“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
As John receives this vision, he is told that during the thousand years the Lord would be giving judgment unto His people…
The main Biblical teaching on the judgment that is given to us is found in:
- Romans 14:10-12
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
From these passages we can see that, for the Christian, the final judgment will involve the Lord rewarding the saints for their acts of faithfulness. If we were faithful, we will be rewarded for that act of faithfulness. When we were unfaithful, we will lose the reward we would have received. However, we will not face divine punishment for the unfaithful act. Why? This is because Christ has been punished for that unfaithfulness on the cross. He took the punishment that we deserved upon Himself (1 Peter 3:18).
Once we receive these rewards for faithfulness, what will happen then?
“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
We will lay our rewards back at the feet of Christ in an act of honor, thankfulness and praise.
Why will we do this? Because any use of our abilities that is pleasing to the Lord, the opening of any opportunity to serve the Lord, and our salvation which allows us to serve Him are all given to us entirely of God’s grace. There is nothing in us with which we can claim credit for our faithfulness. It is all due to His grace alone…
1 Corinthians 15:10
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
May we all “labour more abundantly” to please our Lord and Savior knowing our service is all of His grace and with the receipt of rewards we can eternally honor Him for all He has done for us.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: