Escape to Reality
Exploring the wide open spaces of God's amazing grace
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Love your site. I’m trying to explain “grace” to a friend. How do you explain the Bema seat judgement? I know it’s supposed to be a judgement of rewards, not sin. But why, then does the bible say that he will “bring to light the things hidden in the darkness”? That sure sounds like bringing out hidden sins, but I know that can’t be right. How do I explain it?
I haven’t written much about rewards here on E2R, but there’s a chapter on it in my new book, The Gospel in Twenty Questions, so eventually it should filter it’s way through to here.
The Bema or judgment seat in Greek times was a place at spring events where athletes were rewarded not shamed. So Reward Seat is a better translation than Judgment Seat. Our sins were judged at the cross. Those things done for Christ that were hidden in darkness and no one saw, will be manifested and the believer will be rewarded. Our rewards will be based on our motives of the heart, and will be judged by fire. Motives for Christ are represented as gold, silver and precious stones. Motives for self or reluctance, etc. are represented as wood, hay and stubble. When our works are tried by fire, those whose motive were for the glory of God will come forth. That is the reward we will receive. Those rewards consumed by the fire are the loss of rewards we will experience. Remember, man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
I have a question. When a prophetic word comes, I have made the contention that “God remembers your sins no more”, therefore He will not remind you of your sins in prophesy because He is not able to by His own Word. My friend said what about Acts 5 with Ananias and his wife, and in Rev 2&3 John revealed the sins of the church. He pointed out a few other things like the woman at the well, but that was pre-cross, so that is easy. The Ananias situation has me vexed. Would you mind helping me with that? Thank you
Let me get this straight. You are more concerned that someone prophesied a negative word over Ananias than the fact he dropped dead straight after? That’s fascinating. So many people write to me asking “Why did Ananias and Sapphira die” but you don’t seem interested in that part at all. So well done for being original! We could dismiss this one in one of two ways: (1) Peter was way out of line saying what he did and basically causing their deaths or (2) A&S weren’t Christians but pretenders and needed to be confronting them in their hypocrisy was the best way to lead them out of it. Who knows.
The Revelation examples are more intriguing. If love keeps no record of wrongs, why is Jesus pointing out the wrongs of Laodicea, Sardis, Ephesus, etc? In truth, I don’t think he was. I maintain that Jesus is not a fault-finder but rather his correction takes the form of turning on the lights so that we may see things more clearly and receive his love. This was true of the Laodiceans, and the Ephesians. In Thyatira and Sardis, the situation was a little different. In those churches you clearly had two distinct groups – a wicked Jezebel in the first and a bunch of still-dead-in-their-sins pretenders in the second. Those guys got warnings because, frankly, they needed them.
I have included links to some relevant posts if you want to dig deeper.
Thank you. The links are awesome, and I appreciate your response. It may seem ironic that I didn’t ask why they died, but I am very secure in the absolute undeniable Truth of the Word, and His promises. I stand quite secure in my relationship with my Father, knowing that He promised me right standing through Jesus. This puts my mind at ease when I read stories like that, because even before my mind understands how to untangle what appears to be contradiction, I can start with the knowledge that He never lies, so there must be more to the story. I never need to be afraid of meeting their fate, and my Lord does not want me to walk with that type of fear (of course I can’t help but have awe and reverence for Him). As far as Ananias and his wife, I believe they either were sent by Satan, as in Jesus’ parable of the tares in MT 13:37, or they were actually mature enough (a very rare level of maturity in our church today Heb 6:4) to disqualify themselves. Perhaps your idea that Peter was out of line could be true as well. Do you believe that if God can’t remember our sins, He is capable of reminding us of them via prophetic word? I really appreciate your insight, and your thoughtful response. Blessings!
You can find my response to your questions in this post and this post.
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