Are you ready this evening to appear at Christ’s Throne? When we take pilgrims to Greece, the most moving spot of all is in the city of Ancient Corinth. I have seen travelers who were just tourists the whole trip until they reached that spot. And there beneath the raised stone platform called in Greek the bema suddenly the awesomeness of the moment overtakes them and they see themselves at a future day standing at Christ’s Throne. Often tears, often deep silence – and always reverence fills each one as the scene unfolds before their eyes.
Tonight will you come with me to that Throne? Will you let the Holy Scriptures transport you out of this world and into God’s?
GOD’S PANORAMA OF AGES
|RAPTURE||I THESS. 4||BE READY – The Son of Man cometh|
|JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST||2 CORIN. 5||BE HOLY – We must all appear.|
|TRIBULATION||REV. 6-19||BE THANKFUL – Christ will keep us from the hour.|
|SECOND COMING||REV. 19||BE PATIENT – Christ will right all wrongs.|
|MILLENNIUM||REV. 20||BE FOCUSED – Christ will perfect the earth|
|GREAT WHITE THRONE||REV. 20||BE FAITHFUL – Point people to Christ.|
|HEAVEN||REV. 21-22||BE INVESTING – Lay up treasure in Heaven.|
THINK OF GOD’S THRONE:
- Ezekiel 1:24-28 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. 26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
- Daniel 7:9-10 “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.
- Revelation 4:1-4 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
- Revelation 5:8-14 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” 14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
THINK OF YOUR APPOINTMENT:
This evening each of us have an unavoidable appointment. This appointment should constrain our flesh and motivate our spiritual hearts.
- Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
- 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
- So, its going to be first of all a very public event: fanerwqh`nai which means more than just to appear, it means to make manifest. Before the God of the universe and all of creation, we will be made known before all. And bhvmato” is the judgment seat of the rulers of old. It is raised for all to see. That is the place all will appear one by one. Secondly it is also a very personal event pavnta” [plural] must appear in order that each one individually which is the literal meaning of ‘may receive’. Our lives amount to either good or fau`lon translated bad does not speak of evil but ‘good for nothingness’ The believer is either going to have to answer for the good things done faithfully for the Master, or for the rest which was good for nothingness. This is ‘light, unstable, blown about by every wind’. Oh, to stand before all in that day and to answer to Him.
“For the all is to be revealed” (pautas) w/ article = sum total – none left out v.10
One day each Christian will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10–12). The Greek word for “judgment seat” is BEMA, the very same word used to describe the place where the Olympic judges gave out the prizes! If we have disciplined ourselves to obey the rules, we shall receive a prize.
THINK OF THE FIRE
Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Bible history is filled with people who began the race with great success but failed at the end because they disregarded God’s rules. They did not lose their salvation, but they did lose their rewards (1 Cor. 3:15).
- It happened to Lot (Gen. 19),
- Samson (Jud. 16),
- Solomon (I Kings 11), and
- Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). And it can happen to us!
It is an exciting experience to run the race daily, “looking unto Jesus” (Heb. 12:1–2). It will be even more exciting when we experience that “upward calling” and Jesus returns to take us to heaven! Then we will stand before the bema to receive our rewards! It was this future prospect that motivated Paul, and it can also motivate us.
THINK OF THE REWARDS
In the ancient Isthmian games of Greece, a pedestal stood at the finish line, and on it hung a wreath-the winner’s prize. No one runs a race without some expectation of reward. The Isthmian races and the race spoken of in Hebrews 12, however, were not run for exhilaration. This type of race is the agoµn, the agony race, the marathon, the race that seems never to end. It is not a race you run simply for the pleasure of running. If you do not have something important to look forward to at the end of this race, you will likely not start it and will certainly not finish it.
- The CROWN OF LIFE to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ and persevere to the end. GOD CROWNS THOSE WHO LOVE HIM: James 1:12 God crowns those who love Him. God wants your heart! Love only counts to God if it’s first place, priority #1 love, more than hobbies, money, professional achievements, scholastic honors, sports victories, possessions. Do you place a higher priority on God or: your job, your house, your recreation, your finances, (i.e. do you spend more time with investments on earth or heaven?)
- The CROWN OF REJOICING is also called the soul winners crown and it consists of people won for Christ. I Thessalonians 2:19; Phil 4:1. The only things we can take with us are people! Are you taking anyone with you? Who, your friends, neighbors, children? ARE WE DISCIPLING OTHERS? GOD CROWNS THOSE WHO BRING HIM PEOPLE: God crowns those who bring Him what He wants. God wants people, not houses, plaques, collectibles. Remember the Lord allows no U-Hauls behind a hearse. Because the faithful proclaim the truth, there is promised a ‘crown of exultation’.
- The UNFADING CROWN OF SELF-CONTROL is for Steadfast Racer that consistently brings the flesh under the Spirit’s control, resisting all that disqualifies. This one gets Imperishable Crown in I Corinthians. 9:25-27.
- GUARD AGAINST THE APATHY OF AFFLUENCE Revelation. 3:17: Our world tries to make us seek self-sufficiency and independence; this begets spiritual indifference. The only solution is to take spiritual therapy as we talked about this morning as we:
- VALUE RELATIONSHIPS OVER AND ABOVE FINANCIAL GAIN (Phil 4:1; I Th. 2:19-20);
- DREAM ABOUT WINNING THE ULTIMATE PRIZE Matthew 25:21-23;
- RUB SHOULDERS WITH THE LESS FORTUNATE TO REMIND US THAT THE MORE WE HAVE THE MORE WE NEED TO GIVE I Tim 6:18-19;
- FOCUS ON THE SECRET OF GODLY CONTENTMENT I Tim 6:6-8 GOD CROWNS THOSE WHO DENY THEIR FLESH: The Steadfast Racer that resists all Disqualifiers gets the Unfading Crown in I Cor. 9:25-27. This is for Mastering our old nature. The Lord’s reward for all His faithful followers are varied and wonderful, and all of them are imperishable
- The CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS goes to those who faithfully watch for Christ each day living with eternity’s values as their own. These get the Crown of Righteousness in II Tim. 4:8. Remember Paul is now at the end of his life. He is in the depths of Mamertinum. This crown is for anticipating Christ. Are you? This crown is for following to the finishing line the course the Lord has given you? Are you? Finishing the race to the end. God crowns those who watch for Him: Look for Jesus every day. (I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE PARSONAGE WINDOW IN Rhode Island. When I drove up to the garage Bonnie would have the little ones watching. With wide eyes they would sound the coming home of dad. My joy is such a tiny example of God’s longing for our attention!) The Victorious Warrior who faithfully watches for Christ gets the Crown of Righteousness in II Tim. 4:8.
- The CROWN OF GLORY is promised to those who live as an Example to the Flock. Faithful under-shepherds get the Crown of Glory in I Peter 5:1-5. SERVE CHRIST’S CHURCH BECAUSE GOD CROWNS THOSE WHO SERVE HIM: This is for feeding the flock. This is for enduring trials. Because of the service of the redeemed, the reward given is ‘the unfading crown of glory’
THINK OF THE GLASSY SEA:
Revelation 4:5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THEM ?
Look at Revelation. 4:9-11 And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (KJV)
- Are you saved? Do you have the crown of life?
- Are you winning and discipling people? Will you get this crown of rejoicing?
- Are you Spirit controlled? Will you get the unfading crown?
- Are you looking for Jesus? Will you get the crown of righteousness?
- Are you serving Christ’s church, His sheep? Will you get the crown of glory?
|sqft mile||per person||per sq mile||10 Million|
|sqft mile||per person||per sq mile||600 Million|