Bible commentators generally believe that Christians will be rewarded for good works at the Bema judgement. I am unclear of the purpose of judging my evil/bad/worthless works after I am already saved and in Heaven. Is the purpose of that judgement to make the immortal me ashamed, guilty, or is it to make me fully aware of the extent of grace? Guilt and shame do not seem to belong in Heaven.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site, Bill. To help avoid your question being closed, some quotes from reputable sources about this 'Bema seat judgment' would be helpful, to show that this IS a general claim. As it stands, others could claim it is not a general view, and so the Q will go off-topic. And to focus Qs, it is also helpful to ask a particular branch of Christianity to answer, otherwise this will just become a melting-pot of disparate interpretations (personal interpretations being discouraged on this site.) Which group of believers do you think could offer the most helpful answers?
    – Anne
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 7:56
  • There must be many questions here on this topic already, search them first, and also look at all the topics on the Phil 3:12 verse here, before posting a new topic. Bema judgment doctrine is specific to the Baptist sect which separates the final real judgment/justice by diminishing it merely to special rewards rather than hell/heaven sending issue. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/search?q=philippians+3%3A12
    – Michael16
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


From a Protestant point of view, there are two judgments. One is the great white throne (thronos) for unbelievers. Two is the bema (bema) judgment for believers, which is the question of the OP.

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. 2 Cor 5:10 (emphasis mine)

What's the point? It's in the verse before. To be well-pleasing, acceptable.

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

Well-pleasing because our works as Christians will be judged. Not our salvation, but what we did after being born-again.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

Believers are His. We are His works to do good works that are there for us to do. Do them and be rewarded. Don't do them and the bad works are burnt, but the believer still saved.

Will we feel bad, guilty, shame if we fail at doing the good works? Based on what Paul said, we will feel grateful.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom 8:1


Rev. 20:11-15

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. 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. 13 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. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

I think it should be noted that, ordinarily, all works are judged according to the worker. But, if they are found in the "Lamb's Book of Life," they are judged or reckoned according to the works of Christ because they are in Christ. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1)."

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I would also recommend reading the Help Center's sections on asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 14:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .