I've been giving Romans 14:12 a lot of thought over the past few months and checking the cross references. The scripture simply says,
"So then each of us will render an account for himself to God."
When you are raised as a Jehovah's Witness, you are taught that once a person is dead they have paid for their sins so they start afresh in their standing with God once they are resurrected. But is this true? SO MUCH of what we were taught has proven to be false so I have been meditating on this subject too.
I keep thinking about the quality of justice, one of our Father's main attributes and one that we as humans have too, since we are made in His image.
When we watch a movie there is often a 'baddie' in the storyline, an evil character who is perhaps a mastermind behind an evil plot or a mean and cruel person who delights in tormenting others. We watch the movie hoping that the 'baddie' is discovered and receives due punishment. When the 'baddie' is finally caught, we rejoice! Why? Because JUSTICE has been served! We want to see justice done. No one would recommend a movie where nothing happens to the 'baddie'. What if the bad character just died a natural death without any repercussions for their disgusting behaviour? Would you go home from the movie feeling good? No! We would go home feeling empty and frustrated.
Well the whole of human history has been filled with people acting cruelly to others and yet Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that everything is forgotten once you die.
Romans 14:12 contradicts this teaching. It says that EACH will render an account to God.
When I started discussing this subject with friends, other scriptures were raised and gave weight to the thought that each one will be resurrected to render their account with God and his appointed judge Jesus.
John 5:28 + 29 is a scripture that our friend Dom raised. As Jehovah's Witnesses we were taught that this was referring to the deeds that are done after a person was resurrected but ..... that's not what the scripture itself says and ...... it's not what the rest of the scriptures say either. Please read John 5:28 + 29 without preconceptions.
I will add some scriptures on this subject over the next while. See what you think of them as you read and meditate upon them. And see what other scriptures come to your mind as you reconsider this subject.
The movie that is the history of mankind will have a good ending. Justice will be served! Our Almighty God is the God of Justice!
I have listed some scriptures below for consideration. I'm sure you'll find many more that teach the same point - each one will render an account for what they did WHILE THEY WERE ALIVE!
Why this makes me so happy is that this is justice! Just think! How righteous and just will it be when Caiaphas and the other older men and chief priests stand before our Lord and King Jesus Christ?! What a day that will be! I long to see this day!!!
Jesus said to them the following words recorded in Matthew 26:64,
"Yet I say to you men, from henceforth you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven."
And Revelation 1:7 says,
"Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him."
Those wicked men will be completely humiliated and rightly so. Whenever I read the Gospel accounts and see the blackness of their hearts, I am sickened. And then I think about their outward show of piety whilst carrying out their wickedness in secret - disgusting! They killed God's firstborn son! It's wonderful to know that they will render an account for this. That is true justice!
This holds true for all those who have deliberately lied and schemed and been cruel and merciless. What a privilege for Jesus to be God's appointed judge with authority to deal with these ones. Hooray for all lovers of justice!
LIST OF SCRIPTURES FOR CONSIDERATION
2 PET 2:9
1 PETER 4:5
Before listing the scriptures I had in mind about rendering an account, I thought it would be good to share a thought about Romans 6:7 which is a scripture taught to Jehovah's Witnesses as proof of the payment of sin at death. Our friend John in Queensland rang us the other day with a wonderful discovery! The context shows that this scripture is NOT talking about literal death but ...... a symbolic death.
Please read this scripture in context yourself and please use various translations to get the sense of the passage. I hope you are as excited at this revelation as I am. I was so grateful that John shared his finding with us. Truly we can encourage one another as we are guided by the scriptures themselves written under the influence of holy spirit. 😊