The Bible contains many allusions to a courtroom situation. The great white throne judgment (Revelation 20); the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3); satan the accuser (Revelation 12:10), Jesus Christ our advocate (1 John 2:1); etc.
So in your mind, go ahead and place yourself in a courtroom setting and return to the question we asked last time. If you were put on trial and charged with being a Christian (not just saved), would there be enough evidence to pronounce you guilty?
Let's consider some of the evidence that might be used to determine the verdict.
- What if your church attendance records were subpoenaed (Hebrews 10:25)?
- What if your giving records and your bank statements were brought into the courtroom (Matthew 6:19-24)?
- What if the court called in your job mates, your classmates, your neighbors, and your family for some cross-examination (Galatians 5:22-26)?
- What if your internet service provider was asked to provide a listing of all the sites you visited in the past month? A copy of every e-mail you've read and sent in the past month (Ephesians 5:7-11)?
- What if the court examined every photo, comment, and sticker on your facebook page (1 Corinthians 10:31)?
- What if the court bugged your phone and listened in on all your conversations from the past month (Ephesians 4:25, 29)?
- What if the court obtained a search warrant and came to your house and looked through your car? What about the books and magazines on your shelf? What about the music on your mp3? What about the clothes in your closet? What about the beverages in your refrigerator? What about that box stuffed away underneath a bed or in a drawer or tucked away in a closet that you thought no one would ever find?
You might think I'm meddling. You might think all that stuff doesn't really matter. But consider the standards used in court to determine a case. In civil trials, a guilty verdict would require either a "preponderance of the evidence" (more probable than not) or "clear and convincing evidence" (close to certain), but in criminal trials, the evidence must point to the defendant as guilty "beyond any reasonable doubt."
Now, I hope that the evidence in your life would point to a guilty verdict. I hope you could confidently plead "guilty as charged" when accused of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
If you can't, you just need to know and understand and believe that the God who saved you is a God who is worth serving.
Acts 11:26 …And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
P.S. Thanks to my dad for an excellent devotion given at Sweet Springs Baptist Church on May 24 that provided the basis for these last two posts.