On Sunday night I had the privilege of graduating from The Master’s Seminary. The graduation itself wasn’t something that I was really looking forward to. I was tired and knew that I had a golf tournament in the morning, so part of me honestly wanted to just stay home and relax. But I knew I had to go, so we packed up the baby’s stuff, attempted to iron my gown out, and took off for seminary for the last time.
Having gone through the graduation, I feel I have a better understanding of the Judgment Seat of Christ. As they were handing out the diplomas, there were some that were graduating with honors. Needless to say, I did not graduate with a 3.8 or higher. But, unfortunately for me, the three people in front of me did. They were all introduced with their GPA, and there were ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Then it got to me and it was “Tim Costine….” Followed by awkward silence. When I saw that I was going to follow these smart guys, I turned to my friend behind me and said, “Great, we’ve got to follow these guys.” He replied, “We?! Sorry man, you’re the speed bump!”
So how does this relate to the Judgment Seat of Christ? Everyone is there, being rewarded for what they have done. No one is being condemned, but all sit before the professors who are approving of our graduation. And in the midst of it, there is one thing that is abundantly clear… Some worked harder than others. There were a couple guys graduating with 4.0’s, and numerous others with 3.9+. One guy had a 3.99.
In that moment, as I sat in the front row, looking up at my professors, i thought to myself, “I could have tried harder.” or “I could have studied harder for that test.” Obviously, this got me thinking of when I stand before the actual Judgment Seat of Christ. What will it feel like to sit before the Sovereign Lord, thrilled that you are graduating to Eternity, embracing the reward that you have worked for, but what it feel like to realize that you could have done more? What will it feel like to remember habitual sins that were not dealt with as they should have? What will it feel like to not have lived for the glory of God in every circumstance?
So, the only thing I can think of is that I must run the race, endure the battle, and live so that there will be no shame in the day of our great graduation!