Q. When a believer dies, I know they go to be with the Lord. My question is, if they are already in the presence of God, are they still going to be judged according to their works? Doesn’t scripture say that we will each give an account of our works?
A. The only judgment believers will face concerns rewards we may qualify for has and nothing to do with our salvation. We know this because the judgment will take place after the rapture. 1 Cor. 3:10-15 is a good description of this and ends by saying, “If what we have built survives (the judgment fire) we will receive our reward. If it is burned up we will suffer loss, we ourselves will still be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor. 3:14-15).
2 Cor 5:10 says, “We must all appear before the judgment of Christ so that each one may receive what is due him for things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” According to John 15:5 things described as “good” are things we do as we remain in Him. This means they are things done at His bidding and in His strength. Things described as “bad” are things we do on our own initiative and in our own strength. They are of no value in the Kingdom and are like unfruitful branches that are burned up in the fire.