Romans 14:11-12: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Hebrews 9:27: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
There will be two specific judgments of mankind Christ will conduct in the prophetic future. One judgment will be for repentant followers of Jesus Christ - those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior. The other will be for unrepentant, rebellious mankind - those who have chosen to reject Christ's sacrifice made on their behalf at Calvary in favor of living a life in rebellion against God.
The Judgment Seat of Christ: The believer's judgment
Those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, having left behind a life of rebellion against God, will someday stand in judgment before our blessed Savior, Christ. This judgment will not be to determine whether or not we're worthy to inherit eternal life and membership in God's family through faith in Jesus Christ, but to determine the quality of the work we did for the Lord while here in this sin-filled world.
Romans 14:10: But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2nd Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
The believer's work done for the Lord will be examined by Christ Himself on the believer's day of judgment. Some will be proud of the work they've done in advancing the cause of Christ and will receive special rewards from the Savior - crowns they'll be able to lay at the feet of Jesus to honor and glorify Him.
Others will be ashamed when their works are put to the test before Christ - an examination which will result in many receiving no rewards from Christ. This will be particularly painful as it will deny these saints the opportunity to honor and glorify their Savior, Christ, by laying crowns at His feet - an event all saints will want to participate in, especially after meeting the Savior face to face! On that day, many will soberly reflect on the things they should've done for the Lord while in their mortal bodies, but didn't.
1st Corinthians 3:13-15: Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Five types of crowns Christ will award faithful believers:
The imperishable crown - awarded to those who live disciplined lives (1 Corinthians 9:25–27).
The crown of rejoicing - awarded to those who lead others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19–20, Philippians 4:1).
The crown of glory - awarded to those who faithfully shepherd the flock (1 Peter 5:2–4).
The crown of life - awarded to those who overcome spiritual battles (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10).
The crown of righteousness - awarded to those who love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). Every born-again believer should be looking to get one of these! If you're a Christian and your heart doesn't leap for joy at the thought of Christ's appearing to call you to His side, it's time for some spiritual self-examination as being in the presence of Christ should be the #1 goal of every Christian!
The Great White Throne Judgment: The sinner's judgment
Bible prophecy teaches us Christ will reign upon the earth for 1,000 years after His visible, bodily return at the battle of Armageddon. At the end of this 1,000-year period, Satan will organize a brief uprising against Christ, as unbelievable as that is to imagine, which will be quickly put down by Christ. At the end of this rebellion, Satan himself will become the third person to dwell in the lake of fire, joining his two partners in crime - the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Shortly after Satan arrives in the lake of fire, those he deceived to live their lives in rebellion against God will begin joining him and his two stooges, as a result of the Great White Throne Judgment.
Revelation 20:11: And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
As sad as the Judgment Seat of Christ will be for some believers, can you imagine the sheer terror that will fill the hearts of all the wicked when they are resurrected to stand before the throne of God in judgment?
Revelation 20:12: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
As we see in Revelation 20:12, records are being kept in relation to the lives we lead here on earth. Those who stand before God in judgment depending on their works alone are going to discover why they should've accepted Christ! Why? Because none of our works can meet the standards of a perfect, holy, sinless God. As we see in Isaiah 64:6, all mankind is unclean and our righteousness is as filthy rags before God, demonstrating whywe all need a Savior! There is no one righteous in himself, as seen in Romans 3:10. Not even one!
Revelation 20:13-15: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Are you a Christian? If you've never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Revelation 20:13-15 is an event that is assuredly going to be part of your future if you don't choose Christ before you die - or the end comes.
As I state on this website almost daily, I believe we're very near the time when the fulfillment of the final prophecies of the Bible is going to take place. If I'm correct in thinking that, there may well be individuals who will read this very article, reject Jesus Christ, enter into the Tribulation Period after the Rapture of the Church takes place, and miraculously survive all its disasters only to be reaped from the earth upon Christ's return (Matthew 13:30, Matthew 13:47-50) and be placed into hell - God's holding cell - to await trial at the Great White Throne Judgment. As nightmarish as this is to consider, this will be the case with many.
Judgment is coming!
Judgment is coming for both believers and nonbelievers. As such, each of us, whether we're a Christian or a nonbeliever, needs to consider what our judgment experience will be like for us. Will we approach Christ's Judgment Seat to bow in honor of our King and be rewarded for our faithful service to Him or will we crawl before Him at The Great White Throne Judgment, begging and weeping for mercy His righteous nature will not permit Him to give us? The choice is ours to make.