It is human nature to NOT want to be held accountable for our wrongful actions. From the very beginning; Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake. But what if that resistance to being held accountable was actually our sinful nature and that God actually wants us to hold each other accountable; and what if through that accountability we get to experience grace, mercy, forgiveness, and need for Christ on a deeper level of understanding. An understanding that would not come otherwise. What does scripture teach us about accountability and our duty out of love for each other?
Because of our natural inclination to avoid accountability it is best to go straight to what God says about the matter. First let us look at our obligation and duty to accountability.
“Know well the condition of your flock,
and pay attention to your herds,”
Know and pay attention to those who you care for and love. How can you care for someone if you have no idea or bother to know what condition they are in. How do you love someone whom you do not pay any attention to?
The most direct and explicit verse that demands the duty of accountability from those who know God is this:
“The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son
of man, speak to your people and tell them: Suppose I bring the sword
against a land, and the people of that land select a man from among
them, appointing him as their watchman,”
Everyone who knows the word of God is a watchman; the Bible is the word of God, thus, we are the watchmen.
3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows his trumpet to warn the people. 4 Then, if anyone hears the sound of the trumpet but ignores the warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head…If he had taken warning, he would have saved his life.
It has been revealed to us that God’s judgement is coming on all those who do not profess Jesus Christ as Lord God and savior. The gospel is their good news, warning, and trumpet for repentance. But when that day comes and they reject the gospel, that is on them because they were warned and heard the news from you by presenting them the gospel. BUT if he receives the Gospel of Jesus Christ and believes in the person and works of Jesus than he is saved
if the watchman sees the sword coming but doesn’t blow the trumpet, so
that the people aren’t warned, and the sword comes and takes away their
lives, then they have been taken away because of their iniquity, but I
will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.
But, if we, knowing the gospel and NOT proclaiming it to the lost, do not warning anyone about the coming judgement. When those people perish in the judgement, God will ALSO hold us accountable as well.
7 “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. 8 If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked one, you will surely die,’
but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person
will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his
blood. 9 But
if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn’t turn
from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your
God’s Word has come to us through Holy Scripture. He has given us his Gospel message to save people from the coming judgement. It is our duty to speak out to others about The Good News only found in Jesus Christ and why they NEED him… because of the coming result without him.
How do we hold people accountable?
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all
wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
By pointing people to the person and work of Jesus Christ in relation to their actions. How their negative sinful thoughts and actions hurt themselves and others and teach them how to think and act in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and beneficial to others. God wants to make us holy not ‘happy’.
I want you to insist on
these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to
devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for
everyone. 9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.
People that are worldly minded and causing people to live with fleshly worldly desires need to be warned about their damaging spiritually unprofitable teachings. If after one or two times they resist the warning; you hold them accountable and reject them.
How should we “warn” people and hold them accountable?
15 “If your brother sins against you,[c] go and rebuke him in private.[d] If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony[e] of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.[f] 17 If he pays no attention to them, tell the church.[g] But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever[h] and a tax collector to you.
Jesus tells us to “go” to them and “rebuke” them, first in private. If he is not repentant or denies it you “go” to them with witnesses, evidence, and proof to try and persuade and compel them to repent. If they continue to be unrepentant than you tell the community and have them intercede and try to persuade them to repent. This also acts as protecting the community from the sins of the individual as well. But, even after all this, if they remain unrepentant, they are treated like an unbeliever (even if they claim to believe) with the hopes that their rejection compels them to repent. The goal is for their repentance. That is a warning and it IS BEING LOVING.
Seeking their greatest good by persuading and compelling them to repent IS TRUE LOVE!
- go and rebuke him in private, if unrepentant…
- take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony[e] of two or three witnesses every fact may be established, if still unrepentant…
- tell the church, if they remain unrepentant…
- let him be like an unbeliever.
Also read: God’s Truths are Not a Matter of Opinions
Do not avoid accountability but seek it
Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.
To expose something is an action. It is something you actively sought to do. This is not an option either but is phrased in such a way that it is a command. Do not A, instead B. Instead “expose” or warn people who think and act sinfully.
SO HOW IS EXPOSING AND WARNING PEOPLE… GOOD?
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on,
however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who
have been trained by it.
This is why we DO NOT determine what we should and should not do solely based on how it makes us feel. If we did that, some people would remain unrepentant and luke warm until the day of judgement because we did not act due to our “feelings” and worry of their “feelings”
Also read: Your Feelings Do Not Determine Truth
See how happy the man is God corrects; so do not reject the discipline of the Almighty.
11 Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe His discipline;
12 for the Lord disciplines the one He loves,
just as a father, the son he delights in.
Being exposed and warned brings about maturity. It leads people to see how much they need God and through that they come to understand how much Grace God shows them. Thus; they come to peace and yield righteousness. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!
God works through us. We proclaim his words! Through our mouth the Holy Spirit speaks to our souls, and convicts those whom God is calling and loves. Through out mouth of exposing and warning, God disciplines and then delights in their repentance and spiritual growth!
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