Christians rightly take great solace in passages like 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I've found that the closer I come to God and more I study His word, then the more I can see my own sin. I see myself as one of the debtors in Luke 7:41-43 – the one who is forgiven the most will be the one who loves the most. Sometimes, though, we are haunted by passages like Matthew 12:36: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” If our sins have been forgiven, do we still have to give an account?
For a long time, I saw this passage as a source of dread. For some people, I suppose it is. But in the context of the entire passage, Jesus talks about people who are justified and people who are condemned. When the unsaved are called to give an account, what will they say? They still owe a price for each idle word. How terrible it will be when they see how tremendous the cost will be for their sins.
For the saved, this will be an entirely different experience. As God accounts for each item, we can confidently say, “It is forgiven!” Every lie - “forgiven!” Every boast - “forgiven!” Every blasphemy, every lust, and every idle thought - “forgiven!” This will not be some divine “dressing down.” This will not be some cosmic humiliation that we must endure. Instead, it will be a realization of the tremendous price Christ has paid for our redemption. It will be a reminder of the preciousness of our salvation. We will not be forever ashamed but rather Christ will be forever glorified when we see exactly how large was our debt that was canceled!
Luke 7:46-48 tells us about the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus. Jesus praised her saying she loved much because she was forgiven much. How great will our love for Jesus be throughout eternity after we've seen exactly how much He forgave us!