Giving Account for Every Word, Thought and Deed

By now everyone is aware of the alleged tirades which Mel Gibson launched against his ex-lover. The recorded rants – if they are legitimate – do not paint a very flattering picture of the actor. Indeed, they depict someone out of control and slipping toward the edge.

It is not my intention to pick on Gibson here. Probably on any given day there are tens of thousands of similar outbursts made by warring couples. This one just happened to be caught on tape, that’s all. Gibson would have hoped that this was just between himself and his ex, and not the whole world.

The truth is on most occasions the real us is kept under wraps. The way we really are, when no one else is around, is rarely caught on tape. Our public personas are often quite different to our private ones. Often only a few very close people know what we are really like. And we prefer it that way.

Society would probably split apart if we were all aware of one another’s darker, private sides. Some things really are better kept private. But those who think they can live double lives are only fooling themselves. Scripture makes it clear that our private world will one day be made public.

The Bible informs us that all our words and all our actions are known by at least one person: God himself. Nothing escapes his attention, and every thought, every word and every action of ours is fully and intimately exposed to an all-knowing God.

And even more frightening, one day we will give an account of our words and actions. There is a divine video recorder taping our every action, a divine audio microphone recording our every word, and on top of all that a divine receptacle holding our every thought.

One day we will all stand before God and give an account of all this. Everything once hidden will be revealed. Everything we thought we got away with will be exposed. Every dark secret will be fully brought into the open. Consider a number of passages in this regard:

“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence” (Psalm 90:8).

“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:1-2).

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve” (Jer 17:10).

“‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the LORD” (Jer 23:24).

“Your Father, who sees what is done in secret…” (Matt 6:4).

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12:36-37).

“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12:2-3).

“This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16).

“He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts” (1 Cor 4:5).

These and other passages make it clear that our thoughts, words and deeds are all noticed and noted by God, and we will one day have to give an account for them. The good news of the Gospel is that while our acts and words and inner thoughts condemn us, Jesus has made a way for us to become right with God.

So on the one hand it is a frightening thing indeed to know that all our inner secrets and everything we thought no one noticed will one day be flung back at us. On the other hand, we have a remedy in the work of Christ to avoid the judgment we in fact deserve.

It seems that Mel Gibson has been caught out. Other high flyers have also been caught recently, such as Tiger Woods. The lesson we can all take out of this is nicely encapsulated in the words of Moses: “Make sure your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Thus the importance of getting right with God, and with his help, living lives of integrity. In the light of all this, we should live each day as if we were in the Truman Show, with hundreds of cameras focused on our every move. God knows our every thought and action, and we need to live in the light of that truth.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed.”

(Note: Scripture actually speaks of a number of judgments, and another article would be required to fully explore this. Suffice it to say that the believer too will face judgment one day, not for his salvation, but based on his works and service, or lack thereof. See 1 Cor. 3:12-15 and Romans 14:10-12 for example. Thus both believers and unbelievers need to take seriously their works and thoughts.)

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21 Replies to “Giving Account for Every Word, Thought and Deed”

  1. This is something one doesn’t often hear in sermons. Sometimes I think we get told what we want to hear and don’t contemplate one of the harsh realities. An article in itself, how does one survive the Last Judgment?
    Carl Strehlow

  2. Bill, your website is my absolute favourite. I have one piece of criticism – there is always too much to read!! No really I wouldn’t complain of that, but have you ever thought of publishing your essays into a book….it would make a great reference book. What do you think?
    Jane Petridge

  3. Thanks Jane

    Hey, sometimes I can’t even keep up with everything I write! This is the second week recently in which I have penned 10 articles. But yes a book collection of essays might be an option. Not sure how many people would be interested in it however. But if I had as many enthusiastic readers as yourself, it might become a bestseller!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. Bill,

    Like Jane, I too would be very interested in a book of essays. I really enjoy reading your articles. I have bookmarked so many it is getting hard to sort through them. Your piece today is good as it is thought provoking.

    Carl Strehlow

  5. Interesting all this book talk, and I agree; books are our legacy, not computer essays. Out of my depression I penned some poems, not that I wanted to but the nights I could not sleep, poetic reflections kept me going till the early hours of each new day.One day a friend encouraged me to have them published. Well the costs were prohibitive until recently I found a retired bank manager who will print one book or many and the costs are the same as the publishers who want thousands. I have prinbted 2 runs of 30 books each and ready to print another lot. Even though I have an ISBN number I do not need it as most books are given away.My book, Reflections of the heart and soul are about true depression but also a real God who cares. My books have gone into the hands of so many non believers all who have thanked me for my insight. Bill, I would love you to collate your work under headings like Islam, homosexuality, violence in the home etc., I suffered for 20 years living with a man and his gun and physical violence and abuse till I broke down in my thirties. Mel’s tirade is actual, its my life re visited so now I am writing my autobiography, not to criticise but as a help to others. I became a christian at 42 after a nervous breakdown, have remarried, had a child even though my tubes were tied and reversed; I totally sympathsize with any woman or man who has a bully as a mate. This is not about words spoken in anger this is ongoing abuse which needs to be exposed and oiur churches are not exposing it. There is sexual abuse in chrisitian homes, violence and homosexuality all of which I have seen in church life but leaders say, keep quiet. If our personal testimony touches one soul then it is worth the effort of self publishing. Please all of you do so, tell us how our mighty God brought hope at the end of the day. Bill you were our amazing ethics lecturer, thank you!
    Ilona Sturla

  6. Your correspondents are right, Bill. You have already enough very good articles to fill a book.

    And have you thought of adding a print option to make it easier to print out the actual articles you send through?

