Roll will be taken – The Paradox of Grace and Accountability

I know people don’t read things if they’re too long, so I try to keep my blogs short.  Bear with me today.

I saw something this morning that made me think about church and the mission field and the afterlife.  There’s a practice at the local high school at 10 today for a musical thing.  They are practicing today and there is snow coming.  The instructor has contacted the students via Facebook and told them that roll will be taken.  When ‘roll will be taken’ you risk the consequences if you aren’t there. If there are no obvious consequences, the next time fewer will show.

Last night on “The Office”, the two bosses were gone and Dwight put himself in charge.  Nobody respected Dwight’s authority and everybody skipped out of work.  When he said there would be consequences, they didn’t believe him.  And they were right.  Dwight called and told the boss and the boss said, “So what?”

Sometimes there are no consequences and other times those in charge make an example of people who disobey or don’t conform.  The Romans crucified people on the cross along public roads to discourage others from making the same mistake.

Many of us live our lives as if there will never be consequences.  Diane read me something that young people in college now consider homework ‘optional’.  If they think that, it’s because they don’t believe there will be consequences for not doing it.

While we live in this world with this strange paradox between grace and accountability in the church, know this – one day we will stand before God Amighty.  Arguments can be made for both sides – grace and accountability.

In 2 Cor. 5:10 Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

And Colossians 2:13-14 says of those who are in Christ, “And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.”

One way or another, there will be consequences for our decisions in this life:  Our decision about who Jesus is, and about following Him.  The roll is being taken right now.

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