The Judgment Seat & The Wedding Of The Lamb

Photo by Victoria Priessnitz on Unsplash

We’ll be in two texts tonight. The first will be in Revelation 19:6-10, and the second is in 1 Corinthians 3:9-15. Turn to Revelation first.

Last Wednesday we saw the Apostle compare the Church to a garden and to a building. We also talked about how Jesus had no wife as we do while He walked this earth.

Jesus does have a Bride. The Bride is His Church.

The Apostle compared the Church to a Bride in:

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

In 2 Corinthians 11:2 the Apostle said the Church was betrothed or engaged to Jesus. In Revelation 19 we see that one day the Church will be married to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. This is a spiritual marriage, a legal binding together of the body of believers in Christ with Jesus Christ Himself. It is our Covenant Union with Jesus Christ that gives us an inheritance with Jesus in eternity. The Bible says:

Ephesians 5:23-24 … the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Following the Rapture of the Church, the works of all believers will be judged, and following this judgment we will be part of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

There Will Be A Marriage Supper Of The Lamb

Revelation 19:6-9 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

In Revelation 19 we see all of Heaven praising God! Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come. David Guzik in his Enduring Word Commentary notes:

One reason this great multitude is so filled with praise is because the time has come for the Lamb of God to be joined unto His people, in a union so close it can only be compared to the marriage of a man and a woman.”

The “Lamb” is Jesus Christ (see John 1:29; John 1:36; 1 Peter 1:19). Prior to the Marriage of the Lamb the Bride made herself ready. How is the Church made ready? It is a GRANT or a GIFT from God. The Scripture says, to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. The Bride (the Church) does not make her own wedding gown. The adornment of the Church is “granted”, that is the Greek δίδωμι dídōmi, {pronounced did’-o-mee}. This literally means “it was given or bestowed on”. The “righteousness of the Saints” is not our own righteousness, but the righteousness we have through faith in Christ Jesus.

That which clothes the Saints is the salvation we have by faith, and ALSO the works that we did to glorify Jesus while on this earth. The Bride’s GOWN is the REWARDS of the faithful Saints.

Christians are saved to shine for Jesus. Salvation is a free gift, but the free gift has a purpose. We are told in …

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Most people stop reading at this point. But if you do, you miss a very important truth. In the next verse we read:

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

Word Study: God has ordained (Greek προετοιμάζω proetoimázō, [pronounced pro-et-oy-mad’-zo]) or decreed in advance that we who are His will walk IN good works. The Bride will be adorned with the righteousness of Christ, and the righteous works that we did for Christ while on this earth. Guzik notes:

Believers are created for divinely prepared good works.

There will be a wedding celebration in glory for all of Christ’s believers. C.H. Spurgeon noted:

The Bride of Christ is a sort of Cinderella now, sitting among the ashes. She is like her Lord, ‘despised and rejected of men’; the watchmen smite her, and take away her veil from her; for they know her not, even as they knew not her Lord. But when he shall appear, then shall she appear also, and in his glorious manifestation she also shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of the Father.”

What a glorious day that will be! We will be bound to Christ as His Covenant people forever, each of us a part of His Spiritual Bride. I can hardly wait. There are, however, things that must occur in eternity prior to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Bride must be cleansed of all false religion, and all impurities. This will be done by Jesus Christ at His Judgment Seat.

All Works Are Judged By Jesus

Jesus said:

John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

If Jesus is the GROOM, and the Church the BRIDE, and Heaven the HOME of the Bride and Groom, it makes sense that Jesus does all the judging!

Illustration: We as Christians are saved to do good works for Jesus. We strive to do the right thing, to honor our God. But there are times we fall flat. I heard about the little boy who played a “wise man” in the Church Christmas program. When he stepped forward to say his lines, he improvised – and brought the house down. He said:

We are three wise guys, and we are bringing gifts of mold, common sense and fur!

In our world today I’d love to see someone bring a little common sense and responsibility. EVERYONE is going to stand before Jesus one day and be judged. Solomon said:

Ecclesiastes 12:14 (ESV) For God {this is Jesus Christ} will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

The Apostle Paul, agreeing with Solomon, noted:

Romans 2:6 (ESV) {God the Son} will render to each one according to his works:

Preach!: Some will stand before Jesus and, because of their faith in Him, be given eternal life (Romans 2:7). Others will stand in front of Jesus and, because they would not receive Him as Lord and Savior, they are promised only eternal condemnation (Romans 2:8-9).

