THE JUDGMENT-SEAT OF CHRIST.
All believers will be manifested before this judgment-seat that they may receive the things done in the body whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). This does not clash with the scriptural statement that the believer does “not come into judgment.” The Lord Jesus will sit on the judgment-seat, He who died for believers’ sins, and rose again for their justification; and He is the believer’s righteousness—He will not judge His own work.
The saint, already having been divinely justified, cannot be judged in that regard, indeed, John 5:24 declares he does not come into judgment at all. His safety in Christ is settled.
But he will be manifested: the things done in the body (as a believer) will be brought into review, all will then be seen by him in its true light, whether good or bad, and this will but serve to exalt the grace that has saved him. Therefore the judgment seat of Christ (or Bema) is not to determine IF he has eternal life, but rather is a judgment for rewards or loss.
An account will be required as to what sort of servant he has been. Has he used the talent committed to him? Some may have labored with improper materials, and such work will be burned up, and the workman will lose his reward, though he himself will be saved yet so as through fire. Whereas, with others, the work will abide- it will last, and the laborer will get a reward (1 Cor. 3:14). Each shall receive a reward according to his own labor (1 Cor. 3:8). The apostle John exhorted the saints to abide in Christ that he, as a workman, might not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28; compare 2 John 1:1,8). These passages apply to the Christian’s service, to each of whom a talent is given.
The exhortation to the Philadelphians is “Hold that fast which thou hast that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11). And the Lord says “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12). All that Christians do now will then be manifested; they should therefore seek to do such work as will stand the fire, and such as will be acknowledged and approved of in that day by their Lord and Master.
His love to us is “made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Note- do not confuse this judgment (the BEMA) of believers, with the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20. The latter has unbelievers judged by their works (shudder), the former judges the works of believers, for reward or even loss, but not eternal destiny. Or to put it another way, if you are a guest at the Great White Throne judgment, your desitny is eternal damnation. If you are at the BEMA, your works are judged, and the bad is burnt up forever, and this is part of grace indeed.
from Concise Bible Dictionary (lightly edited)