    Best
    Amy Booke, New Zealand

  7. I agree with Jane about the idea of referencing your essays. Not only have I bookmarked all your articles, but continuely forward many of your points to friends and associates. Since becoming an avid reader of your website I have become more proactive in commenting to the papers and forums alike, I no longer wish to be a silent minority. To have your comments and information about world wide events that many believers would not have access to is vital for each and everyone of us.
    And Bill,,, I believe it would be a best seller!!!!
    Tracey Baker

  8. Please Bill do it; you have nothing to lose. Even though I gave away my books yours would sell!! My publisher is a New Age Christian who needs to read your work. Your book will reach a wider audience of those who will never read online.
    Ilona Sturla

  9. Hey Bill,

    My husband and I are with the rest of your fan club. I don’t usually make comments but I read most of your articles and forward them to others. Much of what you write about really strengthens our walk in the Lord. We admire how you stand up for biblical truth even when its not popular. You see through a lot of stuff in and out of the church and are not afraid to call it as it is. So I hope you are encouraged by all the positive feedback because your work (as hard as it is at times) spiritually feeds many of us and also gives us courage to stand up for God and His ways.

    Anamaria Cvetkovski

  10. My church had always taught very clearly that there would be judgement immediately after death for each soul and then at the final judgement {after the end of time as we understand it} there would be the public event you describe Bill. I don’t hear it much mentioned these days but it is still accurate church teaching.
    I have to agree with others, that a collection of your articles would be a very handy reference and I’d certainly buy a copy. It isn’t difficult to discern the action of the Holy Spirit at work here. More power to you Bill!!!
    Anna Cook

  11. I’m with all the others, Bill. You’ve already written enough for several books. I cut and paste and then print. Tho I enjoy the comments, I don’t have to print them. I really benefit from your writings and appreciate them.
    Blessings to you,
    Dawn McGregor

  12. Bill;
    You are correct in saying that we are all just like Mel, only most of us haven’t been caught out (yet). However, most of us have not created movies like “The Passion”, and have therefore not put ourselves into the cross hairs of demonic attack! Yes, Mel did a naughty (or several), but how many of us actually take the time to actively pray for high profile witnessing like he produced? The devil is having a field day with all this attention, and I believe that we Christians must be on our guard and be willing to counter any attack that occurs against a brother (or sister, to be pc).
    Robert Wickstead

  13. I would buy a book of Bill’s essays! I would read them to my son every night. Bill is a very stylish and well-read writer indeed.

    Barbara Murray-Leach

  14. Bill,
    I think God is using all of us to drop you a hint – PUBLISH A BOOK!!!!
    Steve Davis

  15. Bill,
    I love your articles. You came to speak to a counselling class that I am in and I was so inspired that I am now a avid reader of your articles. Being a new Christian your viewpoints have helped shape my biblical foundation and I am so blessed that I have been able to start seeing the world through a biblical worldview. I would definitely purchase a book and would market it to my friends.
    Many blessing to you!
    Kind regards
    Alisha Alcock

  16. Sorry Bill I have a real soft spot for Mel! I know that in recent times things have been pretty ugly for him and I personally have felt really sad for his wife and children but I certainly would not liken him in anyway to Tiger Woods, that is an insult! Lets not forget “The Passion”. This film so changed my life and tens of thousands of others! Every day when I pray and meditate on the Holy mysteries of the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary especially the Sorrowful mysteries e g the Crucifixion I am able to visualise the real truth, the real suffering of Our Lord made possible by the brilliance of Mel. He has some problems “yes” but at the end of the day I truly believe that the Lord will not only pardon him but will trully exalt him for exposing the real truth of the passion of Our Lord! So loving, so courageous, his love for the Lord is absolutely apparent, lets not judge or condemn him, please just pray!
    Jane Byrne

  17. Thanks Jane

    Yes we certainly need to pray for Mel and hope that he gets back to where he should be: with his faith and family.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  18. I was married to a Tiger Woods type but who was also violent like a Mel Gibson. The physical bashings are far more traumatic and carry lifelong scars both for me and my grown up family.
    The wife who is bashed must expose the abuser and remove herself for safety.Exposing violence has only come about in the last 20 years. I do not see how we can excuse bad behaviour because the Passion film. It was obviously a money making exercise, but let God be God and judge that.
    Does this mean a child molester can make a film which glorifies Christ and not take the consequences of his actions? Do we put an embezzler in charge of church funds?
    Let God be God and do the judging but lets safeguard and expose and then let the law of the land judge. The abused of this world have no voice and not even church leaders help them. In my case one abuser was such a great tither that the church refused to confront the issue.
    Mel has caused more confusion by making the film and living the life of an abuser. No wonder the public is confused; Christians who know Christ may see the value in the film but others have been disgusted with the Hollywood hype of blood and guts and would not let their children view the film.
    Does it glorify Christ? I believe when we live among our neighbours in love; drop our religious verbosity; throw out our idols and artifacts of worship the world may see how helping hands and a kind heart reflect the goodness of Christ.
    Ilona Sturla

  19. Jane, you have totally confused me and the non-believers who I disciple each week who are seeking the truth. You have judged Tiger Woods to have a greater sin then Mel because Mel made a film. That seems to be a great paradox to me – so confusion continues to reign. Sin is sin – some sin hurts people more than other sin. Since when does a good deed negate a bad one? Only the blood of Jesus makes us clean, not making a religious film.
    Ilona Sturla

  20. This is great. Please write the second article you allude to above.
    Daniel Shepherd, Victor Harbor

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