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In the End, I’m Responsible for Me

I was late to work this morning, as I had to discipline my son. He had been lying, by omission, about something to his mother and I for several weeks. I not only had to discipline him, but I had to give him a choice, as well as explain why I did what I did. I told him I love him, and the older he gets, He will be responsible for more and more, and that when we let our responsibilities fall to the wayside, it hurts us and others more and more. That’s part of life and growing.


I was thinking about this on the way to work this morning. We can make excuses, try and cover our tracks. Yet, in the end, everything we do will be laid bare for all to see. In the end, we’ll be standing before God, and the books of the Law and everything we’ve ever done will be scrutinized. Every one of us, according to this judgement, is lost! Not in danger, not under threat, but absolutely and utterly lost. We cannot stand under the scrutiny of the law, overseen by a just and fair judge. No matter how good we feel we are, every one of us has violated that law. Some may say “that’s not fair,” but that still recognizes that the law is just, and for something to be unfair there must be a standard for fair. No, friends, we all deserve to be sent into outer darkness. This is not our world. We did not create it. We’ve been it for a breath or less, and we left it a mess because of our own selfish desires.


What can help us? What is our hope? Hope is only found in “the out” the judge gives us. The choice. Just as I disciplined my son, and gave him a choice, so too does the Father give me (and you, and everyone) a choice. The wrath of God is only satisfied on the One who bore it, and it is the Son of God, Jesus Christ who did. Jesus lived perfectly. He was born of a virgin, and lived according to every righteous requirement laid down on the foundations of the world. He did nothing wrong, and yet He bore the sins of everyone. The Law demands that the wages of sin is death: we earn death for our violation of the law of the Universe set by the Founder. But Christ, in His perfection, was able to take our sins and dissolve them in eternity because He was perfect. And because He was perfect, He did not earn death, and so He was able to rise again on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures and as He said. Because He lives, we can be free from the burden of our sin. Because He is alive, we can have life, here, and when this body wears out, in eternity. We all have a choice. We will all stand before the Just Judge, and in the end, I’m responsible for me: for surrender, or continued rebellion. And I will get what I seek: Christ or myself. I need to choose wisely.


Revelation 20:11-15


Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


Matthew 7:21-27


“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’


“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”


John 3:16-21


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”


Romans 1:16-2:11


For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.


Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.


For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.


And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.


Chapter 2- Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.


He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

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