Giving An Account
Ro 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Last time we talked about judging people over non-essential matters of the faith. In Paul’s day it was things like diet and feast days. We still see some of that today. During more pietistic times we saw judging over make-up, proper clothing in church, dancing, movies, card-playing, and so on.
There are two camps in this matter of judging. The weak Christian who lacks understanding concerning the freedom granted in the Gospel and clings to certain rules, so that in his mind, he is not sinning.
The tendency of the weak brother, who is restricted by rules is to harshly judge those who would ignore his self-imposed rules. In other words, because you went to that dance, or played a game of cards or drank a beer....you are judged in his mind as a sinner in need of conversion.
The strong brother on the other hand enjoys all the freedom of the gospel. He doesn’t abuse it, he enjoys it! But he has a tendency to regard the weak brother as a zero, a helpless, nit-picking, loser. He despises being in his legalistic presence.
As we pick it up this week in v10, Paul returns to this judgement and despising theme. He wants to talk a little more about this and he carries it beyond mere food and feast days. He says,
Ro 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Why do you judge your brother in the non-essentials? Do you think it is necessary for him to have some sort of a preliminary hearing before you. Does he need to pass your muster first before he is sent to God? Are you God’s special assistant that helps Him weed out unbelievers by observing their eating and drinking habits?
“Or why do you show contempt for your brother?”
And you! Why do you show contempt for your brother in the matter of non-essentials? “Stupid legalist!” I don’t want anything to do with him or his kind. Really? Well, what are you going to do when God allows him into heaven and you have to give your account next?
“Well, Lord, I really didn’t mean that he was a loser, and that part about not wanting anything to do with him....maybe we could share one of those mansions prepared for us?
“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
You see, non-essentials have a way of becoming non-essential very quickly when we put them in the light of final judgement. We are all going to have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ! We are all going to have to give an account!
11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, (For it is written AS I LIVE says the Lord. Hold it right there, because you don’t hear God making an oath very often in Scripture so this is important stuff.) Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."
Psalm 145:21 says, “All flesh shall bless His holy name!”
God Himself has sworn this is absolutely going to happen! Every knee of every person who ever lived will stand in judgement before the Lord, and every tongue will confess, that is, they will agree, that Jesus is Lord!
Carl Sagan, Madeline Murray Ohare, and their ilk, every avowed atheist that ever lived will say with firm conviction. “Jesus, You are Lord” Every unbeliever in your family, your neighborhood, your workplace, will change the tone of their voice when they say Jesus Christ this time. Rather than using His name as a byword, they will with firm conviction, say, “Jesus you are Lord.”
Every hypocrite in every church who showed up every Sunday and mouthed the words with his lips, but not with his heart, will on this day with absolute conviction and not a hint of acting say, “Jesus, You are Lord.”
Let me show you something interesting in regard to this in Revelation 19:16. In what is a picture of Judgement Day we read about Jesus the conquering King on the Last Day and it says,
“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings And Lord of Lords.
Now if I were to get on my knees before you, what would I be eyeball to eyeball with? Your thighs! Every knee will bow, and right there in front of his unbelieving eyes will be the unmistakable words, “king of kings, Lord of lords.
Oh, we’ll be believing now! Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess. Isn’t it wonderful to know that absolutely every soul will come to the realization that Jesus is Lord! Well, yes...and no. Yes because our Loving Savior will be getting His just do, and No, because some will come to that realization too late. They will be like the demons of Scripture that believe and tremble!
Mt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
To do the will of the Father is simply to put your faith and trust in Jesus alone for your salvation. Now many people will claim that they had faith in Christ, but the proof will be in the pudding. Faith in Christ produces works. Faith in Christ produces a yearning to trust God’s promises and a yearning to be obedient to His commands. This trust and obedience always produces righteous works!
