The Fear of God and the Judgment of Saints


“The Fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding have all those who do His commandments…” (Ps 111:10)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat [‘Bema’] of Christ, that each one may be recompensed [rewarded] for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Cor 5:10-11a)

We’ve all heard a thousand sermons on God’s love and mercy and grace, and for good reason. God is love, and it is only by His mercy and grace that we are saved from our sins and from the wrath to come. But when was the last time you heard a sermon on the fear of God and the judgment of saints? Never? Me neither. And for good reason. Nobody wants to hear it.

But why? It’s right there in Scripture, in the verses I quoted above and dozens more. Here is another: “…for we [Christians too] shall all stand before the judgment seat [‘Bema’] of God. For it is written, ‘As I live,’ says YHWH, ‘Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then, each one of us [believers too] shall give account of himself to God.” (Rom 14:10b-12)

Here is the reason, in a nutshell. Nearly everyone, including church pastors, has accepted the “pre-tribulation rapture” heresy, which teaches that Christians won’t have to go through the tribulation before Christ returns to take His Bride.

This is a very popular doctrine. Nobody wants to be told that they are going to face persecution or tribulation! After all, salvation is totally by grace through faith, not of works lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9) So why should Christians ever worry about discipline or judgment? All our sins are “cleansed by the blood of Christ” (1 Jn 1:7), to be remembered against us no more. (Heb 8:12)


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