Commendation not condemnation: The judgement of believers at the mercy seat

It all began with a funeral where the funeral messenger told everyone listening that they would have to stand before God one day and watch as the events of their lives were played before everyone. The message was directed to an audience that was principally Christian. I was shocked that this man of God thought that Christians would be subjected to such embarrassment. After all, my favorite chapter in the whole Bible is Romans 8 and it says, “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Thus, my need for this study.

I learned through my study that there are many judgements in the Bible and that different Bible scholars categorize them differently. After reading those who seemed to have a good grasp of the subject, I conclude that we are deemed a believer or a non-believer at our departure from this earth, for most of us this is at our physical death. This is the first judgement. At some other time (which is probably simultaneously in the timeless world of eternity) believers go to the mercy seat of Christ to get rewards for the good works they did on earth. This is where it gets a bit fuzzy. Will there be a record when all believers are at the mercy seat? Some say “yes” and some say “no”.

The believers’ judgement is at the mercy seat of Christ and it is a judgement of commendation where rewards (crowns) are given to believers who did good works during their earthly life. The most important thing I learned was the definition of “good works”. “Good works” are those activities that Jesus is permitted to do through us. They are NOT what a believer does for God in the energy of the flesh. Only what Jesus does survives, all else is burned up. At the mercy seat of Christ, only what Christ did through a believer counts. There are no unbelievers at the mercy seat. Works done by believers outside of Christ are wood, hay and stubble and, as such, they are nothing. I Cor. 4:5 says they are burned up.  If you did everything in your own strength without Christ even if it was for Christ, everything you did is burned up. You are left with nothing. Your place in heaven is secure, however, you have no works that can be judged commendatory. You are, so to speak, saved “by the skin of your teeth”. Your salvation was secured the day you accepted Jesus as your Savior.

Please come back tomorrow. I learned some precious truths that negate the phrase, “You can’t take it with you.” I learned that we are COMMANDED to take some things with us. I will tell you what they are.

Researching the believers’ judgement, I am very thankful:

#672 my name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. My salvation is secure.

#673 that since I lost my job, I have come to understand that everything done outside of Christ is nothing and have begun to rely on Jesus for everything (better late than never).

#674 I do not have to make anything happen. I need to be obedient and He makes everything happen. What a burden lifted!

#675 He loves the unlovely and, because He loves me, I am challenged to do the same.

#676 the Father has qualified [my children and grandchildren] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (Col.1:12) even though I didn’t live it very well in front of them.

#677 there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. A believer’s judgement is commendation, not condemnation (I Cor. 4:5). If we have to trace our lives to have our works judged, it will not be in a spirit of condemnation.

#678 for the mercy seat.

Over at Ann’s with the Multitudes on Monday only because of grace,



13 comments on “Commendation not condemnation: The judgement of believers at the mercy seat

  1. Well, phooey, you sorta stole a post I didn’t get around to doing yet. I have a little plaque somewhere (which is why I haven’t posted about it yet — I don’t know where!) that says, “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” And I wanted to ask the question, “What’s wrong with this picture?” (In fact I would have done for this week’s SHS if I could have found the thing!) The answer: “Only what’s done IN Christ will last.”
    Oh well, maybe I’ll do it anyway someday, and hope hardly anybody read this comment… 😉

  2. Oh, my goodness, Sylvia, do write about this. It is so needed. You are so far ahead of me. I would love to read your thoughts. Please come back tomorrow, too, as I continue on.

  3. Hi there! I followed over here from Duane Scott’s Unwrapping His Promises today. I really enjoyed what you shared here. I look forward to reading part 2! 🙂 And your “thankful thing #674” just topped it off for me! Something I need to work on!

  4. Joell,

    It was good having you here today. I had to smile when you said you had to work on letting Jesus do the work. It really is difficult resting in Him, isn’t it?


  5. I’m your lead cheerleader here, Dawn. I must say that you are right on in what you have found out (not that I’m any authority on all of this!) You know, as I read your post, my life flashed in front of me, hearing all those old sermons from my childhood and teens. Most of them scared the bejeebees out of me as I pictured myself giving an account of my life. No one had to tell me I was a sinner — I felt my face flush hot and thought everyone could see me shaking in the pew. I didn’t grasp (or wasn’t taught) that Christ paid the price, took the judgement, and that I died with Him and was raised with Him, therefore it was all gone —- for good. I can’t imagine it being all dug up. I praise God in the those words from the cross, “It is Finished.” A debt paid. Paid in full.

    I loved your whole list today, Dawn. There is just something about hearing a preacher say the wrong stuff that just makes the real truth that much more precious, doesn’t it? It solidifies what God’s Word says and makes it ours personally to hold on to.

  6. “Good works” are those activities that Jesus is permitted to do through us. They are NOT what a believer does for God in the energy of the flesh…. so well put I had to tell Eduardo 🙂 Great post dear friend!

  7. Cora and Susan,

    Tomorrow is the icing on the cake for me because it encapsulates what I know to be true now and didn’t know even a year ago. It took what you called a dramatic change of one’s life circumstances, Cora, to bring me to this new place. Till tomorrow.

    Those phrases were from Lambert Dolphin, Susan. They were precious. I stole them right off his site.

    Good night, Dear Friends,

  8. Hi 🙂 Thank you for leaving a link on my Deviantart page, and for the comment too. I’m happy you found a connection with my painting – it was painted in the aftermath of losing my Earthly Dad. I know he is proud of me 🙂 The moment I wanted to portray is after the storm, when we’ve been holding on so tightly for so long, just enduring the storm around us, white-knuckled and afraid to breathe in case we lose our grip. Then, in the sudden calm that follows when the clouds begin to lighten and separate, we can take what feels like our first breath – of a fresh, cleansed air, and see everything around us bathed in the potential for new life and fresh beginnings. How tenderly he hangs over us in our troubles, patiently creating space for promises to take root and grow. He is ever faithful!

    • Thank you SO very much for coming and leaving the context in which you painted your picture and dedicated it to your father. It is a similar feeling when one experiences the love of the heavenly Father, is it not? We cling on so long and then He makes a way for the clouds to dissipate and in their place is a hope of new beginnings. This is the freedom believers have because of His amazing grace. Ah, yes!


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