I had always admired a well-known television news personality and thought of him as someone with high moral standards. So it surprised me one day when I heard him remark that he doesn’t want anyone telling him what is right and what is wrong. He made it clear that he answers to no one but himself.

The idea that we are not accountable to anyone—not even to God—appeals to many people. But it contradicts the deep-down feeling that there are things we ought to do and things we ought not to do. The Bible calls that inner conviction our conscience.

In Romans 1:18-20, the apostle Paul stated that the voice of conscience reveals God’s standards in the hearts of those who’ve never even heard the Word of God. And Ecclesiastes 3:11-14 declares that God has placed a sense of eternity in everyone’s heart, a conviction that what we do has everlasting consequences.

I am thankful that the Bible tells us about the One to whom we are accountable and that it clearly defines what is right and wrong. But I’m also grateful that God offers forgiveness to us through faith in Christ, so we don’t need to fear His judgment (Acts 17:31).

Like it or not, we are accountable to God.