The New Testament is full of teaching that tells us Christ will reward the good works of believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-15, etc.). When we teach these passages, many maintain that they do not want any rewards. Part of the reason given is that they are unworthy. Perhaps all of us have felt that way at one time or another.
Recently, something occurred on the political scene in the United States that provides us with an illustration of certain aspects of the Judgment Seat of Christ. On Feb 4 of this year, conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh received our nation’s highest civilian award from President Trump—the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The President gave it to him at the State of the Union address in Congress. Limbaugh was not expecting it.
Limbaugh related how he felt about receiving the award. He said that at first he believed that he did not deserve it. He is famous world-wide for his political commentary and through his program has given many millions of dollars for cancer research. But he said that he has met many wounded soldiers who have risked their lives and lost close friends while fighting in our nation’s wars. He has always lived a life of safety in his radio studio. These soldiers and many others deserve the honor he received more than he does.
However, Limbaugh told his radio audience how he changed his mind about receiving such a great reward. One time he was discussing with some wounded soldiers how unworthy he feels in their presence. They told him that each of us has our role to play. They received great encouragement from his daily commentary that supported them in their work. He was also an example for them because of his love for the country for which they were fighting. Rush helped them do what they did.
Limbaugh also told his audience how the President received him the night he received his reward. Rush was invited to the President’s private residence. The President sat on a couch with Rush and talked to him in an informal way. They had known each other for years. In addition, throughout the presidency of Trump, Rush had been an enthusiastic supporter of the President. As a result, Limbaugh had been attacked by the enemies of the President. As a result of all these things, President Trump made it clear that he saw Rush as a close intimate friend. Rush felt like an honored guest in the home of the most powerful man on earth.
Rush soon realized that the President received a great deal of pleasure in honoring him in this way. The President wanted to give him this reward. In other words, it brought honor to the President to honor Rush.
Of course, the President presented the reward to Rush during the State of the Union and thus in a very public way. Everyone in the United States could see Limbaugh receive it. It was given in the very seat of power in our country.
Perhaps this illustration gives us an idea of what the Judgment Seat will be like. We won’t need to feel that the Lord has made a mistake if He rewards one of us. He requires that we are faithful to Him in whatever place He has placed us. It will give Him pleasure to reward those who have been faithful. They will be His intimate friends. And He will honor those who bring Him honor in a most public way (Matt 8:10-11).