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We know that people will take advantage of the church. Recently, I was in a service where a young woman showed up asking for ‘food’ and I overheard one member saying that the congregation had already helped her once. The woman had sat next to me during the service. She asked me if I could help her with ‘just food.’ I realize that some advise people not to give money to those who are ‘begging’ while others advise that it’s not for us to judge the person but to give if we’re able to give. My thoughts that day were that this woman’s problems go far deeper and she wasn’t just wanting to scam people for money. I tried to focus in on her as an individual and see her spiritual needs but also saw that she had zero self esteem/self respect. 

The fact that she was willing to show up at a church service to beg demonstrates to me that she was willing to endure humiliation, judgment and scrutiny as though that was nothing new to her. How would you treat someone in this situation? 

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Hi JB,

The topic that Watchman and I are discussing is the Judgement Seat of Christ/Bema Seat.  I wrote about it in this discussion, you can refer to it there.  However, for the sake of clarity, I'll just say that I don't think anyone here is saying they believe they have to earn their salvation, or in performance based righteousness.  The Judgement Seat of Christ occurs in the Millennial Kingdom after the Rapture, and ONLY believers will be there.   You have to be a believer to even enter into this judgement.  ONLY BELIEVERS will be accepted there.  Salvation is based on the work of JESUS ONLY.  NOT US.  So therefore, to even be AT the Bema Judgement, we will have already attained salvation thru Grace by Faith.

It is when each of us will give an account of our lives to Christ and we will be rewarded for the things we have done while in the body.  Here's an additional article from www.gotquestions.org to explain in further.  You can also refer to my comment I posted  to Watchman in this discussion on April 19th (down below) where I've answered with backup from scripture. 

Here's the article from Got Questions:  

Question: "What is the Judgment Seat/Bema Seat of Christ?"

Answer: 
Romans 14:10–12 says, “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. . . . So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (ESV). Second Corinthians 5:10tells us, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” In context, it is clear that both passages refer to Christians, not unbelievers. The judgment seat of Christ, therefore, involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ.

The judgment seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All of our sins are forgiven, and we will never be condemned for them (Romans 8:1). We should not look at the judgment seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives. Yes, as the Bible says, we will have to give an account of ourselves. Part of this is surely answering for the sins we committed. However, that is not going to be the primary focus of the judgment seat of Christ.

At the judgment seat of Christ, believers are rewarded based on how faithfully they served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-272 Timothy 2:5). Some of the things we might be judged on are how well we obeyed the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), how victorious we were over sin (Romans 6:1-4), and how well we controlled our tongues (James 3:1-9). The Bible speaks of believers receiving crowns for different things based on how faithfully they served Christ (1 Corinthians 9:4-272 Timothy 2:5). The various crowns are described in 2 Timothy 2:52 Timothy 4:8James 1:121 Peter 5:4, and Revelation 2:10James 1:12 is a good summary of how we should think about the judgment seat of Christ: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Hope this clears up any confusion.  It pertains to Amanda's discussion because we are told we will be rewarded for works or deeds that we have done while in the body, and we will each give an account of our lives to Jesus.  Again I feel that I need to clarify it does not determine our salvation, our salvation has already been determined (by the time we are at the Judgement Seat of Christ) BUT it will determine our rewards.

Blessings, Carla

When do you believe the millenial kingdom will happen?  And as far as rewards...I'm perplexed a bit?  So you believe that there will be different status in heaven?  Will people still die, age, etc.?   

I'm very confused on the millenial thing?  I've never found a definitive study done on it.  

From the book of Revelation it is quite clear that obedience and belief in God's Word is salvation.  If you believe in something you are quite willing to follow that belief and live it.  Am I incorrect?  

The Bible only addresses two types of people, the "believers and unbelievers", the righteous and the unrighteous, etc.  So what category would believers who don't live according to the Word fall into?  Would they just be saved, but not rewarded?   This is where my confusion comes from.  Do I want the crown, or just to be saved?  And if I am saved....where should I be posted on the totem pole, by how much I do or how little I may get away with?  So confusing.....the Lord speaks so succinctly, that I feel that people keep throwing monkey wrenches into something so simple.....as "Follow Me", "Flee from Evil", "Obey My Word", etc.  Salvation IS the narrow gate.....and it is hard to enter.  Do you know why it's hard to enter?  Because not everyone wants to do the things that the Lord has requested throughout His entire Word.  Is that called works?  No, it's called believing in Him and His Word.  Trusting in Him, following Him, obeying Him.....some call that works, I call it Trust/Love.

Hi Watchman;

Let me know if anything is unclear, and I'll do my best to clarify..  This is a big heavy topic with lots of different components to study.  Here's a starting point.  Can't wait to hear from you.  I've put your comments in bold for easy reading.