Everyone will give an account of their life to Jesus! The Apostle did not mince words when he wrote:

2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV) For 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.

Prior to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb Christ’s people will have their works judged by God. This is not the “Great White Throne” of Revelation 20:11-15. That judgment is for the Unbeliever, and a frightening judgment it will be! But there is a cleansing or preparation of the Bride through the Divine Judgment of every work that we as believers did while on this earth.

The Judgment Seat Of Christ Is The Weaving
Of The Bride’s Gown

Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 3. Last week we looked at the phrase “You are God’s Garden”. Today we see the Apostle’s exposition of the phrase, “You are God’s Building”. This section deals with CHRISTIANS and their WORKS only.

1 Corinthians 3:9-15 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 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. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Salvation is entirely a gift of God. When a person realizes that he or she is Great Sinner in need of a Great Savior – and that Jesus is that One and Only Savior – and turns to Him believing then that person is saved.

Titus 3:5-7 (KJV) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

We are “Justified” or “made right with God” through the shed Blood of Christ. This is POSITIONAL TRUTH. God changes our status in HIS eyes once our hearts are given to Jesus. Jesus took our penalty so we can become sons of God. We are God’s building. Our FOUNDATION is what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross and at the empty Tomb. God gives us a foundation in Christ.

The Foundation is laid when a person is saved.

1 Corinthians 3:10 (KJV) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.

Word Study: The Apostle Paul laid the FOUNDATION of Corinth, by preaching salvation by faith in Christ. This is what saves us. Paul was not just a builder, but a wise master builder. Paul calls himself a sophos architektōn, a wise architect or a chief constructor. Paul was careful to make sure that the foundation was not human works, Paul’s works and abilities, or anything that was not purely the Grace of God. It is not a sophos architektōn, or a wise architect who, on drawing out the plans for a building, specifies substandard materials. The Church is built on the genius of Christ.

The Church is the Building of God, a people working together for His Glory. The Christian is the Temple of God, the Bride of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

The Christian is the Temple of God, founded on the Bloody Cross of Christ. The Church is the Building of God, founded on the finished work of Calvary.

Solomon wrote in Psalm 127:1, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it. When Paul was Saul, he went about persecuting the Church because it was NOT like Judaism. But once Saul was knocked down on the Damascus Road and discovered the Church belongs to Jesus (Acts 9:5), from that point on Saul became Paul. He was not about to build the Church on anything but the Grace of God by faith in Christ Jesus!

Brothers and sisters, you cannot work your way to Heaven. You cannot be good enough to be saved. “By one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for ALL have sinned” (Romans 5:12). No one is good enough to get beyond God’s indictment that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). However, as the Apostle states a few verses further down, “if through the offense of one (adam) many be dead, MUCH MORE the grace of God, and the gift by Grace, which is by ONE MAN, Jesus Christ … (Romans 5:15).

The FOUNDATION is salvation by faith in Christ. But NO building stops at a foundation. The glory of the building is in what is built ON the foundation.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (KJV) …. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

The foundation of every person’s faith is Jesus Christ. But once saved we begin to build on that foundation. Every work we do is based on that tremendous act of grace that our Lord Jesus gave us. Everything we build on that Foundation (Jesus Christ) must be worthy of Jesus Christ. Every room cobbled

The Foundation is Jesus Christ, and everything built on that Foundation is to be honoring to Jesus Christ.

We live to bring glory and honor to our Savior. We do the things we do to honor Jesus. Christ is the Foundation of the Church. Christ is the Foundation of the Christian Way of Life. Christ is the Rock on which we are to be built. It is His Word that brings stability to the Life we have. We are meant to NOT STALL after salvation, but to BUILD on that foundation of saving faith the things that Jesus bids we build. Jesus said:

Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV) Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

Whether wise or foolish, each one BUILDS their house. The Christian builds their house on the genius of Christ Jesus.

