If you talk to just a few people responsible for hiring, you will see a common problem… they can’t find anyone willing to work!
At the time of writing this, the national unemployment rate is around 6%. Typically, we would say that is a sign of a weak economy. But when I look at my own surroundings that number is meaningless. We can’t complain about unemployment when there are jobs that need to be filled. And there are certainly jobs that need to be filled.
There are all sorts of places we can cast the blame for why people don’t want to work. We can blame the employers for not having the right pay or benefits. We can blame society for making people feel like some jobs are worthless and meaningless. We can blame the government handouts that deemphasize working certain jobs. We can blame the stimulus checks that people received. But when I talk to the individuals who are not working I just hear excuses. We have a lot of professional excuse makers in this country.
An old American proverb says, “Excuses are merely nails used to build a house of failure”. Our society will crumble for a number of reasons, but right at the top of the list will be excuses. Excuses are a disease. This sickness has been around well before Covid and has done much more harm than that virus will ever do.
An excuse implies that there is guilt or a consequence. A person gives an excuse to get out of bearing the responsibility for what they have or have not done. But the person in the wrong doesn’t get to excuse themself. The idea of “coming up with an excuse” is the true evil of excuses. If you are in the wrong you are at the mercy of the person you have wronged. They get to decide whether you are excused or not.
In school there are some absences that can be excused. But the excuse doesn’t come from the student, it comes from the school. The absence will only be excused if it falls under one of the approved excused absences. That illustration sufficiently explains the difference between a legitimate excuse and a bad excuse.
This is true in matters of religion as well. In Romans 3:26, Paul says that God is “just and justifier of him that has faith in Christ Jesus”. As the “justifier”, God is the only one who can excuse an individuals guilt. And as “the just”, God is the one who provides the excuse. In the context, Paul makes it clear that we are not excused by doing works of the old Jewish law, but rather through the “law of faith” of Christ Jesus (3:21,27-28).
Simply put, on the day of judgement, I am not going to be able to convince God to excuse my behavior. He has already given the only legitimate excuse. The excuse that God has given to us is His Son.
All of the excused people will have something in common. They will all be “in Christ”. This is where the location of the excuse and all other spiritual blessings can be found (Eph 1:3). Contra-wise, All those who are outside of Christ will be lost because there is no excuse outside of Christ.
When we stand before the judgement seat of Christ, our only hope will be to be excused by God. That excuse is only found in Christ. But the instructions on how to get “into Christ” are found in His word. People who don’t heed that word will “have no excuse” (John 15:22) because that word will “judge them on the last day” (John 12:48).
There are a lot of people that claim that they are in Christ. But we are not going to be judged by what we claim alone. We are going to be judged by what we claim AND the word of God.
Matt 7:21-23 makes this point abundantly clear. On the day of Judgement Jesus say’s “Many will say unto me Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, and by thy name cast out many demons, and by thy name do many mighty works”. This is the same excuse that many readers are carrying to judgement. It’s a bad excuse.
These individuals were lost, not because of their claim, but because they did not “do the will of my Father who is in heaven”(7:21). Jesus took out the excuse book (John 12:48), and the claim didn’t match what God said to do.
The excuse is “in Christ”. One enters into Christ by doing the will of the Father, by believing in his Son(John 3:16), repenting of your sins(Luke 13:3), confessing Christ (Romans 10:10), and then being baptized (Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38). Galatians 3:27 says that one is “baptized into Christ”. “Baptized” in Galatians 3:27 is a transitive verb. That means a transition occurs when a believer is baptized. They are transitioned from outside of Christ- into Christ. It is the final step that places one in the location where the excuse for our guilt is found.
Any other form of doctrine, is not what has been delivered in the word of God (Rom 6:17), and is therefore not an excuse that God has given.
No human has the right to excuse an offense against God. Only God can excuse. He want’s to excuse everyone, so he gave us his Son and His Word (1 Tim 2:4). Don’t carry a bad excuse to judgement.