As the Bible says, the love of Christ compels us, we can’t help but yearn to trust and obey! He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Does this describe you? Can you honestly say that you yearn to trust His Word and obey His commands? This past Ash Wednesday, we talked about fasting. The fasting that the Lord requires is that we close the gap between being hearers of the Word and doers of the Word.
I don’t know of any believer who would not earnestly seek the Lord’s help in narrowing such a gap. But I know plenty of lukewarm Christians who could care less about that gap. After all, they’ve been baptized, they’ve been confirmed, they have a mental picture of who Jesus is. What else could possibly be required?
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
People! Each one of us shall give an account! Young people this includes you. Mom and Dad may be dragging you along to church, but they can’t drag you along to heaven! The rest of you had better realize that you cannot rest on your past laurels either.
If you died today, right now, are you prepared to give an account to God? What are you going to say when God asks you for an account of your life?
Okay, Can I just give you a short crash course on evangelism here. Maybe some of you will be able to take this course to an unbeliever and bring them to Christ while there is still time! Maybe that unbeliever is you!
This is fact. One day each of us will give an account of himself to God. You can share that fact with anyone! The atheist will blow you off, but that’s his problem, but most other people would agree with you. They know they will have to give an account.
So you ask them to give an account now. Go ahead, pretend that I am God and give your account. Most people will immediately launch into all the good things they have done in this life. Their hope is that the good that they have done will outweigh the bad and God will then throw open the pearly gates to them.
But that’s not the way it works. Here’s what the Bible says about your good works: Isa 64:6 GW We've all become unclean, and all our righteous acts are like permanently stained rags.
My dear friend, I will not play games with you any longer, let me tell you what I will give as my account, indeed this is the account that must be given by every one who desires to enter heaven. I will look to Jesus and say to God, “I’m with Him!” But even that’s not good enough!
Because then God will look to Jesus and ask Him, “Is that true?” And Jesus will be the One who has the final say. It will be “Well done my good and faithful slave” or “Depart from me for I never knew you.”
So if I want eternal life, then I had better be recognized by Jesus as one of His. What does that recognition look like? Jesus said, Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
We are known by Him when we hear (respond) to His voice, His call through the gospel to come to Him and receive forgiveness of our sins. And we prove that we have responded to His voice when we follow him. To follow Him is to respond to Him as He says, “this is the way, walk in it.” This following Jesus is a God-given yearning to be obedient to His Word!
Do you want eternal life? Do you want to be known by Jesus? Then simply come to Him. Tell Him, “Jesus I want to be known by you! And the Bible says,
Joh 6:37 “ the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
Ps. 145:18-20 - The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him.”
And He said, “if you love Me you will treasure My Word. “
Evangelism 101. And there isn’t one person here who couldn’t share that with an unbeliever. it would just take a little rehearsing, maybe a little memorization of a couple of Bible verses, mix that in with a little desire on your part and an opportunity and you just may be used by God to bring someone to faith.
Every time you share that message with an unbeliever, you are confessing Jesus as your Lord. before men, and listen to what Jesus had to say about that in Luke 12:8,9
Lu 12:8 "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.
9 "But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
When do you think all this confessing by Jesus is going to take place? At the last day when all men stand before the judgement seat of Christ and give an account to God. “I’m with Jesus!”
Will He agree that He knows you on that day or not?
It’s not that difficult friends. If you would just stop long enough in your busy lives to hear His voice. He calls you through the Gospel. He says, “I died for you, I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God, I proved it when I rose again from the dead. Follow Me!
Let’s pray: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
Holy Spirit, as Jesus lamented over Jerusalem, lament over this flock today. Lament over those here today who have crowded out Your voice with busy-ness, and have chosen to go their own way, rather than follow You. Lament over our family members, lament over our co-workers, our neighbors, our cities, our country! Come Holy Spirit, bring revival, open up our spiritual ears, so that we might hear the voice of the Good Shepherd calling us to follow Him. O Lord, so that on that last Day, we may be known by you and enter into our reward! In Your name we pray, Amen.