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7. What Does the Bible Say About Love, Marriage, and Sex?
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Index to All Bible Questions
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3. America and Corinth
4. The Book of Philippians
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#8) 2 Corinthians 5:10

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  "

Judgment

This verse reaffirms the truth that God is just.  For unbelievers, His eternal judgment will be quite fearful, but for believers it will be a shining event of glory and justice. 

The Great White Throne

The judgment of unbelievers will occur at the great white throne (Revelation 20:11).  The deeds of those unbelievers will be examined, and all will be found lacking.  Since they had not placed their faith in Jesus Christ, their names will not be found in the book of life, and they will suffer eternal separation from God. 

The Judgment Seat of Christ

However, the judgment of all believers will occur at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10).  The Judgment Seat introduce what the Bible calls "the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8), and we're charged to be prepared for it, and to remain blameless in this life until that day. 

Works matter

In 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, we see that each person's "work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light."  Christ will test the quality of our works with fire, which will burn up the wood, hay, and straw, but leave the pure gold, silver, and precious stones.  He will repay us for our deeds in the body, according to what we've done, whether good or bad.  He will reveal whether our good works were only humanly good works produced by the flesh like the wood, hay, and straw similar to that of "good" unbelievers, or whether our good works came from the divine power of the Holy Spirit in the form of gold, silver, and precious stones.  Christ will credit our account for the divine good works that survive the test of fire (Philippians 4:17).  For our human good works, we'll suffer loss of rewards, although we'll keep our eternal life (1 Corinthians 3:15).  God will repay us for our service to Him (Ephesians 6:8), and we'll receive ". . . an inheritance from the Lord as a reward" (Colossians 3:24). 

Rewards

We're not told many details of these rewards, but any reward from God is wonderful and worthy of our service.  Our rewards may be personal commendations from Jesus, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21, 23).  They may be in the form of crowns (1 Corinthians 9:25, Revelation 3:11, 1 Peter 5:4, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12, Philippians 4:1, 2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 20:6, 22:5).  By 1 Corinthians 6:3).  No matter what our rewards are, we know that God will make all of our service to Him worthwhile.  We need to understand that the name of the game after salvation while we remain on the earth is service to God and rewards from Jesus Christ. 

However, there's a critical companion verse here, dealing with humility.  Matthew 6:1 says, "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."  The choice is ours:  cheap rewards from men; or, eternal and priceless rewards from God.