Christians & Judgment

The Judgment for Sin
Many people - even Christian people - think that the judgment for sins is yet future, and that all the scores will be settled in the by-and-by future when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. In so thinking, they obscure the great truth of the grand drama of redemption that took place, openly in the heavens, at Calvary's cross so many years ago.

For sin was judged there: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:21) The Lord Jesus Christ, our Passover, was the burnt offering there, and he took the valid accusations away: Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Col. 2:14)

The great fact of judgment that is past is what confers release and peace to a believer in Jesus Christ. The Lord said, during his earthly ministry, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24)

Therefore, the believer will not come into judgment for his sins, as that judgment is already passed, and therefore there is nothing anymore for the believer about the penalty for his sins, and the judgment of them.

Nevertheless, there is still the judgment of the believer himself as a believer, and servant of Jesus Christ.
Self Judgment
Today is therefore the day of self-judgment by Christians. As the Scriptures read "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." (1st Cor 11:31-32)

The Christian is to be carefully discerning whether or not he is in faith, which is to say, whether he is not in sin. Romans 14:23 teaches that whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. If he has erred from faith, he discerns it, confesses the sin of it, having spoken to God about it according to the way that God sees it.

On the other hand, if he does not judge himself, he will be judged: at the judgment seat of Christ.
Judging Others in the Church
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Cor 5:11-13)

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)

The misapplication of "judge not lest you be judged" has done considerable damage in the churches of God, almost to the point where it is impossible to have a local church.

In 1 Cor 5, it clearly says that, while the local church does NOT have anything to do with judging those on the outside, certainly there is to be judgment of those who will not judge themselves. Criteria are given for the most egregious sins which are five: fornication, covetousness, idolatry, railing, drunkenness, and extortion. When coupled with notoriety, the sinners committing them need to be "put away."
The Judgment Seat of Christ
One of the most overlooked truths in the Bible concerning Christians is the fact of a historical and geographical rendezvous of every believer with the Lord Jesus Christ personally at His judgment seat.

Concerning the time of the judgment seat, the Bible gives only evidence that it is future to this present age, and on the other side of the grave. At the judgment seat of Christ, every Christian will be made evident to himself. Each Christian will carry away in his new glorified body at that time and from that place either evil or good that is deserved according to what we have done in our Christian lives.