Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Let’s break down this statement.
I. SO THEN EVERY ONE OF US SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT
What does it mean to give account? Consider this example from Luke 16:1-2 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Question, Christian: Has God given you grace (1 Corinthians 15:10)? Has God given you life (1 Corinthians 6:20)? Has God given you breath (Psalm 150:6)? Has He redeemed your soul (Psalm 107:2)? Has He given you talents (Matthew 25)?
Then the expectation is that you will take what God has given you and use it for His glory. And there’s coming a day when you stand before the judgment of Christ and will be called to give a reckoning of your stewardship and God will examine what you have done with what you have been given. That’s called giving account.
By definition, an account is:
· A statement and explanation of one’s conduct with reference to judgment thereon
· A statement or exposition of reasons, causes, or motives
I like to think of the judgment seat of Christ as some kind of an assembly line where our number is called, our works are dropped in a big furnace, and like change from a cash register we collect our gold, silver, precious stones, or wood, hay, stubble.
But I’m afraid that’s not an accurate depiction of what this day will be like. If it’s a day on which we will give account, then it looks like God is going to ask some questions, and we are going to give some answers.
II. SO THEN EVERY ONE OF US SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF
We need to get this. We will not be called upon to answer for anybody else. Only ourselves.
Our problem is that we have a tendency to look around us. And when we look around us, human nature being what it is, and the flesh being what it is, and sinners (saved and lost) being what they are, it is easy to see the failures of those around us (see Matthew 7:3-5).
When we do this, often one of two things happen. Either we use other’s failures as an excuse for our own shortcomings, or we pump ourselves up in self-righteous pride and pity the poor sinners who aren’t as holy as we.
Romans 2:15 says it this way, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
· Ultimately, whose actions can you control? Yours.
· Ultimately, whose actions are you responsible for? Yours.
· Ultimately, whose actions will your answer for? Yours.
Other passages/points to consider on this topic:
Isaiah 9:17 – Others’ hypocrisy is no excuse for me to be a hypocrite.
1 Corinthians 10:12 – Unwise to compare yourself to others. God does not grade on a curve.
So stopped getting yourself wrapped up in what everybody else is or isn’t doing and just live your life before God, knowing that one day you will give an account of yourself to Him.
III. SO THEN EVERYONE OF US SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO GOD
Who cares what society defines as right and wrong. Never mind the rules some denomination or preacher made up. God’s standard is the one that counts. We will give an account TO HIM.
There are a number of applications here.
A. We can forget about pleasing everyone else (Galatians 1:10) and devote our lives to fulfilling the purpose for which we were created – to please HiM (Revelation 4:11; 2 Timothy 2:15). Let us join in David’s prayer, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD…” (Psalm 19:14).
B. Living before the Lord (Genesis 17:1) also frees us from wasting our lives trying to impress others with how spiritual we are. If our motivation for serving God is the praise of men, then the praise we get from men is the extent of our reward (Matthew 6:1-6).
C. This concept could also be of help to those who struggle with submitting to hypocritical authority. You may not agree with your parent’s rules. They may indeed be hypocrites. But you must give an account to GOD and GOD told you to obey and honor your parents, and GOD will bless you for it (Ephesians 6:1-3). So the politician is a liar, the legislator is corrupt, the law enforcement officer is a loser, the lawyer is scum, and the judge is a reprobate. GOD ordained the powers that be, and HE told us to submit ourselves unto them (Romans 13:1-7). Ultimately, I am not accountable to the authority figure, but I am accountable to the God who put that authority in place.
D. Finally, this truth reminds us of something we mentioned earlier. If I am going to stand before God, then I am not going to stand before my society, my parents, my pastor, or my brothers and sisters in Christ. It also means that my pastor and parents and brothers and sisters in Christ are going to stand before GOD – not me. So Romans 14:10 asks, But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
This is the point of the “judge not” passage in Matthew 7. We ought to judge ourselves, not our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Corinthians 11:31).