If you have responded to the Word of God, then you are responsible to the word of God. If you have been shown by the Spirit of God the Truths that are in the Word of God, then you are without excuse, no amount of rationalizations will be heard by the Lord when you stand before Him on that day.
You were told to go, why haven’t you gone, you were told to love your neighbor, what is your excuse for not doing so. You have been told to place God above all others, to reprove and correct, to hate evil, to give to the poor, what will your excuses be on that day, and why do you still believe that the Lord will pay any heed to them. Because you were afraid, “Perfect love casts out all fear,” (1st John 4:18) because that person treated you wrongly, “For all have sinned, and fell short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) You cannot say that the Scriptures are unclear to you, they are plain, simple and easily understood even to a small child, you will not be able to say that the pull of the world was too strong. “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man.” (1 Cor. 10:13) Do you really still believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to excuse you, that when it is your turn to stand before Him to be judged according to your works, (Rev. 20:12) that you are going to get a special pass, that you will not be held accountable because of some certain circumstances, because of some reason that you alone were the only one in all of His creation that did not receive something that everyone else did?
If you know the word of God, no matter what part it is, you are responsible for that part, and my guess is that many of you that read these letters have read every word in the Scriptures at least once. You know for a fact what you have been commanded to do, are you doing these things, you know how you are not to be conformed to the world, (Romans 12:2) are you? The word of God and the will of God, these are the two things necessary for anyone to come to faith in Christ, the resurrection and the redemption, those whom God has called and chosen are His children, everything else in the Scriptures is for our edification, for our growth, examples for us, an instruction manual so that the man of God may know the path of righteousness. (1st John 3:7) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9) Once you are saved, you are expected to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (2 Tim.2:15) as you are studying, you will “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 3:18) Then you are to go, not hide everything in your heart (Psalm 119:11) just for yourself. It’s a very basic and easy plan to follow, so why aren’t more Christians doing it, why are they not out there doing what they are supposed to be doing.
I include here not all of course, many are serving as they should be, but they are in the minority, and so there is only a few reasons I can think of at this time for this not so complex question, either they are truly not saved, they are still fearful, or they believe that to be someone else’s responsibility. For those who truly are not of the body, (2 Peter 3:17) their error will be shown to them either at the moment of the rapture, or a few moments after they die. Those who are saved but believe that the majority of their growth is to be only on a personal level, those that leave the work to others, their rewards will be few if any. These will be ashamed at His coming, (1 John 2:28) theirs will be the most tears in Heaven, these are the perpetual weaker brothers, saved indeed, but of little use to the Kingdom of Heaven. They know they are to do good, but they do it not. (James 4:17) For those that are still fearful, there is yet hope, and it is to these that this letter is addressed.
Many of these will repeat Prov. 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Another favorite verse of theirs would be, “And the Lord, it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:8) Many promises of the Word of God have they memorized and quote often, but not in public, rarely, if ever, to the lost, and only occasionally with fellow believers when they are gathered together. These do not seek the praise of men, (Gal. 1:10) but they are still fearful of them, their confidence in the Lord is overshadowed by the perceived inadequacies that they see in themselves. Whether it be from a tortured childhood, constant railings upon them by people of low character, an abusive spouse, or simply their own misconceived perceptions of how they should be viewed by others, these individuals are just as afraid of others as they are of themselves, and the proper use of the gifts and knowledge that the Lord has blessed them with goes unused.
The one thing in their lives that they fear above all others though is the fear of failure, and they would rather spend a life in silence than to seem as a failure, either in deed or word. The perfect love that Christ has for them is fully known, but not fully accepted, because for many of them they were never fully accepted by anyone, to think that the Lord Jesus loves them completely is not an easy thing for them to accept, for no one has ever loved them, much less completely. For the most part these individuals are sad, lonely and unsure about themselves, and so in their hearts is, for the most part, where they take refuge in the Lord, and He is more than willing to allow them to stay there for as long as they need, but He sends encouragement to them not only thru His word, but by His servants, those who can recognize them and understand the patience that is required with these most beloved of His. The cocoon must be opened slowly and carefully, for it is most fragile, much time must be spent in reassurance, but firm Truth must also be part of the resolve of the sent servant, for inside is a child of God, who when the fear is gone, can be of more service to their Lord than a thousand weaker brothers or sisters.
The storms they have gone thru in life can finally be faced without fear when the memories return, they have learned to lean on the everlasting arms, (Deut. 33:27) and their arms are now prepared to embrace all those who are seeking comfort, from any who seek the peace and love of the Savior that they know so well. Fear has turned to trust, absolute and abiding trust, the promises have been shown to be true, the love they now know from the Savior is a love that is abiding and eternal, the perfect love has finally cast out the last vestiges of fear. They seek the lost, for they truly know what it meant to be lost, they search out the blind, for they know the path intimately and can lead them to the One who can heal their blindness. They know how to speak to those who do not yet have ears to hear, for they can speak intimately about suffering, and those who they speak to will finally for the first time hear the words of true love, a love that knows no measure. Gratitude is their clothing, their feet move quickly to the hurting, they have heard the Word, and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit when He calls.
Those who are in fear are not always in fear of others, they fear themselves, the possibility of offending the Lord, of being unsure of what to say is always at the forefront of their minds, but I have witnessed these individuals come out of their cocoons, and I have rarely seen a more fervent servant of Christ when they finally do.