What is the difference between judgement seat of God and White Throne judgement ?
There are two end-time judgments of which the Bible speaks.
One is the Great White Throne Judgment. It is described in Revelation 20:11-15. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Only lost people appear at that judgment. Everyone there is cast into the lake of fire. The judgment is to determine their degree of punishment. They all suffer in the fire there, but some will suffer more than others.
Does the Bible really teach that some will suffer there more than others? Yes, because they are judged according to their works. We are not saved by works, but by faith in Jesus Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). But clearly this Great White Throne Judgment brings their works into the matter of the judgment, so it is to give them exactly the torment that they deserve.
The Bible does refer to the judgment being more tolerable for some, than for others (which is not to say that everyone there will not be tormented, because they all will be.) Matthew 10:14,15 says, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be MORE TOLERABLE for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, than for that city.” Matthew 11:20-24 says, “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be MORE TOLERABLE for Tyre and Sidon AT THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be MORE TOLERABLE for the land of Sodom IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, than for thee.”
For more study on this subject, see our Bible Course on the subject of Hell, at http://www.pathwaynet.com/libertyb/biblecrs/hell/hell1.htm.
The other end time judgment is the Judgment Seat of Christ. Only Christians will appear at that judgment. It is a judgment to determine eternal rewards or the loss of them. It has nothing to do with determining salvation. That is already determined before a person dies. You will notice that this judgment is also based upon works — not the “amount” of them, but the “sort” (the quality, the motive) of them. I Corinthians 3:9-15 says, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” You will notice that it is possible to not have any rewards at all, but still to be saved. What a sad day that will be for such Christians. This is the time to be serving the Lord while we can, with pure and right motives. II Corinthians 5:8-10 says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
Are you saved, and faithfully serving the Lord? John 9:4 says, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”