Christianity 201

April 21, 2012

Bible Teaches Individual Responsibility and Personal Accountability

With help from my wife and son, I’ve started a project where I hope to upload to YouTube a number of songs that I feel have some significance in the history of contemporary Christian music and/or modern worship, that simply don’t exist online at present. Most of these are songs for which the 25-year copyright limitations have lapsed, and this involves transferring them from vinyl records to digital and then uploading them.

One of the first songs I wanted to do was a John Fischer song which goes by two titles; you may know it as “Love Him in the Morning” or as “All Day Song,” its proper title.  I’ve also included it above, so it seemed fitting that today’s devotional should be from John’s blog, The Catch.

Indirectly, John deals with our propensity to think the gospel message applies to someone else, and not ourselves. “What about them?” is a rather common question.  This appeared at John’s blog under the more concise title, ‘What is that to you?’

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them… When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”(John 21:20-22)

There is a popular argument for not believing that Jesus is the only way to heaven. How could Jesus be the only way to heaven when not everyone on the planet has even heard about Jesus? Would a just and loving God condemn people to hell for the crime of growing up where they never heard about Jesus?

There is more than one approach to this question, but one of the most important is that introduced by the example of Jesus and Peter in the dialogue above. Peter is wondering how John was going to die, and Jesus says, “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

What about the guy in another culture who never hears about Jesus? The answer is the same: “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

One has to already know a good deal about Jesus to even be asking this question, and to use it as an excuse not to believe is not even good logic. That’s saying you are not going to be accountable to what you know about Jesus, or could find out if you tried, because there is a guy somewhere in the world who in your estimation can’t find out.

When Jesus said: “You follow me,” He was saying: “You follow what you know of me — what has been revealed to you. You are not responsible for what has or has not been revealed to someone else; that is between my Father and that person.”

This also applies to our experience in life. When you want to compare your life to someone else’s — someone else has had it easier than you — guess what Jesus says. “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

Besides, I am of the impression from walking with Jesus that hell is more likely to be peopled with the self-righteous who had tons of chances to respond to God’s grace than with unlucky sinners who just happened to miss the “Jesus Saves” sign.

Don’t measure your lot in life by anyone else’s. You only have your own.

~John Fischer

2 Comments »

  1. So this provides a clearer picture of what heaven will be like. I place clear of the self-righteous. For me and perhaps others, that will be a relief.

    Comment by George — April 22, 2012 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  2. I love this, and I love how God led me to it. I had just had this discussion this past week. I was struggling with the assertion that there is only one way to God. I feel there are so many different kinds of people in the world and so many religions, why would God create them if he didn’t mean for there to be variety?? This passage really helped me settle this question in my mind once and for all. Thank you!

    Comment by Bobbie — January 25, 2014 @ 8:32 pm | Reply


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