Guilty As Charged 

Ezra 4:15
“That search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. And you will find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces, and that they have incited sedition within the city in former times, for which cause this city was destroyed.”

The enemies of Israel wrote to the king of Persia encouraging him to look through the record books regarding Israel’s past. They claimed these books would reveal that Israel had been rebellious before, and if allowed to continue, they would prove to be rebellious once again. A few things strike me as I consider this text.

First, the enemies of Israel were correct. Israel had failed in the past. Seventy years earlier, Jeremiah warned the nation that Babylon was coming and they should surrender and allow themselves to be taken captive. Instead of heeding the Word of God, they rebelled and this rebellion was now coming back to haunt them. We need to be careful. Sin always has consequences even if it takes years for them to revel themselves. Had Israel obeyed, the enemies would have no charges against them.

Second, a record book of all Israel’s wrongs was kept in the library of the king. All their past failures and sins were stored up in a book and they are now being found guilty. Jesus explained that the same is true of us.

Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.”
The word “account” is a translation of the Greek word “logos.” The concept is that the words we speak are recorded in a ledger and that ledger will be read on the final day of judgment.

Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

This should frighten all of us. All our sinful acts, both small and great, are recorded in a book and that book will be used to testify against us in the court of heaven. Secret sins that you thought were hidden or forgotten will be held up to witness of your guilt before God. We know that one sin is enough to condemn us in heaven’s court and we know that we are guilty of far more than one sin.

Fortunately, the story does not end here. Revelation 20 speaks of another book called life. In this book is recorded all who have trusted in Christ, and by doing so have had their sins washed and forgiven. Paul explained that when we trust Christ, the handwriting of requirements that were against us are wiped out. Once our names are found in the book of life, all the charges kept in the other book are erased.

If you have received Christ, you do not need to fear eternal punishment for your sins. If you have not yet believed in Him, do so right now. Don’t wait until it is too late.

Pastor Jim



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