Judging Believers? How Can This Be?

Q. I have been taught that when we confess our sins and ask forgiveness of God, that through His sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross, our sins are washed away, and you accept Him as your own personal Savior you are His forever. We have been doing a Bible study on Revelation we’ve learned that when Christ comes back he will open the book of life and judge us. If, as it says in His Word, His blood cleansed me why will I be judged? This question bothers me and I would appreciate your input.

A. The only place in Revelation where the Book of Life is mentioned in connection with a judgment is in Rev. 20:11-15 at the Great White Throne. This is a judgment for unbelievers only and takes place at the end of the Millennium 1000 years after the 2nd Coming.

Believers will be judged in heaven after the Rapture at the Bema Seat judgment (1 Cor. 3:10-15, 2 Cor. 5:10) This judgment will not concern our salvation and is not about sin. It concerns the quality of the works we performed during our life as believers on Earth and will result in various crowns being distributed to those deemed worthy. That’s the only judgment we’ll ever face because as you say the Lord already paid the penalty that was due us for our sins (Colossians 2:13-15).

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