By Kenneth D. Sils
A few months ago, a decision was handed down in a famous court case in Texas. This case involved the so- called “vampire” killer who murdered several people in very brutal way. The jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree and the judge sentenced him to die for his heinous crimes.
While listening to the national news, I heard a curious statement reported of what the judge in the case had to say to this corrupt young man during sentencing. The judge reportedly said this to this killer, “Your parents failed you, society has failed you!”
This is not the first time I have heard such “foolishness” come from the lips of judges in America. Someone, some- where, in some way has failed you. We live in a society that has accepted the liberal pap of someone else is to blame for your actions. Our country was founded on the truth of individual responsibility and accountability, but today the montra of our nation is, “find someone else to blame.”
From the dawn of time, man has attempted to justify unlawful actions on the backs of other people. In the garden, God told man in Genesis 2:17-18, “Of every tree of the gar- den you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” We know the story! Satan tempted Eve and she ate, then she gave it to her husband and he ate. When God confronted them with their sin, they looked for someone else to blame: Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent must have laughed. God’s way is personal responsibility. God punished the serpent for his sin, Eve for her sin, and Adam for his sin.
This is and always has been the Bible way. Ezekiel told Israel to straighten up and quit blaming their fathers for the consequences of sin they were now reaping. Ezekiel 18:20 states, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of their father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” Only upon ourselves, guilt and punishment will come for our own wickedness. Although others may influence us to sin, God will demand payment from our hands. It is our fault regardless of the environment in which we live! Yes, maybe our parents didn’t train us correctly. Maybe society deems our promiscuous behavior acceptable. Possibly all of our peers are doing it! Yet God will punish you for your sin and God will punish me for my sin! You have failed yourself!
Brothers and sisters, we need to place this truth deep into our hearts and the hearts of our families. God expects us individually to serve him and obey the gospel. He has given every able-bodied Christian the duty of “assembling with the saints” (Heb. 10:25) on a consistent basis. God admonishes each of us to bear his own load (Gal. 6:5). God encourages us to work in his vineyard as he has given us a variety of talents to utilize and bear spiritual fruits for the glory of God. Are you bearing your own load? One of the songs we sing exhorts us by saying, “There is much to do, there’s work on every hand.” Don’t attempt to put your load of spiritual service on another brother or sister. Don’t leave it for the preacher, the Bible class teacher, or the “faithful few.” When you drift from God, don’t blame the church for its lack of teaching or concern. If you are overcome in sin, don’t gnash out against your family or friends as though they are responsible for your wickedness. On the day of judgment, all people will stand before Jesus and you’ll never hear from him, “Your parents failed you, society has failed you!”