"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
CAN WE BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SINS OF OTHERS -- INCLUDING CHURCHES? quotes
1) "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10.
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works....and they were judged every man according to their works." Revelation 20:12-13 (see also Daniel 7:10).
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (see also Revelation 22:11-12; Matthew 16:27, 22:11-17; Psalms 9:7-8, 50:4; Zephaniah 1:12; Romans 2:6 & 9 & 12-16; Acts 17:30-31; Mark 13:34; 2 Corinthians 11:15).
2) "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you..." Romans 6:13-14.
3) "No man can plead his circumstances, his education, or his temperament, as an excuse for living in rebellion against God. The sinner is such by his own deliberate choice." Signs of the Times, March 9, 1882 (vol 1, p 290) (See also October 14, 1880, June 16, 1890).
"The strongest temptation is no excuse for sin. No matter how severe the pressure brought to bear upon you, sin is your own act. The seat of difficulty is the unrenewed heart." Adventist Home, p 331.
"It is not in the power of Satan to force anyone to sin. Sin is the sinner's individual act. Before sin exists in the heart, the consent of the will must be given, and as soon as it is given, sin is triumphant, and hell rejoices. But there is no excuse for sin, either great or little." Signs of the Times, December 18, 1893 (vol 3, p 85) (See also Maranatha, p 82 & 225; Testimonies, vol 4, p 623; This Day With God, p 318; Manuscript Releases, vol 20, p 385-386).
4) "You will hear the cry 'Only believe.' Satan believed and trembled. We must have a faith that works by love and purifies the heart. The idea prevails that Christ has done all for us, and that we can go on transgressing the commandments and will not be held accountable for it. This is the greatest deception that the enemy ever devised." Selected Messages, book 3, p 153.
5) "Those who wrest the scriptures to sustain error, greatly dishonor God, and in the day of judgment, they will be held responsible for the disobedience of those who through their sophistries have been led to disregard the divine law." Review and Herald, August 13, 1959 (vol 6, p 526).
6) "For verily He (Christ) took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren..." Hebrews 2:16-17.
"For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15.
"He was ever pure and undefiled; yet He took upon Him our sinful nature." Review and Herald, December 15, 1896 (vol 3, p 421).
"It was in the order of God that Christ should take upon Himself the form and nature of fallen man, that He might be made perfect through suffering, and Himself endure the strength of Satan's fierce temptations, that He might understand how to succor those who should be tempted." Spirit of Prophecy, vol 2, p 39 (see also SDA Bible Commentary, vol 4, p 1147, vol 6, p 1074; Review and Herald, February 24, 1874, November 24, 1904).
7) "There is no excuse for sin. It will be the final condemnation of Lucifer and his angels that when God shall ask, 'Why have ye done this?' they will be able to assign no reason. And when at the last great day sinners are confronted with their sins, and are asked, 'Why did you transgress?' every mouth will be stopped. The sinful will stand speechless before God." Review and Herald, September 24, 1901 (vol 4, p 337).
8) "The Saviour prayed for His disciples, 'Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.' But if the receiver of Bible knowledge makes no change in his habits or practices to correspond to the light of truth, what then? The spirit is warring against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit; and one of these must conquer. If the truth sanctifies the soul, sin is hated and shunned, because Christ is accepted as an honored guest. But Christ cannot share a divided heart; sin and Jesus are never in copartnership." Testimony to Ministers, p 160.
9) "Those who have an opportunity to hear the truth, and yet take no pains to hear or understand it, thinking that if they do not hear, they will not be accountable, will be judged guilty before God the same as if they had heard and rejected. There is no excuse for those who choose to go in error when they might understand what is truth....
"Those who deliberately place themselves where they will not have an opportunity of hearing the truth, will be reckoned among those who have heard the truth, and persistently resisted its evidences." Review and Herald, April 25, 1893 (vol 3, p 42) (SDA Bible Commentary, vol 5, p 1145).
10) "We shall individually be held responsible for doing an iota less than God has given us ability to do." Review and Herald, April 24, 1883 (vol 1, p 351) (Christ's Object Lessons, p 362-363).
11) "We should improve our faculties, and we shall be held accountable for their improvement. They are a sacred trust, and if we do not use them properly, if we do not educate ourselves to trust God, to believe and practice His word, we shall be held accountable." Review and Herald, March 16, 1911 (vol 6, p 112) (see also Youth's Instructor, January 11, 1894; Review and Herald, March 7, 1893, April 25, 1893; Testimonies, vol 4, p 468-469).
12) "Not only are we held accountable for what we have done, but for what we have left undone. We are held to account for our undeveloped characters, our unimproved opportunities." Review and Herald, September 22, 1891 (vol 2, p 519) (SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7, p 987; That I May Know Him, p 93).
13) "The displeasure of God is kindled against those who claim to be His followers, yet allow consecrated workers to suffer for the necessities of life while engaged in active ministry. These selfish ones will be called to render an account, not only for the misuse of their Lord's money, but for the depression and heartache which their course has brought upon His faithful servants." Acts of the Apostles, p 340.
14) "When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou has delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 33:8-9 (see also Acts of the Apostles, p 393-394; Review and Herald, August 23, 1908; Christian Service, p 196; Testimonies, vol 6, p 331-332, vol 9, p 86-87; Signs of the Times, August 14, 1901).
15) "We are amid the perils of the last days, and in this evil time everyone is held responsible by the Holy Spirit for his personal position before the church and the world." 1888 Materials, p 453.
"We lead others either upward to happiness and immortal life, or downward to sorrow and eternal death. And if by our deeds we strengthen or force into activity the evil powers of those around us, we share their sin." Christ's Object Lessons, p 201.
16) "The indiscriminate almsgiving is often more injurious than helpful. It often encourages idleness and destroys self-respect." Manuscript Releases, vol 4, p 9-10.
17) "Those who have too little courage to reprove wrong, or who through indolence or lack of interest make no earnest effort to purify the family or the church of God, are held accountable for the evil that may result from their neglect of duty. We are just as responsible for evils that we might have checked in others by exercise of parental or pastoral authority as if the acts had been our own." Patriarchs and Prophets, p 578 (see also Desire of Ages, p 441).
18) "If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty." Testimonies, vol 3, p 265-266.
19) "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God....If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds." 2 John 9-11.
"There are fearful woes for those who preach the truth, but are not sanctified by it, and also for those who consent to receive and maintain the unsanctified to minister to them in word and doctrine." Testimonies, vol 1, p 261-262 (see also Testimonies, vol 2, p 552).
20) "There will be men and women who despise reproof and whose feelings will ever rise up against it. It is not pleasant to be told of our wrongs. In almost every case where reproof is necessary, there will be some who entirely overlook the fact that the Spirit of the Lord has been grieved and His cause reproached. These will pity those who deserved reproof, because personal feelings have been hurt. All this unsanctified sympathy places the sympathizers where they are sharers in the guilt of the one reproved. In nine cases out of ten if the one reproved had been left under a sense of his wrongs, he might have been helped to see them and thereby have been reformed." Testimonies, vol 3, p 359 (see also Testimonies, vol 1, p 212-213).
21) "The wrong impression made upon human minds may live long after those who made it are dead." Review and Herald, April 27, 1897 (vol 3, p 460) (see also Mind, Character, and Personality, vol 2, p 399).
22) "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." 2 Timothy 5:22.