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Vol.  10  No. 1 January 2008  Page 8
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

Marilyn LaStrape

Account for Life

By Marilyn LaStrape

    In November of 2007, I attended the funeral of my childhood minister’s mother. This minister was my main spiritual influence regarding Scripture from the time I was 13 until I finished high school. My family came to love and appreciate him immensely! He died in 1999.

    His mother was a faithful member of the church; she was 98 years old when she went to glory. I told several of my relatives that I was there because of him; they all understood. My first cousin who is a minister conducted the funeral service. One of the comments that he made several times during her eulogy was, “We are going to account for the life.”

    I have heard many lessons and sermons and sat in numerous Bible classes, and I cannot remember ever hearing our ultimate answering to God put in those words. As I have thought about that over the past several weeks, it has caused me to look more closely at what God’s Word has to say about us “accounting for the life.”

    We have got to come to the realization that God did not create us and give us a span of life to do as we please. Have we ever given any thought why we were born on the particular day, time and year in which that occurred? God being God had a specific reason for giving us life at that precise moment in time. God created us with vision, plan and purpose. First Corinthians 6:19-20 reads: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” We would do well to remember that we are not our own. Do we have any idea why we are on this earth now and not at another time?

    Why are we here? Speaking of God, Isaiah 43:6b-7 says, “Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by My name; whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” God declares we have been created for His glory! What does that mean? Our lives are to reflect thanksgiving, honor, reverence, respect, love and obedience to our Maker for giving us life!

    God being God has given us the Bible, which reveals His expectations of us to live eternally in heaven. Second Peter 1:2-3 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”

    What is Peter telling us? We would not know anything about our existence apart from the Bible. God has not told us all we would like to know, or all we would want to know; but He has told us all we need to know to make heaven our home. Everything we need to know about where we came from, why we are here and where we are going has been revealed to us in the Bible. Accounting for our lives has most definitely been revealed in Scripture.

    David makes this statement about accounting for the life in Psalm 10:13: “Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, ‘You will not require an account.’” In speaking of those who do not believe any accounting for lives will happen, 1 Peter 4:5 says: “They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” The writer of the Book of Hebrews puts it this way: “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

    Paul told the church at Corinth, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”

    This accounting for the life is further emphasized in Romans 14:11-12: “For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” These passages totally nullify all other concepts that anyone may hold attempting to avoid, reject or excuse personal responsibility.

    We are living in a world today where the idea of being personally accountable for our own decisions and actions is virtually nonexistent. Some of us have never fully realized what it means to take responsibility for our own decisions, actions and the subsequent consequences. However, attempting to blame somebody else for our decisions and actions has not worked with God since the days of Adam and Eve! This reality will be made crystal clear on Judgment Day! None of us are going to “get away” with anything! The justice of God will not allow it!

    All of the passages referenced have one overriding thought. Each one of us will give account to God for ourselves and no one else! The wisdom of God is infinite on this point as it is in all others. On Judgment Day, no one will be able to look at anyone else and be successful in attempting to attribute or to blame the outcome of his life on that person! On Judgment Day, there will be no one who will be able to say anything to help us or hurt us, and we will not be able to say anything to help or hurt anyone else. We will stand before Christ as individuals, not as family members, communities or even as congregations.

    In the parable that Jesus gives of the judgment scene in Matthew 25:14-46, the one talent man is condemned to everlasting destruction because he had done absolutely nothing to glorify God with the life he had been given! Jesus said, “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

    The ultimate question that we all will account for is: What did we do with the life God gave us? Jesus said in Revelation 22:12: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Accounting for the life is something we must gravely consider every day as God has blessed us to see another year!

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