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March 29, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written. ‘And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”—Daniel 5:24-28 (NKJV)
The beginning of King Belshazzar’s judgment was manifested at a corrupt and decadent feast that mocked God. Herbert Lockyer writes, “Belshazzar, who feared neither God nor man, manifested his ungodliness and vanity, profaneness, and pride.” Although he could not decipher the writing on the wall, his conscience somehow interpreted the words over the candlestick. Terror gripped Belshazzar because he felt the message spelled his doom. Belshazzar had ample time to have learned from his forefather and predecessor Nebuchadnezzar”.
In Ecclesiastes 12:14 (NKJV), King Solomon wrote, “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Scripture reveals two future judgments—one for righteous rewards called the Bema Seat and another for those who rejected Christ called the Great White Throne.
Bema Seat Judgment
God will hold a separate judgment for believers only known as the judgment seat of Christ, or the judgment seat of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV), Paul wrote, “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.”
In large Olympic arenas, there’s an elevated seat where the judge of the contest sits. After the contest is over, the successful competitors assemble before the bema to receive their rewards or crowns. The bema is not a judicial bench where someone is condemned; rather, it’s a reward seat. Likewise, the Judgment Seat of Christ is not a judicial bench.
The Christian life is a race, and the divine umpire is Jesus Christ. After each believer has finished their race, Jesus will gather every member before the bema for the purpose of examining each one and giving out the proper reward to each. All who experience this judgment will possess the privileges and honors as children of God. Jesus said He will acknowledge those who have believed in Him before His Father and before the angels. The rewards each believer receives will be proportionate to the faithfulness they show in this life. The key is faithfulness to the gifts God has given.
Great White Throne Judgment
The Great White Throne is reserved for the multitudes who, like Belshazzar, did not fear nor turn to God, but instead rejected Him and His gracious gift of salvation.
By His mercy, we never have to face the Great White Throne of Judgment because we all are given the holy privilege to approach God through His Son. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) tell us, ”Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
DIG: Are you living in holy fear of God and honoring him with your life? Once you die, there will be no time to turn the clock back for a re-do. Today, make it your goal to be faithful to honor the Lord with all of your life.
DISCOVER: Each of us is being weighed on God’s scales. Scripture tells us that we will reap what we sow. Are you measuring up to the standards God has set?
DO: From today forward, live as instructed in Micah 6:8 (NKJV), which says, ”He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”