June 21: Accountable with Eternal Ramifications

Read Matthew 25:1-46

With which story did you most resonate?

  1. The story of a groom and ten bridesmaids?  Some of the bridesmaids were prepared for the arrival of the groom; others were caught flat footed.
  2. The story of an investor and those to whom he gave money?  Some of the recipients were responsible with the entrusted resources; others were not.
  3. The story of the Son and sheep and goats?  The sheep had served Christ by serving others; the goats had ignored Christ while ignoring others.

In these stories we find some common ingredients.  Each included the return…of a groom, an investor, and the Son.  Of course all of those returns are illustrative of the ultimate and imminent return of Jesus Christ to the earth.  In all three, there are also clear expectations for those left behind.  The bridesmaids were to be ready.  The servants were to use the resources at their disposal.  The animals were to serve faithfully.  And, finally, each of the stories points to some kind of accountability for the actions of those who had been left.  Some of the bridesmaids joined the celebration while others were excluded from the wedding feast.  Two of the servants experienced the master’s joy and received more while one lost everything and was thrown out.  The sheep received a kingdom, while the goats experienced punishment.

We are accountable for our actions in this life.  They have eternal ramifications.  Let me quickly clarify that.  We are not saved by the things we do.  Paul makes that clear in Ephesians 2:8, 9.  We are saved by faith in Christ and the grace extended to us because of His death, burial, and resurrection.  Nevertheless, even as Christ followers…even for those who will spend eternity with Him, we will one day stand before Christ.  He will determine rewards on the basis of our conduct and service (2 Cor. 5:10).  We should live in anticipation of that day!

In light of that ultimate accountability, all of us do well to build appropriate and loving accountability into our families and relationships.  This can be a healthy experience that promotes growth.  To whom are you accountable?