Question: What’s the difference between the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne Judgment? Are Christians going to be judged along with unbelievers?
Answer: The Judgment Seat of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15) is more like an awards ceremony than a judgment. The phrase comes from the Greek, “Bema,” which was a judges platform. Think of a panel of judges at an Olympic event (they had Olympics in ancient Greece, so the Corinthians knew what Paul was referring to). After a contest, the athletes would be given their reward according to how they placed in the contest.
Similarly, Christians will stand before the Bema seat of Christ to receive our reward for the things we have done. But Christians will not be judged. As Paul writes, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
The Great White Throne judgment (see Revelation 20:11-15) is a judgment of those who have not received God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. The names of those who have trusted Jesus Christ are written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20; Revelation 3:5). Those whose names are not in the Book of Life will face God’s judgment.