And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28)
The Bible speaks of two powerful judgments by Christ. He is the Judge, on two different thrones. The first is the white throne of judgment for unbelievers: the judgment of condemnation.
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelations 20:7-15)
If you have received Christ, there is nothing that can keep you from Heaven. If you have received Him, your name is written in blood in that book, and Heaven is our home. Whoever is not written in that book cannot enter Heaven.
The second judgment seat is the beema seat, where Christ judges believers.
But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
This throne is a place of commendation not condemnation; where the church have not understood this second seat can be seen in what preachers used to say when I was a child. They used to preach that when we die there will be a sort of big screen for the whole world to see displaying all the bad things we have done in our life. But the truth is, when we ask for forgiveness, He cleans us from unrighteousness. When we ask for forgiveness, our slate is wiped clean.
“He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)
“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
When we are under the blood of His Son, God has no memory of our past.
What is the beema seat about then? It is the place where we give an account of what we have done with the gifts He has given us. There are parables in the Bible of the talents and the mina. In those parables, gifts were given to people. We all have something, but no one has the same exact giftings. God doesn’t judge me by your gifts and He doesn’t judge you by my gifts. The beema seat is where He asks what we did with what He gave us? Are we multiplying the things He has put into our hands? A throne is a place of accountability. At that seat, people will cry because they will realize what they could’ve accomplished with His gifts. When we see the potential of our lives, fully and passionately revealed through Christ, we will know what we could have done.
What we see very clearly in scripture is that Heaven is not a socialist society. We are not all going to be the same. Heaven is filled with rewards.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)
I mention all of this to motivate us to do great things for Him on this earth. We need to be driven. Sometimes we lose sight of Heaven, and when we do, we misbehave on earth. Our passion for obedience is diminished when our revelation of eternity is forgotten.