In John 5:24 it seems like believers will not be judged, while 2 Corinthians 5:10 speaks of all being judged and to stand before Christ on the judgement seat.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24 NASB)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB)

How does these two passages harmonies without seeming to contradict each other, will the righteous be judged but not sentenced or not judged at all? In (Matthew 5:21-22 NASB) it's used to mean court.

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Does Jesus Judge or Not?
    – Dottard
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 21:21
  • Judgment can also be used for wrath and punishment. All will face judgment (justice) acc to their works but not all will face punishment. Those who do his will will escape punishment, not justice itself.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 5:12
  • 1
    @Dottard No the question is not if Jesus judges or not but if believers will be judged or not Commented May 12, 2022 at 12:21
  • @Michael16 NASB use κρίσις #2920 twice to mean court and the question arise if a believer will stand befor the judgement seat but won't be judged or won't have a court at all. Commented May 12, 2022 at 12:34
  • Righteous or rightful believer cannot be judged/punished but will receive reward of their good works, that is eternal life. The wicked are already judged (their punishment is assured).
    – Michael16
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 13:23

6 Answers 6


All the dead will appear before the great white throne of judgment, standing there in their resurrection bodies - Revelation 20:11-15. Verse 13 states that "they were judged every man according to his works."

Yet earlier on the Bible shows that all who had died "in Christ" had their new resurrection bodies raised from their graves to ascend up to Christ. After them, all the living saints on earth were then 'caught up' to follow them (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

This agrees with Revelation 14:13-16 where the first "reaping" of the harvest at the end of the world takes place, those who belong to Christ being gathered. Then immediately comes the second "reaping" - of the vine of the earth, so that its clusters be thrown into the winepress of the wrath of God" (14:17-20).

This indicates the removal from the grave, and from the earth, of all who belong to Christ, before the judgment begins. No wonder Jesus asked, "When the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) No, he won't, because all those with saving faith will have been "reaped" and gathered up and away before the judgment begins.

Yet it is true that "all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ"(2 Cor. 5:10). The question is, will they be judged as will be those without saving faith? To appear is not necessarily to stand in the dock, accused! That's what happens to all the faithless, those who did not put faith in what Christ did to remove the charge of sin.

That is why Jesus promised his own that they would "not come into judgment" (John 5:24). They have already been cleared of the charges of the accuser of the brethren. They have no case to answer. Yet they do have their lives examined for there are books opened on that day - those containing the deeds of everyone, and "The Book of Life" with all the names of those who have passed over from judgment to life. According to the books containing everyone's deeds, they will either not have their names in The Book of Life, or they will. Those who do are given their due reward for how they lived in the flesh, on earth. Those rewards will vary. This agrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 16:27 -

"For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and the he shall reward every man according to his works."

That does not contradict the reward for those not having their names in The Book of Life being a casting into the eternally burning sulphuric lake of fire. But for those who passed over from death and judgment to life, they are rewarded in heaven according to how they lived on earth. Please note that salvation is not a reward. It is an unmerited gift, freely bestowed on those with saving faith in Christ. All their sins are wiped away and thereafter, their lives will result in either greater or lesser rewards in heaven.

This question can only be answered by taking all that the Bible says about that day of Resurrection and Judgment, to get the full picture. I have only mentioned a few related texts. Others are Matthew 5:12 & vs.21, 1 Corinthians 3:8, 2 John vs.8, Rev.22:12, James 2:13, Romans 5:18-21 and there are many more. This really is a topic that you have raised, which requires a broad knowledge of all that the Bible says on the subject. This answer may point you in the right direction, for the two texts you mention are not contradictory and once that is seen, then the question you ask cannot arise.

  • Thanks Anne for your good and rich answer +1 Commented May 10, 2022 at 18:21

John 5:24 is talking about judgement of condemnation and 2 Co 5:10 of mankinds deeds, we shall ALL be judged at the Bema seat but the non-believers shall be judged for for eternal life or condemnation, while the believers at Bema shall have their deeds judged in order to receive gifts, authority etc

John 5:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 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 5:28-29 King James Version (KJV)

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 King James Version (KJV)

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.

