There were times in the Old Testament that God warned a people that He would send complete and utter destruction upon them because they were against God’s people and because of their wickedness (remember Nineveh in the book of Nahum). The city of Nineveh saw complete physical destruction. In remembering the book of Nahum, one can see the wrath of God fall upon a nation that had wronged His people. However, more than that, remember that the people in Nineveh had once repented from their sin and wickedness and turned to God (during the days of Jonah). Nevertheless, the people of Nineveh forgot God.
Nevertheless, we must consider another kind of judgment as well. Each Christian will be accountable for his or her own actions: good or evil. After we die, we will all stand before the Lord and He will pass eternal judgment upon each individual according to what that person has done with his or her life. “10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men …” (2 Corinthians 5:10–11a). These verses were written as a warning to Christian people. Terror in this verse means “a deep and reverential sense of accountability to God or Jesus.” How many Christians are living their life with a deep and reverential sense of accountability to God; or are most people just living a life pleasing self? Just as in the Bible times, today, each person must consider the things done in his body, whether they are good or bad, knowing God is a perfect and righteous judge. Not only will we be accountable, but we should live a life that persuades others to have a reverential fear of God as well. God had spared the city of Nineveh once before (remember Jonah). Nevertheless, when they returned to sin, forsaking God and His people, there was a price to pay.
In the New Testament, we can read pictures of a life apart from Christ. These are then compared to a life with Christ. Be encouraged to compare your own life to these verses and see what kind of a life you live in comparison to God’s Word, revealing the kind of witness you are.
We must understand the law reveals the sinner (remember that all are sinners according to Romans 3:23). “9. Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10. For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:9–10).
Christians are not to live like the world. “17. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17–19).
How are Christians to live? Read and then reread the following verses: “22. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour … 26. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27. Neither give place to the devil. 28. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good … 29. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying … 30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God … 31. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:22–32).
Remember what Solomon recorded for us to remember. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Do you live a life in which you are ready to give an accounting to the Lord?