“So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God,” Romans 14:12 (New American Standard Bible, NASB).
When Christian Herter was governor of Massachusetts, he was running hard for a second term in office. One day, after a busy morning chasing votes he arrived at a church barbecue. It was late afternoon and Herter was famished. As Herter moved down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line.
“Excuse me,” Governor Herter said, “do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?”
“Sorry,” the woman told him. “I’m supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person.”
“But I’m starved,” the governor said.
“Sorry,” the woman said again “Only one to a customer.”
Governor Herter was a modest and unassuming man, but he decided that this time he would throw a little weight around. “Do you know who I am?” he said. “I am the governor of this state.”
“Do you know who I am?” the woman said. “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along, mister.” (Source: Bits and Pieces, May 28, 1992, pp. 5-6.)
The lady in charge of the chicken did not want to be held accountable for handing out more than she was responsible for doing. And it didn’t even matter if it meant going against the governor, himself. She was just doing what she was supposed to do.
When you’re doing what God wants you to do, you are faced with a serious responsibility. And he will hold you accountable if you do not follow his instructions. In this age of permissiveness, this is hard for many to understand.
Society is in the midst of change for what used to called sin not many years ago is now tolerated, even acccepted as part of the norm. In First Corinthians 6:9, the Apostle Paul says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” Then he goes on to identify who these unrighteous people are (see v. 10). To say the least, the apostle would not be politically correct if he wrote these words today. In fact, he would probably be condemned for sounding too judgmental. And many would accuse him of being hateful.
But Paul was only stating truth. And many do not like to hear the truth. But when persons accept the truth, face the fact that they are responsible for their sinful deeds, and change their ways, they can be saved to enter the kingdom of God. For Paul adds, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God,” (v. 11). When we put on Christ through faith, repentance, and baptism, and live in the Spirit of God, our sins are forgiven (“washed”). We are then made separate from the ways of the world (“sanctified”). And we are not under condemnation of eternal death (“justification”) in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8), but conditionally saved by the grace of God through faith (Eph. 2:8).
Those who say they can’t change because that’s the way they are or that’s the way they were born, are not being responsible for confessing their sins and will be held accountable on Judgment Day. But all of us are in that same boat, for each one of us is held accountable for our sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, as Paul says, “We must all stand before the judgment seat of God,” (Rom. 14:10c).
Our responsibility is to accept the truth of our accountability to God. As we strive to live according to the Spirit of God through Christ living in us (Rom. 8:1-11), we are able to be as strong as that lady in charge of the chicken who was simply doing what she was supposed to do. Not even higher authorities of this world will then be able to get us to make exceptions to those standards in which we are held accountable to abide. Our hope is that we will one day hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,” (Matthew 25:23, King James Version, KJV).
Here is a video presentation, “Accountability—Bible Promises Spoken”: http://youtu.be/NCPxAIEPnlE
Good News to YOU!