Revelation 11:18 King James Version (KJV)

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

  • 1
    Best most concise answer.
    – Austin
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 14:24

Will the righteous be judged or will they not?

Yes, I think it is correct to presume that the righteous will be judged. I believe the apparent contradiction can be resolved if we examine the Greek words more closely.

A better translation of κρίσις (krisis) in John 5:24 might be condemnation, not judgment. This was found in all English Bibles translated from Greek through the late 19th century, when the Revised Version changed the word to judgment in 1881.

The meaning is not that a believer will not be subject to judgment, but rather that if they are πιστεύων (pisteuōn) - truly believing, or having faith (it is the same in Greek) - they will not be subject to the condemnation that comes with judgment.

We say truly if we understand πίστη (pistē) to be an active faith (or belief) and not merely affirmation. Elsewhere Christ asks Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46).

The Lord is not saying that believers (or those who think they believe) will never be judged. The Lord Himself taught that all nations will be judged at His second coming (Matthew 25:31ff). This same teaching was affirmed later in the Corinthians Epistle and in Hebrews: It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (9:27).


In the light of Paul wanting to please the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:9), he here turned his attention to a judgment seat before which all believers will stand. The Greek noun for “judgment seat” is “BEMA,” and was used frequently in the New Testament for a “platform...on which was placed a seat for an official.

The BEMA was the platform from which orations were made (Acts 12:21) as well as the place where civil officials held session to hear certain legal cases and render judgment in such cases” (Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 2). This Greek word was used a total of twelve times in the N.T. (Matthew 27:19; John 19:13; Acts 7:5, 12:21, 18:12, 16-17, 25:6, 10, 17; Romans 14:10; and this verse).

Although Paul was clear that this is a judgment of our works done in the body, it is also true that Jesus bore in His own body all judgment due our sins. Reward and loss are what Paul was speaking of in this passage (Corinthians 3:11-15), not justification, which is God’s gift through Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 3:14 and 1 Corinthians 3:15).

  • How does 2 Cor 5:10 stand in contrast to John 5:24 will a believer be judged at the bema or not? Commented May 12, 2022 at 13:07
  • @DanielDahlberg No. The righteous will not be judged. Or rather, they can’t be - because there is nothing to judge, because they are [the] righteous[ness of God]. BUT their ‘works’ will be ‘judged’ [assessed] to determine whether they need to be rewarded for what they did.
    – Dave
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 19:57
  • The righteous will not be judged + BUT their ‘works’ will be ‘judged = makes no sense, are you apart from your works? Commented May 13, 2022 at 10:46
  • @DanielDahlberg Yes! You are not your body. What you ‘do’ in/with the body will be ‘judged’. A believer allows God to ‘use’ them (operating in the spirit), as opposed to you using your ‘body’ for ‘you’. (Operating ‘in the flesh’). I appreciate this view (man is three parts - body, soul, spirit) is not universal amongst theologians, so offer this for consideration.
    – Dave
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 19:24

No contradiction!

They will not come to judgment, because they will be esteemed or judged as being totally disqualified for being subjected to judgment, yes, disqualified through their saturation with faith and love of God, as John intimates.

It is the same as a history teacher says to his pupils: "Anybody of you who will read all the volumes of Edward Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire', will not come to the final exam, but will have my course finished with 'A'".

Now, before somebody is exempt from the final exam, the teacher will check and judge whether this exemption is warranted by a pupil's having read the volumes of Gibbon. Similarly, only those faithful will be exempt from judgment of God, who will, in His eyes, possess the due faith and love.


When comparing this verse with the Bema Seat of Christ judgment, we are considering the comparison between the final judgment of mankind (without Christ), and the Bema judgment that pertains to rewards. The first one is linked to salvation, the second one to eternal rewards. According to John 5:24, those who have trusted in Christ "hath passed out of the death to the life." Their "eternal life" has already begun. And if they have already been granted eternal life, here and now, then a judgment regarding their eternal destination has already been made and therefore, there is no future judgment for the saved, just as our Messiah proclaimed.

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