I'm not sure we really understand what the 'judgement seat' is and also what the judgement of believers really will consist of.The standard evangelical explanation (well the one I was taught) is that the judgement seat (Bema in Greek) denotes a place of rewards and was the word used for the place that athletes would go to receive their rewards/crowns (you see the thought process). However, it's not that simple!The word 'Bema' (judgement seat) is used in the NT for the seat that Pilate, Herod, and Ceasar sat on to make judgements. I'm pretty sure they were not just handing out rewards!! Additionally the reference in 2 Cor 5:10 that Oracio quoted talks about the judging of good and bad (literally good and Evil) and also has the 'terror of the Lord' associated with it, so it cannot be just handing out of or missing rewards. It seems to me this 'bema' was a place where judgment was made as to right and wrong (good and bad). I think it is different to the Final judgment that is a judgment of passing sentence and condemnation at the Great White Throne.Is the judgement seat of Christ just a reference to the fact that when He returns all things will be exposed for what they are (good or bad; of value or worthless) and therefore all things will become evident? Just a thought, but it may fit in with the references that at that time there will be a separation of believers from unbelievers and also a separation of good works from bad works for the believer. The latter burning up and only leaving the stuff of value (we hope there are some). I guess what I mean is it is not referring to a literal standing before the 'Bema'. Well we can't all be standing in line waiting one after the other for a judgment can we! So maybe again Paul uses this term 'Bema' (Judgement seat) as a metaphor to describe the fact that all things will be judged in the light of Christ's presence.I know I may be shaking some established views, but I'm also shaking mine!
Dave I think you are on the right track.