Sermon Title: “Bema Seat- How Will YOU Stand?”
Sermon Series: New Year Service (Welcome 2018)
Date: December 31st, 2017
Speaker: Pastor Damian Mericka
Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; John 16: 4-15; 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Rewards. The New Testament talks a great deal about the awards that await believers. Noted during times of either preparation for great difficulty or as comfort to continue the course, the believer is meant to find encouragement to press on in their walk with Jesus. While the idea of working towards a reward may seem selfish in our Christian life, God brings this image to us through His Word as something we are to work towards.
The Bema Seat was a place of judgment for the citizens of a city to gather for evaluation against the law of the land. For believers it will be a place where we stand and have our lives reviewed considering Scripture. It will be a place where we experience great joy or great sorrow. It will be a time when we receive from the Father to give to the Son, or a time when we will stand and watch. Salvation is not in question here, but Christian living. How are you living for Him in this life?
I. Bema is a Place We Will All Appear Before (2 Corinthians 5:1-10)
Life in this world is a temporary journey considering eternity (Vv.1-5)
Life is viewed as a tent, or temporary (v.1)
Israel traveled in tents toward a Promised Land with Walled Cities.
Many lived in tents around the City of Corinth for the Isthmian Games.
Life is a groaning toward the eternal which will see sin and its affects removed (Vv.2 & 4)
Life is moving toward eternal purpose, not emptiness. (v.2)
God’s gives us His Spirit to lead us in preparation for the Eternal (v.5)
To be in this life is to be physically away from the Lord; thus, to be away from this life is to physically be present with the Lord. (Vv.6-8)
The goal in this life or the eternal is to Please the Lord (v.9)
All Believers will appear before the judgment (bema) seat of Christ (v.10)
How we lived will be evaluated. NOTE: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Going Deeper: Why does Paul refer to our lives in this world as “tents”? What does it mean to be “groaning” in this life? Why Does God give us His Spirit (in this context)? Who and why will anyone stand before the bema seat of Christ?
II. Bema Is a Place of Great Sorrow or Joy for The Believer
It will be a time of great SORROW for the Believer when:
Sin leads us to be indifferent to God in this life, extinguishing our desire to serve our Lord (Ephesians 5:15 & 16)
Sin leads us to Grieve the Holy Spirit and weaken His witness through and influence in our lives. (Ephesians 4:30 / John 16:4-15)
Witness Through Our Lives
Others do not see the need of Jesus by how we are living (v.9)
Others do not see Kingdom Living because we are not transformed (v.10)
Others do not see the Victory we have in Jesus (v.11)
Influence in Our Lives
We are not being led into Truth (Vv. 12-13)
We are not being led in Service for Him (Vv. 14-15)
Sin leads us to be Ashamed at His Return (1 John 2:28-29)
It will be a time of great JOY for the Believer when:
We do the OPPOSITE of all the above!
Going Deeper: How does sin cause us to lose our desire to serve Jesus? What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to be ashamed at Jesus’ Return? How are ways we grieve the spirit in our lives today? What are we doing about it (Be specific)?
III. Bema Is a Future We Prepare for Today (2 Corinthians 6:1-13)
We are not laboring to earn our salvation, but because of our salvation!
We have no obstacle in front of us but that which we allow to be there (Vv.1-10)
God’s love is not conditioned by how we live for Him, but rather God’s love changes us to love one another in pursuit of Him (Vv. 11-13)
Only the works that survive the fires of the Bema seat will be enjoyed for eternity.
See & NOTE: 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15
Going Deeper: Someone read Romans 8:1. Is the Believers Salvation in jeopardy at the bema seat of Christ? Why or why not? In the list Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, what are challenges to you personally to hold onto your faith through? As Paul puts no obstacle in front of the Corinthians, God places no obstacle in front of us to slow down our pursuit of Him. What is the difference between laboring to earn our salvation and laboring for Him because of our salvation? Do you ever struggle to believe and live in the “because of” over the “to earn” side of our salvation? What is your goal in Christ for 2018?