2 Corinthians 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
John Gill said “This is a reason why the saints are so diligent and laborious, so earnest and intent upon it, to be accepted of the Lord, because they must stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
One of the most sobering and motivating thoughts on this side of eternity is that one day, everyone of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ – the Judge of all the earth – and will give an account of our lives to Him (Rom 14:12). It is it His seat that our stewardship, our works, and our very motives for doing them will be made manifest (1 Cor 4:2-5).
As a ministry leader and father, this reality holds so much more weight as I realize that I will also give account for the stewardship of my life, family, and ministry as well (Heb 13:17). But there’s something else. I also realize that, within my realm of leadership, I am helping to prepare for the judgment seats of others.
I love my wife. I have thought much recently about my wife’s time of standing before the Lord. I hope to God that I will have loved, helped, co-labored, encouraged, and enabled her to live her life in such a way that she will rejoice when she stands before that seat. Then there are my children. I’d give my life for them in this world. But I must think of their time in the next. They, too, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and give an account to Him of their lives. I must strive to train, nurture, admonish, challenge, and encourage them to live their lives so that when they stand before Him, there are not regrets.
My dad often said, “my job as a pastor is to help my people to have a better judgment seat.” I believe if we really read and meditated and comprehended even a fraction of what that day will be like, we will – we must – live differently. But further than that, I believe we will do all we can to challenge all those in our world of influence to live their lives so that when they give an account to Christ, they, too, can do it with joy, and not with regret.