Q. I know that there is a judgment seat of Christ and a Great White Throne Judgment in the Bible. Years ago I recall my Grandfather talking about a Bema Seat Judgment, but I can find nothing in my King James Version about it. He spoke of its meaning as the same as the Judgment Seat of Christ. Do you know anything about this?
A. The Bema Seat judgment and the judgment Seat of Christ are one and the same. The Greek word “bema” means judgment seat and can be found in the Greek text of Romans 14:10 and 2 Cor. 5:10 where it refers to the judgment seat of Christ. This judgment will occur in heaven just after the rapture and is explained in 1 Cor. 3:10-15. Therefore it does not concern our salvation.
In ancient Greece, the Bema seat was the judges stand in the athletic contests. It was where the winners of events were awarded their victory crowns, similar to the medals ceremonies in the modern Olympics. Therefore, many scholars see the bema judgment as the place where newly raptured believers will receive the crowns they will have earned for the quality of their Christian life on earth. In 1 Cor. 9:24-27 Paul reminded us that these athletes trained diligently for the games and did so in the hope of winning a crown that would not last. How much more diligently should we train to win crowns that will last forever?