Thankfully! This is true. It is only due to God’s grace and mercy that He has chosen to only hold us accountable for the knowledge we have regarding what is true and false. What is right and what is wrong. What is good and what is evil. And we will be judged by or rewarded for the way we responded to the knowledge we had while on earth.
This is why preachers, and Bible teachers, will be judged stricter by God than the average layman. Because the Bible says they carry a greater responsibility, because they are to feed the Sheep what is good and true. For, “not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (Jas. 3:1).
Truly I am convinced this is also how we should view the “mask issue, the vaccine issue, Government issues, and the church closure issue.” Because all of these issues are based on “how one responds to the knowledge they have” based on the Word of God, according to their faith, and according to their conscience. As James says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17). If you know something which the Word of God speaks about, as in a prohibition or a license, and you fail to observe or recognize that in your own decision making, or you fail to pass that information onto other Christians to help them make biblical decisions, then that is something you may have to answer to God for! Here are some other verses to consider regarding “faith and conscience”
“The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God [like regarding the freedom to drink alcohol or not, etc.]. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:22-23) THIS ONE is a grave issue! Many Christians are sinning against their God given conscience because they are not acting by faith but instead by doubt or uncertainty regarding masks, vaccines, etc. and it desensitizes their conscience or sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
Here is one pertaining to whether one should observe the Sabbath. But also, this could be applied to medical decisions and other health related issues. Or things regarding one’s own conscience. “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom 14:5). So again, we are called to live by faith (assurance, conviction, certainty) in all decisions.
Again, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled” (Titus 1:15). There are many “freedoms” in the Christian faith. But not all those freedoms benefit us, or in other words, not all are good for us.
And this, regarding the freedom to eat meat which had at one time been associated with pagan worship. “Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak”(1 Cor 8:8-9, emphasis mine). From this I can learn to not pressure someone into taking a vaccine or into not taking a vaccine. Or to wear a mask or not to wear one. Or to social distance or not to. All I can do is live out my faith and be sensitive to their faith.
Lastly, we all have the freedom to live according to our “faith” (conviction before God). However, as noted at the beginning. Pastors are held to a different standard. They are accountable before God to equip the sheep and to inform the sheep as to what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Regarding this, if a pastor or elder board decide to “cancel” church because of a mandate and if a member of that church points out the true call of God regarding the Body-of-Christ and the command to gather and worship and to put “God first” above all rule and authority in the Land (according to scripture). And that knowledge the Pastor and elders now have (if they didn’t before) and if they still choose to disallow all who desire to gather there to worship God. Then you have a big problem on your hands and a serious red flag regarding who this Pastor or elder board is submitted to!
So, there are plenty of Christian freedoms we have. We are free to wear or to not wear a mask. We are free to receive or not receive a vaccine. We must live according to our faith, and we must allow others to live according to theirs. But we also must inform those we love of the implications of anything which we may have knowledge of, in order to warn them, or help them make a wise decision, give them wisdom, or counsel. After that we must allow them to live according to their faith before God. So, do not disobey your faith or conscience before God. Follow Christ according to the knowledge you have. And stand firm. Do not submit to a condition placed upon you by man. Submit to God and you will do well, and have His blessing.