Is the "Bema Seat" Judgement Biblical?
How are Christians rewarded in Heaven? How will believers be judged?
Multiple portions of scripture confirm that every person who has ever lived will be judged by Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:31,32 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats."
It seems to be the case that believers' work will be evaluated at what is called the "Bema Seat" judgement (2 Corinthians 5:10). This concept is well illustrated by the ancient Olympics, where judges, seated on the "bema" or platform, would award crowns to athletes based on their performance. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 uses the illustration of passing certain materials through fire. Poor works, like hay and stubble, will burn away, but good work, represented by precious metals and gems, will remain, proving the quality of everyone's work. So believers are looking forward to a reward, not punishment. Tomorrow, we will run an article on the five crowns the Bible says are available to believers.
On the other hand, Revelation 20:11-15 tells us unbelievers, anyone not found in the book of life, is thrown into the lake of fire for eternal judgement at what is called "The Great White Throne" Judgement. There's no question that without faith in Jesus, we cannot avoid God's wrath. Romans 2:5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.