During our life on earth, Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. However, as our days here draw to a close, and especially at the end of time, He takes His seat as Judge and prepares to reward believers for the good things they did in His name. This judgement is not about our salvation, that was settled when we got saved.
I think there is a widespread misconception that God the Father will be our judge. But it is Christ who gave us, His followers, the charge to go into the world and make disciples (Matt. 28:19). Therefore, He has been given the right to determine which of our actions and thoughts furthered His goal (John 5:22).
Christ is an impartial judge. He is not influenced by what others think or say, but rather, He determines what is right and good based on His honorable, just standard. We’ll be stripped of our worthless works–in other words, the actions and words we used for selfish ambition or vain conceit. All that will remain are the worthwhile things we thought, said, and did to honor God. These are the valuable parts of our lives for which we will be rewarded.
Reward is the whole point of placing believers before the judgment seat of Christ. Shame and guilt over past sin and mistaken motivation have no place there (Rom. 8:1). Our loving Savior is eager to show us our heavenly treasure.
Christ will expose the real you at the judgment seat by casting away the worthless things you’ve done. What remains will be the man or woman who endeavored to please the Lord. Let us determine to be powerful reflections of our Savior, both on earth and in heaven.