I wrote the following in response to a question that resulted from one of my Facebook comments. Here is the Facebook comment:
My hope is that the following explanation is honorable and true. Of course, I think it is in line with Scripture, Protestant Church Councils and is generally pretty straight forward.
In the end we personally stand before God for evaluation (judgment), yet in life wisdom is attained with the help of others.
STATEMENT ONE: “In the end we will stand before him alone...”
In the parable of the talents each man was judged for his individual response and performance. One man was told:
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23)
Paul also mentions that all of us will individually stand before Jesus on that Day:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
And, Paul again speaking of the individual’s judgment before God says:
“Each one should be careful how he builds…his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13)
STATEMENT TWO: “…no Bible study group, no counselors, no friends or spiritual advisers to stand with us in judgment...just ourselves and our God on that day when he evaluates us concerning our obedience to his word, his Spirit and his voice in our life…”
Part of the attitude that began the Reformation was captured in the writings of John Wyclife summed up here:
“He inculcated the necessity of the exercise of private judgment, and man’s individual responsibility on the great day of accounts, and of a personal and saving acquaintance with that Book which alone “make wise unto salvation.” (Life of John Wycliffe, By Thomas Murray, page169)
We will not stand before God as a church, or a group nor will we stand before God with our pastor or our spiritual advisor. We will stand alone and will be responsible for what we did and did not believe, what we did and did not do. There will be no one else responsible for our final state other than ourselves, accept of course, the Grace of God that even allows this conversation to be relevant.
STATEMENT THREE: “...so, listen and obey...”
Since we are responsible, and since we are assumed to be seeking God through his Word by his Spirit, it is decision time. What else are we to do other than what we are fully convinced is what God is going to hold us accountable for on that Day? The conclusion then is: Listen and Obey God
STATEMENT FOUR: “…but, then, getting some advice and wise council isn't all bad either...”
So as not to appear to be supporting extreme individualism or a private interpretation of Scripture or a rebellious attitude toward established and evident truth, I am careful to point out the value of gleaning wisdom from others. As is stated in the Bible:
“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” Proverbs 19:20
“For waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” Proverbs 24:6
STATEMENT FIVE: “listen and obey..."
This is a restatement of the concluding statement for the main premise. So as not to be distracted by the council to get council, this is the concluding remark.