When do you believe the millenial kingdom will happen?

First thing—The judgement Seat of the Messiah has to happen before the Millennial Kingdom begins. It will happen immediately in heaven after the rapture of the church as the TRIB begins on earth. 

The Judgement Seat of the Messiah  is a judgement of the believers deeds while he/she is a believer, not his/her sins. The sins of a believer have already been settled forever at the cross, and ‘there is now no condemnation for those who are In Christ’ (Romans 8:1). One may argue that all believers will have works due to the Holy Spirit present in our lives, it is true that we can’t measure another believers obedience, only God knows because HE is the only One who gives marching orders to each one of His children. We can look at the fruit in their lives (Gal 5) and warn them if we don’t see any fruit, but beyond that their obedience is between them and God. I believe the Millennial Kingdom will happen in heaven after the rapture of the church.

These crowns/rewards will be given to determine the level of authority or lack of authority each believer has in The Millennial Kingdom.

Three scripture passages deal with this particular judgement.

  1. Romans 14:10-12- “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”
  2. II Corinthians 5:10- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

The basis of this judgement will be the believers works done in the body since he became a believer. I feel that I need to emphasize again, it is not judgement which puts the believers sins in question (Rom 8:1), but a matter of rewards on the basis of the believers deeds done while in the body.

         3.  I Cor 3:10-15- “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

 

And as far as rewards...I'm perplexed a bit? So you believe that there will be different status in heaven? Will people still die, age, etc.?  

I believe there will be different status in the Millennial Kingdom (1000 years), but Not the Eternal Order.  The Eternal order is a different subject.

There are 5 crowns outlined in scripture as rewards. There may be more than 5 crowns, but scripturally we know of 5.

1.  1 Cor 9:24,25 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I [l]discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

This is a crown given to those who exercise self-control and gain the mastery and victory in the spiritual life. It is therefore for those who have gained victory over the old man, the old sin nature, they have learned to live a Spirit controlled life

2. 1 Thes 2:19 – The second crown is called the Crown of Rejoicing. “19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.”

This is a crown given to those who win souls for our Lord Jesus. It is a crown available to those who do the work of evangelism, and the fruit of their labors are seen in people coming to the Lord through them.

 3.  II Tim 4:7,8- The Crown of Righteousness.. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

This is a crown for those who have kept the faith both doctrinally and morally in spite of adverse circumstances. It is a crown given to those who ‘love his appearing’ and look longingly for the return of the Messiah.

4.Two scriptures for the Crown of Life.

James 1:12 and Rev 2:10 – The Crown of Life. 

a) Rev 2:10 – “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

b) James 1:12 – “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

This is a crown for those who endure trials, also those who suffer martyrdom for their faith.

5. 1 Peter 5:1-4 – The Crown of Glory. “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

This Crown is available to those who faithfully feed the flock of God. It is available to pastors, elders and others who feed the sheep with the milk and meat of God’s word.

In the Millennial Kingdom, everyone who enters into the Kingdom will initially be believers.  The children born in the Millennial Kingdom will not be born again believers, and will have 100 years to accept Jesus as Messiah, if they do not accept Him then, they will die at 100 years of age (accursed). Satan will not be a threat to them because he has been bound up for 1000 years during the Millennial Kingdom, but they will still have their flesh natures to deal with. Some will die accursed...unbelieving.  That's hard to believe since Jesus will be King--actually with us, Hallelujah!!!  ....but scripture says it so it's true.

See Isaiah 65:17-25

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;

And the former things will not be remembered or come to [n]mind.

18 “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;

For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing

And her people for gladness.

19 “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people;

And there will no longer be heard in her

The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

20 “No longer will there be [o]in it an infant who lives but a few days,

Or an old man who does not [p]live out his days;

For the youth will die at the age of one hundred

And the [q]one who does not reach the age of one hundred

Will be thought accursed.

21 “They will build houses and inhabit them;

They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22 “They will not build and another inhabit,

They will not plant and another eat;

For as the [r]lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people,

And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.

23 “They will not labor in vain,

Or bear children for calamity;

For they are the [s]offspring of those blessed by the Lord,

And their descendants with them.”

 

I'm very confused on the millenial thing? I've never found a definitive study done on it.

You may want to take a look at Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s “Footsteps of the Messiah”. I began the study almost 10 years ago, put it down for several years, and recently picked it up again with my women’s study group.  We started from the beginning because it had been so long since we last looked at it.

 

The Bible only addresses two types of people, the "believers and unbelievers", the righteous and the unrighteous, etc. So what category would believers who don't live according to the Word fall into?

