Q. How much should we be standing up as Christians today and are we going to be held accountable?
A. In his letter to the Church, the Lord’s brother James had much to say about the relationship between our beliefs and our actions. James 2:14-26 is a clear statement that if our beliefs don’t result in action then we should question whether our beliefs are sincere. But notice the emphasis is on self evaluation, not the criticism of others.
Jesus said we should not judge others unless we want to be judged as well. He said criticizing the behavior of others while our own behavior is less than perfect simply makes us a hypocrite (Matt. 7:1-5).
Paul said we shouldn’t associate with anyone who claims to be a believer but who regularly indulges in activities that are not appropriate for believers. But he said that the behavior of those outside the Church is none of our business and we should leave their judgment to God (1 Cor. 5:9-13).
I haven’t seen anything in Scripture that indicates we’ll be held accountable for what other people say, think or do. We’re all responsible for ourselves.
From this I’ve concluded that I have enough to do trying keep my own behavior in line without worrying about the behavior of others.
Are We Watchmen?
Q. Does Ezekiel 33:7-9 mean we are to speak up when we see wicked things and warn or hold accountable the person involved in such things, or we will answer for their death? So if we remain silent, this is a sin?
A. Ezekiel 33:7-9 tells of the Lord appointing Ezekiel a watchman over Israel, which at the time consisted only of the Southern Kingdom. (This confirmed His earlier statement to that effect in Ezekiel 3:17) Before him God had said the prophets He sent to the Northern kingdom were watchmen along with Him (Hosea 9:8). These are the only two places where God speaks of appointing a watchman to warn the people of the consequences of their sinfulness, and both are in the Old Testament and were intended for Israel. Of the two only Ezekiel was held personally accountable for conveying the warning.
There is only one mention of a watchman in the New Testament (John 10:3) and then only in some English translations. The KJV calls him a porter and his job was to open the gate of the sheep pen so the shepherd could retrieve his sheep. Other meanings of the Greek word are door keeper and janitor.
Therefore, I believe Ezekiel 33:7-9 was intended specifically for Ezekiel and was not meant to have general application in the Church today.