Personal Responsibility

“He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

– Matthew 25:22-23

Remember, my hearer, that in the day of judgment thy account must be personal; God will not ask you what your church did— he will ask you what you did yourself. Now there is a Sunday school. If God should try all members of the church in a body, they would each of them say, O Lord, as a body we had an excellent Sunday school, and had many teachers, and so they would excuse themselves. But no; one by one, all professors must come before him. “What did you do for the Sabbath school? I gave you a gift for teaching children— what did you do?” “O Lord, there was a Sabbath school.” That has nothing to do with it? What did you do? You are not to account now for the company with which you were united, but for yourself as an individual. “Oh” says one, “there were a number of poor ministers; I was at the Surrey Hall, and so much was done for them.” No; what did you do? You must be held personally responsible for your own wealth, for your own ability. “Well,” says one, “I am happy to say there is a great deal more preaching now than there used to be; the churches seem to be roused.” Yes, sir, and you seem to take part of the credit to yourself. Do you preach more than you used to? You are a minister; do you make any greater efforts? Remember, it is not what your brethren are doing, but it is what you do that you will be called to account for at the bar of God; and each one of you will be asked this question “What hast thou done with thy talent?” All your connection with churches will avail you nothing; it is your personal doings— your personal service towards God that is demanded of you as an evidence of saving grace. And if others are idle— if others pay not God his due— so much the more reason why you should have been more exceedingly diligent in doing so yourself.

—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 4
Delivered Sunday Morning, January 31, 1858
At the Music Hall Royal Surrey Gardens
Sermon No. 175, “The Two Talents”

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