I don’t know the answer to that. Jesus allows tares to grow in with the wheat. He will separate them out when the time is right. Matthew 13. Tares among Wheat

24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

 

Would they just be saved, but not rewarded? This is where my confusion comes from. Do I want the crown, or just to be saved?

The best answer I can give in my limited understanding is that they will be saved, but they will spend 1000 years with nothing to show for their spiritual life. How sad that is!!! Imagine. Brings me to tears to think about it. 1 Cor 3:10-15

We long to hear the words of our Lord in Matthew 25 ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

And if I am saved....where should I be posted on the totem pole, by how much I do or how little I may get away with? So confusing.....the Lord speaks so succinctly, that I feel that people keep throwing monkey wrenches into something so simple.....as "Follow Me", "Flee from Evil", "Obey My Word", etc. Salvation IS the narrow gate.....and it is hard to enter. Do you know why it's hard to enter? Because not everyone wants to do the things that the Lord has requested throughout His entire Word. Is that called works? No, it's called believing in Him and His Word. Trusting in Him, following Him, obeying Him.....some call that works, I call it Trust/Love.

It really is a heart matter isn’t it? If we love Him we’ll do what He says. It’s so important that we encourage one another and prompt each other to good works.   Not because we’ll receive rewards, but because we love Him and want to testify of His truth and let everyone know. We’re stuck in the balance of longing for Him to return, and feeling sick for those who don’t know Him. As I study about the Great TRIB it saddens me deeply at how close I think it is, and for the many people who will have to go through it.

Watchman, I’m still learning. I’m still growing in faith and knowledge. I’m still maturing spiritually. I still have questions. I’m wondering about empathy and what Scripture teaches us, if anything, about empathy. Jesus’ heart went out to her ... when He saw the funeral procession ... Other verses that come to mind are the ones regarding the rich young ruler ... Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him ... and when He saw the crowds in Matthew 9:36. I think we are supposed to empathize with Christ, as well, with His sufferings and His death. If I understand that scripture correctly, about participating in His sufferings. But nonetheless true empathy is what we are experiencing whenever we see someone in pain or need and want to help bear it, providing relief to them with no thought of self. The love of Christ involved actions. Yet, Christ became human not to learn what being human is like (since God is already all knowing) but to demonstrate to us that we have a High spriest who knows everything about the human experience. He saw beggars. He saw rich. He saw poor and needy. How much should we think about Jesus and what He endured in life? What we do for others in His name will indeed glorify God.

From Pulpit Commentary on Philippians 3:10. 

“The Christian, meditating in loving thought on the sufferings of Christ, is led to feel ever a deeper, a more awful sympathy with the suffering Savior. And if, when we are called to suffer, we take it patiently, looking unto Jesus, then our sufferings are united with his sufferings, "we suffer with him." And he who hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows feels for us in his sacred heart, being "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." This fellowship in suffering leads through his grace to fellowship in glory (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:10Romans 6:5). Being made conformable unto his death; rather, as R.V., becoming conformed. The participle is present: it implies a continual progress. It is derived from the word μορφή, form, used in Philippians 2:6 (where see note), and denotes, not a mere external resemblance, but a deep, real, inner conformity. The reference is not to the impending death of martyrdom, but to that daffy dying unto self and the world which the apostle exhibited in the heroic self-denials of his holy life: he was "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20; comp. also 1 Corinthians 15:31).”
 

I love those regards to empathy and suffering....but we must understand that it is not just about being empathetic, its more about leading those to Jesus....period.    I have seen what Jesus can do with a life....mine, for sure, but others too....but then again there are those that are left untouched by His Love.  My thought processes are just to keep doing good, always.  No matter what the climate, attitude, or behavior....just keep doing good, for the Lord.  That doesn't neccessarily mean giving money, food, or anything for that matter, sometimes people just need to know that they matter and that their feelings count.   LOVE is  sacrifice, it's also a choice, something you don't fall into, it's a genuine decision.  I don't even see where this discussion is to be a discussion, so be it.  I find it rather disheartening that we are discussing the fact of helping people.....if you want to....do it....if you don't....then stop trying to find a way out of it.  Just don't applaud yourselves when you DO help someone. I Love you all, hoping that this doesn't come across.....cross.  

I’m glad you felt the need to participate in the discussion and to help us find ways that would be beneficial to helping those in need. We all need insight and help. All of us are needy and all of us have abilities to meet need. We’re interdependent. Empathy and compassion are often used as being synonymous but empathy comes before compassion and opens the way for love. Thus, you’re right, it’s not just about seeing suffering and having empathy. Those are simply doors of opportunity. I pray for open doors and opportunities to share the Good News. It’s a prayer we all can pray for one another, as well, as was requested in Colossians 4:3. I also pray for more laborers. The harvest hasn’t ended. There are many walls between people, prisons that need opening doors. 

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