Other questions answered in the podcast today deal with degrees of rewards and punishments in our respective judgments. If you would like to learn more about the things discussed in this episode, consider listening to the following sermons by Dr. Caldwell delivered to the congregation at Founders Baptist Church:
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Two Judgments: The Fate of Believers and Unbelievers Before God
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot brings a couple of texts to Dr. Richard Caldwell's attention that indicates that believers will also have to stand before the judgment seat or throne of God and give an account. These texts come from 2 Corinthians 5 and Romans 14. If we're forgiven in Christ, and we’ve been washed, sanctified, and justified in God’s sight, having been clothed with the righteousness of Christ, what is this accounting? Weren’t all of our sins: past, present, and future, laid upon Christ at the cross as He bore our judgment in His body? Do we still have to account for our sins even if we’re forgiven? Will believers and unbelievers both have to stand together before the Lord?
Dr. Caldwell says that there are two judgments we read about in the New Testament. There is a judgment of unbelievers at the Great White Throne spoken of in Revelation and another of believers at the Bema Seat of Christ, to which 2 Corinthians 5 and Romans 14 refer. Unbelievers will be judged regarding their sins. Their sin debt is still there before God, and without Christ, it will result in their damnation. Believers will not be judged for their sins. Our sins were judged on the tree, in Christ’s own body, and paid for in full. But we will be judged regarding our works in every realm of life. We will be judged by what passes the test of Christ’s gaze. The nature of the judgment is positive. It isn’t so much about what we lose but what we gain, what will be rewardable on that day.
Judgment connotes something harsh or something which we will experience sorrow for. And Paul does speak of the believer's day of judgment as a fearful thing, even though it’s not a judgment of our sins. Dr. Caldwell says that he thinks there is a gravity, a weightiness of sobriety produced by the knowledge of that judgment which he believes indicates that there will be sorrow over wasted opportunities and unfulfilled responsibilities. But not in a way that is permanent and not in a way that diminishes heaven. When it comes to these things, the Bible gives us limited information about them. But from the Bible, we know that heaven will be full of joy, wonder, fulfillment, and satisfaction. What we also know is that what we do here as Christians, how we handle the responsibilities God gives us, how we use our time and resources, and how we live out our lives really does matter, and, one day, we will have to give an accounting for it. Yet that accounting will be before a gracious Lord who loves us. Dr. Caldwell reminds us of Peter and how the Lord Jesus dealt with him. Christ praised, corrected, and even sternly reproved Peter, but never in a way that threw Peter away and never in a way that he didn’t find restoration and encouragement. So the judgment we will face as believers is serious. It's something that ought to change the way we live right now. But it’s not something where we should be filled with dread about our eternal future. We can look forward to that day with joy, knowing we will meet with the One who saved us by His own blood.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
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