Bill O'Reilly's program has been reporting for the last couple of days about a judge, Katherine Savage, who let a pedophile off on a technicality... because after three years they supposedly couldn't find an interpreter. Never mind that the guy that supposedly needed an interpreter went to both high school and junior college in the United States. You can find more information on what happened here.
People hear of this case and they think that it is horrible that this judge let the guy free without even trying him. The judge is unjust! people cry. There is even an attempt to impeach this lady. And perhaps that is necessary... if she is not doing her job as a judge, she shouldn't stay that way.
We all have an appointment with a Judge someday, in a Heavenly courtroom. How do you think that you should fare in this courtroom? Let's see. Here are the laws, to see if you've broken any of them:
1. You shall have no other Gods before me. Maybe you haven't bowed down to a wooden statue, but has God always been first in your life? Did you ever decide to sleep in on Sunday morning because you didn't feel like going to church? Do you watch television every day, but neglect reading the Bible? Do you have any favorite movie stars or musicians that you esteem more highly than God? If so, maybe you have broken this commandment after all.
2. You shall not make any carved image, to bow down or serve them. Do you ever make up your own God? Do you come up with your own ideas about God, whether they agree with the Bible or not? Do you believe that there are "new revelations" about Jesus that came out after the Bible is written? Do you ever say "well, God is like this..." without any Biblical proof? Maybe you are guilty of this one.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Ever use God's word as a swear word?
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Many people think that this was part of the ceremonial law that was done away when Jesus died on the cross, and does not apply any more. If so, maybe God will let you off on this one. But you better keep the others!
5. Honor your father and mother. Have you always listened to your parents, even as a little kid? Did they ever have to tell you to clean your room more than once? Have you always said nice things about them and to them?
6. You shall not murder. Here's an easy one, right? Wait a minute. Jesus says that if you are angry at someone and hate them, you are guilty of murdering them. Oops. I know I'm guilty of this one.
7. You shall not commit adultery. This one seems a little more difficult, but a lot of us haven't cheated on our spouses, so we're okay, right? Not quite. Have you ever looked at someone with lust? If so... you guessed it, you are guilty of this commandment in your heart. That's what Jesus says.
8. You shall not steal. Ever downloaded a song off the internet? Ever take a pen home from the grocery store? Did anybody ever give you too much change and you kept it? Ever take a cookie from mommy's cookie jar without asking or when you were told not to? Guilty!
9. You shall not lie. Do you tell your kids that Santa Claus is real? How do you answer the question "does this dress make me look fat?" Ever tell a lie to get out of trouble as a kid? Ever tell your parents that your sibling did something that you did? This one is easy to be guilty of. My baby is guilty of this one. He can sit in his crib and wail, and nothing is wrong with him.
10. You shall not covet. Ever want something that wasn't yours? Ever want the raise that your coworker got, or the new car someone else came home with? Ever look through magazines and want what the celebrities have, or you just have to have that new Wii all your friends have?
So if you're guilty of any of these crimes, should a just judge let you off? Give you a warning, tell you... it's okay if you broke the law? People don't think it's great that Katherine Savage let the child rapist off.
But doesn't God forgive? Well, you have half of the story right. Jesus did come down to earth to pay our fine for all those crimes that we've committed. That's why he died on the cross. The penalty that we would have to pay for all these crimes that we've committed is eternity in an awful place called hell. I know that I don't want to go there.
But Jesus didn't just die on the cross and say "go live your life the way you want to now, I've got you covered." In fact, one day he was talking to a man. The man asked Jesus if he was going to go to Heaven. Jesus asked him if he kept the 10 commandments. "Oh yes... I've kept the commandments from my youth." Well, if you look at the commandments you know he probably didn't obey all the commandments all the time. So Jesus told him to go sell all his stuff and give to the poor... something that he didn't want to do. In a way, that kinda proves that he was breaking commandment #1 right there, because his money was more important than God. So we shouldn't be like that guy... we have to recognize that we have sinned first.
You also need to repent. Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, but he told her to "go and sin no more." Did she sin again? I'm sure that she did. But she was sorry for what she had done, she probably was grateful that Jesus forgave her and didn't want to continue sinning. That is what repentance is all about... feeling bad for your sins and not wanting to sin any more. It would probably be a good thing to say that we're sorry.
Then you have to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, because he already paid for your sins in full when he died on the cross. Trust in Him for what he has done.
Unlike Katherine Savage, God is a just judge. He won't let you off on a technicality (and he speaks every language, so you can't use that excuse). Someone has to pay the fine. Jesus will if you let him.