Who Is Responsible?

Several years ago singer Barbra Streisand publicly berated actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) for her adamant stand against abortion. Asked by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly to comment, Heaton replied, “It will not be Barbra Streisand I’m standing in front of when I have to make an accounting of my life.”

Heaton is right. Like it or not, everyone will stand before God. For some, He will be the God they have served. For others, the God they have denied. And no one will be able to pass the buck.

Unfortunately, judgment will be a bitter pill for people who have been taught to lay responsibility for their actions on someone else. God makes it clear that He will judge individuals for their own sin (Ezek. 18:20). Every person will “give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 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” (1 Pet. 4:5; Heb. 4:13).

Today’s world is full of scoffers. They don’t believe in God. They don’t believe they will have to answer for what they have done in life. And they don’t believe Jesus will return.

The apostle Peter predicted as much: “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Pet. 3:3–4).

But not believing something doesn’t change reality. Judgment is coming: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). And everyone will be judged by God. The good news is that forgiveness is available through Jesus Christ: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

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