Which Is It? (ATP) 

If we are forgiven of our sins and washed cleaned then why will we still have to be judged on judgement day for them? ”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.“  ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭10‬ ‭NASB‬‬) We’re not to feel condemned and we are forgiven but also God will bring them back up on judgment day? 

Romans 8:1 (NASB)

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Judgement, condemnation and words that are similar are concepts people often get confused. As in the scripture in Romans above, this is one people often mix up. They will say, “See, there’s no reason to feel bad for what you’ve done. Don’t live in condemnation.” They are talking about being self-condemning. Now, while living in a self-condemning mind is generally not healthy, that is not what this is talking about. In context (there’s that word again!) this is referring to eternal condemnation, meaning eternal life in hell. The deeds before salvation and after salvation are very different.

The recompense that is talked about in 2 Corinthians is not punishment for wrong deeds. The Bible promises us that we will be rewarded for our good deeds done in Christ or lose reward for bad deeds. Ephesians 2:10 (NASB) says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Although the context of Matthew 6:6 (NASB) is prayer, “…and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you,” it applies to more than that. James 1:12 is another of many examples.

Christians being saved and Christians being rewarded for what they did with that salvation are two different things. Salvation is a gift, it is free and unearned. There’s nothing you can do to make it better or more. After salvation, however, we are given works to do. These works or tasks are what God saved us for. He didn’t just save us so we could vacation on an island somewhere and live stress free all of our days. Salvation points to the rest we will receive with Him in His presence, strengthening us while we do what He destined us to do while we await it. These are His works and we will get rewarded based on how we were faithful to them. 

Judging our works is not the same as judgement for sins. However, if after we are saved we insist on continuing in our sin, there is judgement in that. 1 John 1:9 (NASB) says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We still need to confess our sins and He absolutely will forgive them. What if we insist on living in them? Those are called “dead works”. You can be judged and rewarded for good works, or judged and lose reward for dead works. It doesn’t always equate to hell, but it can mean we lose out on blessing. This is why Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21 (NASB), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What we do in this life matters. Not just for here, but for eternity. This is why we are repeatedly told in scripture to keep our focus there when deciding how we live. That Jesus saved us does not take away the responsibility for living right. He saved us so we COULD and WOULD live right. He promises reward for doing so. To live now for the promise of reward later is what faith is all about. When His promise of our future drives us to live different, these actions show our trust in Him. This is what really pleases God and what Hebrews 11 is all about.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff