Here’s my vision of the Judgment Seat of Christ (the “Bema”):
Each believer is called, one-by-one, to proceed to Christ’s throne where we are each judged according to our own works (2 Corinthians 5:10). Other believers observe in order to recognize that believer’s individual achievements and to bring the maximum glory to God. I like to think about three people in my life whom I believe will receive great rewards:
First, there will be the man who taught me (and many others) most of what I know about the Bible. I look forward to seeing him walk forward and kneel before Christ, and then hearing the long list of good works he had performed on earth. Then Christ will test his works by fire and the result will be much gold, silver, and precious stones. I will be privileged to stand and applaud for him.
Second, there will be the man who showed me the power of prayer. Again, he will receive huge and just rewards, and again the rest of us will acknowledge all that he did.
Finally, my wife will walk to Christ’s throne and kneel. A long list will be read of all the service that she performed for Christ as a Christian teacher for some 30 years, and of all the blessings that she brought to so many lives. Then He will add all of the works that she performed as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. Again, the result will be a huge pile of gold, silver, and precious stones, and I will lead the crowd with applause.
Then it will be my turn. I will walk to the throne, wondering which of my good works Christ will honor, and which were really just selfish and self-motivated–ones that any unbeliever could have done. I will also wonder how my rewards will compare to everyone else’s. I will kneel, and my good works will be acknowledged. Christ will test my works with fire, revealing that most of them were just hay, wood, and stubble, and I may even feel somewhat embarrassed.
Then Christ will reach into my wife’s pile of riches, remove one small precious gem, and place it with my small pile. Then He will answer those who don’t understand His justice since each person is to be rewarded for his own works–not somebody else’s works. Christ will simply say, “This man was Mrs. Weber’s husband.”