The Judgment Seat Of Christ Is The Preparation Of The Bride, The Judging Of Our Earthly Works Prior To The Marriage Supper

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (KJV) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest…

At the Judgment Seat of Christ prior to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, our works – built on the FOUNDATION OF OUR SALVATION – will be judged. Notice that the works are graded by the Apostle Paul into six categories:

gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble

These six items were commonly used in building construction in the Apostle’s day. Hay and stubble were used in building, but only when mixed with clay to make bricks. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online notes that:

The cognates of Hebrew tebhen, “straw” and qash, “stubble,” have been retained in the modern Arabic terms tibn and qashsh. Tibn applies to the straw which has been cut up into short pieces and more or less split by the threshing operations. … Tibn is mixed with clay for plastering walls or for making sun-dried bricks. It is also mixed with lime and sand for plastering. The children of Israel had their task of brick making made more arduous by being required to gather stubble and prepare it by chopping it up instead of being given the already prepared straw of the threshing-floors”

Hay and stubble without clay had little use other than for animal fodder. It was useless in a building if it stood alone. God breaks out the six different types of works that believers do on this earth. Gold and silver when fired, becomes more rather than less precious. Precious stones when fired may crack or burn, losing value. Wood, hay or stubble will soonest burn up if exposed to fire.

I believe the “Fire” that will be used to test our works in Heaven is the Shekinah Glory of God through Jesus.

The Bible says “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). When Israel left Egypt, God led them as “pillar of fire by night” (Exodus 13:21). When God spoke to Moses, He spoke out of a “burning bush” (Exodus 3:2-3). John the Baptist said that our Jesus would “baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16). When the Holy Spirit came to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, He appeared as “tongues of fire that rested on each one of them” (Acts 2:3). God promised in the prophecies that there would be a day when He would “test them as gold is tested. They will call upon My name, and I will answer them” (Zechariah 13:9).

Jesus will test our works Himself. The purpose of the test is to make the work MANIFEST. Do our works honor Jesus our Lord?

1 Corinthians 3:13 (KJV) 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.

Our Jesus will examine our works, “His eyes like a flame of fire” (Revelation 1:14; Revelation 19:12-13). He will judge our works to see if they glorified God or not. Jesus said (John 5:22) “The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.. He Who was pierced with nails and beaten with whips and hung shamefully and nakedly shall judge the works of His people. He shall gaze upon all that we have built on the Foundation of His Sacrifice. Some of our works will – like gold and silver – become more pure under His gaze. Other of our works will burn like wood, hay or stubble.

1 Corinthians 3:14 (KJV) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Some have said they do not want a reward when they get to Heaven. You misunderstand the reward. The reward you receive is like a patch on a quilt. The righteous deeds we do on this earth shine forth as the Bride’s “Gown” at the Marriage Feast.

We should seek to live for Jesus in this life, so that we will merit rewards from Jesus in the next life. Just as a parent is proud of a child who excels in school, Jesus wants to be proud of us. The works that we do in this life for Jesus are the only things that we will take to Heaven with us. One commentary notes:

“… rewards in heaven glorify God and provide us with joy, peace, and wonder as we consider God’s work in us and through us. The closer we were to God during this life, the more centered on Him and aware of Him, the more dependent on Him, the more desperate for His mercy, the more there will be to celebrate. We are like characters in a story who suffer doubt, loss, and fear, wondering if we will ever really have our heart’s desire. When the happy ending comes and desire is fulfilled, there comes a completion. The story would not be satisfying without that completion. Rewards in heaven are the completion of our earthly story, and those rewards will be eternally satisfying (Psalm 16:11).”

Christian are encouraged to live so as to one day receive a reward in Heaven. We read in:

Colossians 3:23-25 (KJV) And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

What we SOW we shall REAP. If we build Christ honoring works on the Foundation of Christ Who is our salvation then we will one day be rewarded for our obedience. But the Apostle says:

1 Corinthians 3:15 (KJV) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

If the work’s judged are without merit in Jesus’ eyes, there is no reward for it. However, you, dear believer, will still be saved. Yet I suspect there will be tears in our eyes when we realize we could give no tiny scrap of a patch back to Jesus to build His Bride’s gown! Oh, how I wish to live so as to honor my Jesus in glory. Is this not your heart as well?

Good works do not save, but to those who have no love for Jesus, our Master has a word for them. He will tell them:

Matthew 7:23 (ESV) …. ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

That would truly be the greatest of miseries. If you belong to Jesus, you love Jesus, and do not disparage working for Him. It is a joy to serve the risen Savior. Let us draw near to Him more and more each and every day! Amen and Amen. May God the Holy Spirit draw you close to His side, Beloved, and give you the eyes to behold Him daily. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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