eternal judgment was made sure.
Yet, we see here that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. To understand the all under consideration, we need to know who Paul’s audience was. Paul’s letter was addressed to the beloved of God who are called to be saints (whom God has sanctified). Every day we live here in His kingdom, we all (who are beloved of God) stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
It is the fact that we stand before His judgment seat that draws us to repentance when we err. We learn of the mercy of God before the judgment seat of Christ. When we are called before that judgment seat, we are made to weep for our own faults including being so callous as to assume we have the right to condemn or despise our brother. Humility is our close companion when we find ourselves before His judgment seat, and we can no longer boast of any self-righteousness.
It is not my intent to debate or oppose those that see this as only pertaining to some judgment at the end of time. However, I do pray that we who are blessed to be beloved of God recognize that we all stand daily before the judgment seat of Christ. Every time I find myself there, I cannot help but bow to Him and His wondrous grace. My heart there pours out my confession that my only hope of salvation is in the blood of Jesus Christ according to the will and purpose of God.
My account that I give to God says He is worthy of my praise. My account that I give to God says that I am a sinner. My account that I give to God causes me to confess that I am less than the least of His. My account that I give to God causes me to confess my awe that He would allow one such as I am to declare His glory.
May we approach the judgment seat of Christ with daily reverence and awe, bowing to Him in humility and confessing that He is King of kings and Lord of lords!