Herald Journal Columns
Oct. 21, 2002
Pastor's Column

We are accountable for our actions, good and bad

By Rev. Robert Ramphal
Oster First Covenant Church, Waverly

In reading the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament, chapter 9, verse 27, the scriptures say, "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after death the judgment. So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But, when He comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for Him."

This article today is about being ready and responsible.

Over the years we have read and heard a lot of preachers talk about the Word of God and all its wonderful promises it contains. We have been uplifted and blessed.

However, this should not be enough and we cannot take for granted that everyone knows Jesus Christ personally. The attempt here in this scripture is to make us all aware, whether saints or sinners, that there is a judgment to come after we will have died.

We can talk endlessly about God, but the writer wants us first of all to be prepared for the life to come.

What is implied here is that all of us will be judged after death, and there will be a consequence. It would be foolish to be talking about God and His goodness, and not having a right relationship with Him.

The scriptures says in the Gospels that we need to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and that no one comes to the Father except through me, meaning Jesus Christ.

The question that is being asked today is, do you know Jesus Christ personally, and have you approached God and told Him all the wrong, bad, and sinful things you have done in your life in order to receive forgiveness now made possible through this same Jesus?

This is the most important thing in life that we can do. It does not matter how good you think you are, how helpful you are to your community, and how much money or goods you have given to charity.

If you have not repented to God in the name of Jesus, your life will be incomplete, and when death occurs, the judgment will come.

The picture for those who live sinful lives does not look good for them after death. The intention here is not to scare you, but to bring a spiritual awaking, a spiritual preparedness, and a future with hope.

The Christian church's obligation is to bring the gospel of Jesus to everyone and to remind us that there is no hope apart from Him.

Everyone is worried about what is happening in our country and all the bad things that are occurring day after day. The newspaper, television and radio are full of stories of horror, and we sometimes do not know if we are going or coming as a nation by what we hear and see.

In order not to live life with all these uncertainties, threats, and fears, we are being asked by God individually to focus on ourselves and look deep into the recesses of our hearts to see if we are contributors to all this.

If you are not at peace with God, you cannot really be at peace with yourself. No government or laws or constitution can provide you true peace and true liberty. History has proven this over and over.

In spite of laws that prohibit hate crimes, you cannot be forced to love your neighbor. It is only the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ can we love and forgive our neighbors and cause us to live in harmony.

However, this love and forgiveness, while it will make life more livable in this world, has a far-reaching effect and goal for each of us. It helps us live with a future in mind. It should always be our desire to live after death with God.

We talk often about the future for our children, our retirement, and all the technological advances we will have in medicine and science where we will not live to see these things.

What we need to talk about more often is about the life beyond this life, because we know we will not live forever in spite of all the advances in the prolonging of life. We know for a fact that life will come to an end. We have seen it with our own families and friends.

We have seen many people prepare their wills, buy burial plots and tombstones, and have put all they own in a trust. What we need to see is more people telling and talking to God about being prepared to join him because this is their heart's desire.

The Christian church believes that Jesus is coming again for all those who believe in Him, where their sins are forgiven, and for all those who died in Him, where too, their sins were forgiven. This is what the Word of God says.

This salvation that has been offered to all of us ­ has come from the ultimate act of love by God through His Son Jesus.

This was not an act to bring fear, but love and responsible living.

In conclusion, God is reminding us that He is there for us. He wants to help and take care of us while we live in this world, and He wants to make sure we take the opportunity to join Him when we leave this world.

Because we now know we will be judged by the things we do in this world in order to get into God's world where only righteousness and holiness exist, it is most imperative that we always examine ourselves, our motives, our behavior, and all of our thoughts.

We need to live a clean and spiritual life through the enabling power of grace which Jesus gives each one of His children. So, live life today with in particular the future in mind. God will sufficiently provide with endurance and strength. This is the hope for which always pray.

God bless you and may you know and be brought closer to Jesus. God loves you.

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