Accountable To God
 By Larry Martin

    Every individual is responsible for his or her own behavior. The Bible is very clear when it comes to personal accountability. Romans 14:12 says "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." The feeble excuses of men will not suffice when we are called to account before the Almighty.

    The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who tried to "pass the buck." Adam tried to blame Eve when he ate the forbidden fruit. Trying to blame the serpent, Eve became the first to use the now infamous "the-devil-made-me-do-it" excuse. Biblical leaders such as Aaron and Saul ascribed blame for their sins to "the people" (Exodus 32:21-24; 1 Samuel 15:13-14).

    As creative as some of these excuses may seem, not one was acceptable. Adam and Eve were both punished for their disobedience to God. When David sinned with Bathsheba he paid the price. No excuse saved him from Godís judgment. Ananias and Sapphira could not shift the burden of guilt. They lied to the Holy Ghost and they were held accountable (Acts 5:1-11). The list could go on and on. Whenever men and women transgress Godís laws there is always a penalty attached.

    However, there is more to the equation than judgment alone. God doesnít want sinful men to confess their sins so that He can rub their noses in it like some divine cynic. But He cannot grant forgiveness until a man or woman confesses guilt. In other words, a person cannot be found until he or she admits to being lost.

    Individuals who cannot admit they are wrong will not repent and seek God for forgiveness. At the same time, God cannot forgive sin until it is confessed. Do you see how important it is for humankind to bear the responsibility for their own sins? Godís sense of justice prevents Him from providing His mercy to the unrepentant.

    Godís Word says, "All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). Every man and woman of Adamís race stands guilty before God. However, if we confess our sins, He promises to be faithful in forgiving us (1 John 1:9). Can you take responsibility for your behavior? Can you admit that you have sinned? When you can, God is ready to offer His mercy and forgiveness.

    From The Pentecostal Messenger. Used by permission.