“Truly, truly, I [Jesus] say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24
Christians will not be judged at the end of this life in the same way that non-Christians will be. The Bible teaches this truth clearly and repeatedly.
In Romans 8:1, Paul also says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Simply stated, in Christ all sin is forgiven.51 Subsequently, Christians are members of the family of God now and forever.
Nonetheless, Christians will be judged at the end of this life in a way that is different from the judgment of non-Christians. This life, and what we do and do not do with it, matters greatly. The Holy Spirit has given every Christian time, talent, and treasure that they are to steward well for the Kingdom. The Christian’s judgment is a day of assessment when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”52 This theme of accountability and reward runs all through Scripture as a continual reminder not to waste our life but rather steward it in light of eternity.53
To illustrate this concept, Jesus tells a Kingdom story in which He gives believers 10 minas, a large amount of money, and commands them to do business with it.54 This pictures the ministry resources believers have from God and their service for Jesus. The servant who brings 10 more minas receives authority over ten cities in the Kingdom, while the servant who brings 5 minas receives authority over five. The last servant, who hides his mina from fear of the master, typifies someone who does not have a grace relationship with Jesus. The point of Jesus’ story is that if we are truly Christians and know the love of our Master, we should faithfully invest our lives in the service of his Kingdom. The quality of work we do will be revealed and tested in the end, and only work that survives Jesus’ evaluation will be worthy of a reward. Positively, our day of testing can be a day of great rejoicing when we hear Jesus declare, “Well done,” if we are faithful stewards in this life.
Who do you know that has suffered a lot for Jesus Christ in this life? Are you looking forward to seeing them rewarded in eternity?
51 Col. 2:13; 1 John 2:12.
52 2 Cor. 5:10.
53 Matt. 24:45–47; 25:14–30; Luke 12:42–48, 16:1–13, 17:7–10, 19:12–27; Rom. 2:16; 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:8–15, 4:5, 9:17–27; Col. 3:23–25; 1 Tim. 2:3–6; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet. 1:7; 5:4; Rev. 4:4, 4:10, 22:12.
54 Luke 19:12–27.