Held Accountable or Forgiven?

The Bible states that we will be held accountable in the day of judgment for every idle word. (Matt. 12:36) God’s word also states that He remembers our sins no more (Heb. 8:12) and that He will remove them as far as the east is from the west. (Ps. 103;12) Will we, who are covered in the Blood of Jesus not be held accountable, since when God sees us, he sees Jesus’ righteousness? Will only those who don’t belong to Jesus be brought to the resurrection of judgment? (Jn. 5:29)

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@Mroffee Great question :slight_smile: I believe what we have here is a false dichotomy - either held accountable or forgiven. Actually, we are both held accountable and forgiven. There is a difference between God’s wrath, which rests on unbelievers, and God’s judgment, before which all people must stand. However, if we look at Scripture we see that a righteous man - someone who in the integrity of the heart is seeking God as best they can in Christ - has no need to fear God’s judgment. Rather, even when God corrects us, it is an honor and a delight, for He is our Father and we are His children. His correction is not to harm us, but to aid us in becoming more like Him.

A few thoughts / verses to ponder:

  • there is no condemnation for those in Christ
  • God’s correction is a joy to believers, as when a Father corrects the son whom He loves - not a sorrow. God’s judgment of believers aims at their healing; not their harm.
  • believers will be rewarded based upon their works in this life

Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Hebrews 12:7-12 - Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

1 Cor 3:10-15 - By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Hebrews 4:12-13 - For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

God’s Judgment a Delight

God’s judgment and the rebuke of a righteous man are not things to fear, but to delight in.

Psalms 141:3-5 - Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
do not let me eat their delicacies.

Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it,
for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.

C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

“Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh and trotted across to the Lion.

“Please,” she said, "you’re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.”

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