Each of Us Must Give An Account to God!

 

Each of Us Must Give An Account to God!

Richard Hollerman

Daniel Webster, the well-known statesman in the early years of the United States, was the speaker at a luncheon for employees of the government. At the urging the the assemblied group, the venerable older man gave a statement that has been passed down through history. It is one that touched the guests and it is one that has penetrated to the hearts of many who have read the words. 

Mr. Webster said: “The most important thought that ever occupied my mind is that of my individual responsibility to God.” Is this the way you would have answered an inquiry into your most solemn thoughts? 

As I thought of his words, I’ve pondered the weight of them. You—personally—are responsible before God! It is true that all people will stand before God and give an account. But it is also true that you, yourself, are responsible before the Lord and will one grand Day give an account for your life!

It is easy to become preoccupied with everyday living. We spend our time sleeping and eating, preparing meals and doing housework, traveling and working, visiting friends and seeking entertainment. But what is of utmost importance? You will stand before God and given an account!

When he concluded his book called Ecclesiastes, Solomon said these solemn words: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (12:13-14). We may consider many things in life to be significant, but is there anything more vital than this? God will bring “every act” into judgment, even “hidden” things! And these will be both good and evil. You will be alone, without human help or intervention. Are you prepared?

We can see how Paul could say that God “will render to each person according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6). Yes, the whole world will be involved in the judgment, but “each person” is responsible before God. The apostle went on to say that “every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God” (3:19). Every mouth! “every soul of man who does evil” and “everyone who does good” will be involved (2:9-10) There will be no exceptions, for every responsible person will stand before Him!

In the same book, Paul once again speaks of the individual responsibility of each person: “We will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (14:10b-12). We may pass over this passage when we read through the book of Romans, but it is weighty indeed. Everyone without exception “will stand before the judgment seat of God.” This includes you and me.  “Each one” will “give an account of himself to God.”

Normally, we can count on another person or other people to come to our aid when we are in need. When we are admitted to the hospital, someone is probably with us. When we visit the IRS, we may have a friend accompany us.  When someone must stand before a human judge, he generally can count on a lawyer to advise what to do and what to say. But not so when it comes to the Judgment.  Each person will “give account of himself to God.” You, a mere creature, will stand before the Creator of heaven and earth and give an account to Him. Are you prepared?

In another place, Paul writes of this coming august Day of reckoning: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This may remind us of Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.  Here again we see that “all” will appear before Christ in judgment and “each one” will be recompensed.  This includes your spouse, your parents, your children, your neighbors, your relatives, your fellow-workers, your religious leaders and associates. But it will also include you! You will appear before the Lord Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and the “Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). Are you really prepared for that coming appearance?

That coming Day of Judgment is awaiting us.  The apostle declares that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). It has been said that we are meant to bow the knee and confess Jesus as Lord now, but in the future everyone will—including those who refused to confess Him while alive on earth.  The text says that “every” knee will bow and “every” tongue will confess Jesus as Lord. Don’t you want Christ the Lord to be your merciful Savior at that time and not your condemning Judge?

What is involved in the accounting?  The Lord Jesus said, “I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). We will give an account of our words! But it will go beyond that.  “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:16b). Do you have secret sins that you have never confessed? God will judge them!

Paul refers to the same idea in 1 Corinthians: “Do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God” (4:5). When the Lord comes at the end of history, he will “bring to light the things hidden in the darkness.” Those things that people consider secret will be revealed.  Further, the Lord will “disclose the motives of men’s hearts.” Thus, not only words and acts will be involved, but the very motives of the heart! This is a thorough judgment—and it applies to “each man.”

We go through life totally oblivious to what awaits all humanity in the future. Somehow, we go from day to day with “life as usual” and don’t imagine the climactic future that is coming. “Every eye” will see the Lord coming in judgment (Revelation 1:7). Everyone will stand before the Lord and every person will give an account before His awesome presence.

We would advise you not to go another day without preparing for that coming earth-shaking event. Although we may not be able to comprehend every aspect of the future coming of the Lord, we can know enough that we should earnestly strive to prepare and be ready. It will be too late if we wait until we hear the shout, hear the voice of the archangel, and hear the trumpet of God (1 Thessalonians 4:16). It will be all over and preparation will be too late.

Remember, you will be alone on that coming Day.  Your husband or wife will not stand beside you. Your children or parents won’t answer for you. Your pastor, priest, preacher, or minister won’t be there to give an account for you. You will be alone—all alone. It will be vain to seek help from another human being and it won’t do to count on another person’s intercession on our behalf. 

Are you prepared today? Now is the acceptable time and today is the day of salvation. I urge you to repent today and be ready for that coming “day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). At that time, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (v. 10).  Peter then urges us: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (v. 11). Now is the time to repent of our sins and our rejection of Christ’s Lordship (v. 9). Let us look for “new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (v. 13). Delay no longer!

Our Only Hope of Deliverance from Judgment

We realize that there are aspects of this matter that are beyond our understanding. We know that the Lord Jesus said, “He who believes in Him is not judged” and “he who does not believe has been judged already” (John 3:18). We also know that the believer “has eternal life” and “does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (5:24).

This is good news and a comfort to those who are prepared for Christ’s return. But we must not close our eyes to the many references to the coming judgment and our standing before the Judge on that day (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). Our only hope is a right relationship with God through Christ and His sacrificial death for us on the cross (Romans 5:6-11).

Whatever may come, let us come to God now, through the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of our sins and trust in Christ’s redemptive death on the cross. Only then will we be prepared for the coming of Christ, the glorious Judge, “who is to judge the living and the dead” and be ready for “His coming and His kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1). Will Christ Jesus find you ready and waiting?

[The quotation by Daniel Webster may be found in various sources, including manualoflife.com/ joeen/?p=4233. See also brainyquote.com/ quotes/authors/d/ daniel_webster.html.]

 

 

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