From Romans 14 and its cross references, we have garnered the following points, as they relate to the Judgment Seat of Christ:
I. EVERY ONE OF US SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT
II. EVERY ONE OF US SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF
III. EVERY ONE OF US SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO GOD
IV. GOD DOES NOT GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO US
Before we move on to the next New Testament passage on the Judgment Seat of Christ, there are three specific things for which the Bible says God will hold us accountable. These are worthy of special mention:
A. Our Influence
B. Our Authority
C. Our Words
- OUR INFLUENCE
Romans 14:12-13 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
1 Peter 4:4-5 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
Without lingering long with either passage, let us make the following application, because it is especially pertinent to youth ministry.
There are young people (and older people) in our church, and every church, who have perfect understanding of all the ways in which and all the reasons why they should live their lives for the Lord. But for one reason or another, they have decided not to do so. They would rather live after the flesh; follow after vanity; etc.
It breaks the heart of any Christian to see a fellow believer make that decision. And we preach and pray and labor in hopes that the word of God will break their stony hearts (Jeremiah 23:29). But ultimately, God gave every man free will. The lost are free to reject His salvation; the saved are free to squander it.
Now, there are certain situations – especially among young people – where said brother sees another Christian living for the Lord like he knows he should be. And it bothers him. It makes him feel bad. It tends to incite the uncomfortable feeling of conviction. But instead of repenting and selling out for the Lord, he will start making attempts to dump ice buckets on the red-hot Christian.
Wasting the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10) is bad enough. But what the Lord says in these passages is that you had better be really careful about hindering or tripping up another brother in Christ. Because He’s not letting that go.
Galatians 5:10 ...But he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
Ultimately, we all have to answer for my own decisions. But if I influence another to make the wrong decision, that’s something God is going to hold me accountable for.
- OUR AUTHORITY
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
This passage speaks directly to those under authority but indirectly to those in all kinds of places of authority, as a reminder that authority = responsibility, and that we are accountable to God for how we exercise it. Again, each man must answer to God for himself. But at the same time, God is very interested in how we influence those over whom we have any kind of influence.
- OUR WORDS
Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Notice verse 36. It does not say every blasphemous word. It does not say every filthy word. It does not say every ungodly word. Surely none of those are acceptable to the Lord. But that (almost) goes without saying.
What God calls our attention to in this passage is every idle word. When I think of idle, I think of an engine. An idling engine is an engine that’s running, but it’s not propelling the vehicle. The engine’s on, but the car’s not moving.
Idle words – the mouth is moving; the tongue is flapping; nothing good is being accomplished. Don’t be surprised if the Lord brings that up when we stand before Him. Cross references:
Psalm 19:14 Let the WORDS of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
CLICK HERE for a series of posts on “The Tongue.”