The Bible records a number of interesting passages about people who stand before judges at judgment seats. Consider what we can learn:
John 19:13 - Pilate ... brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
So, Jesus stood before the judgment seat of Pilate. We know the outcome of that judgment.
Pilate declared Jesus to be innocent. He repeatedly made such statements as "I find no fault in him at all" (John 18:38). [19:4,6] Nevertheless, Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified: the cruelest death the Romans used (John 19:16).
This was an incredible miscarriage of justice. At the judgment seat of Pilate justice was not done.
Acts 18:12 - When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat. [verses 12-17]
So Paul stood before the judgment seat of Gallio in Corinth. Gallio properly declared that there was no grounds for him to punish Paul. Ultimately, Paul was released and was free to preach in Corinth for many months. This judgment was just and fair.
At other times Paul's judgment before Roman rulers was unfair. So judgments before human rulers may be fair judgments in which justice is done, or they may be unfair judgments.
2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
So Jesus Christ will also have a judgment seat. At this judgment Jesus will come in the clouds and all will stand before Him to receive an eternal reward based on their lives.
So Jesus stood before the judgment seat of Pilate and received an unfair judgment. But someday Pilate will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. And so will all the Jews who demanded for Christ to be crucified. And so will everyone of us.
God "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness - indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. - Romans 2:6-10
So whereas human judgments may be fair or unfair, when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ the judgment is guaranteed to be fair and just.
You and I will stand before this judgment seat. Are you ready?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.