Every time another presidential election approaches, I wonder why anybody would want to be president. As soon as a candidate becomes popular, the scrutiny intensifies. Right now Herman Cain is under the microscope. Investigative reporters are digging to find anything unsavory in his past. Why would anybody put himself through that?
But the scrutiny presidential candidates are under is nothing compared to the scrutiny every single person is under – from God himself. Every once in a while an open mike picks up some non-political correct statement made by a candidate. But God hears every single word we utter – even in the privacy of our homes. Every word mumbled under our breath. Every word spoken to our spouse and kids. Every word complaining about our co-workers and neighbors. He hears them all and holds us accountable for them. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)
But it’s not just our words he scrutinizes. Just think of how revealing it would be if we could watch a videotape of a candidate’s thoughts! Well, God sees our every thought. Jesus cites one example of this when he said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) God sees every trace of bitterness in us; every selfish thought, every worry lays open before him. He comes face to face with all our putrid thoughts.
How can anybody survive such scrutiny? It usually takes only one piece of dirt in a candidate’s past to bring him or her crashing down. It doesn’t even matter how much good the person has done since. One scandal and they are finished.
Therefore it is the height of foolishness to think that we can survive God’s scrutiny by making good. This is true especially when we realize that we haven’t stopped speaking sinful words or having sinful thoughts. Each and every day we aren’t making good. We are giving God more evidence of our sinfulness. We are doomed.
Or we should be. But God has stepped in and done a most remarkable thing. He punished Jesus for our sins instead of us. On top of that he had Jesus live a perfect life for us. In Jesus alone – and only in Jesus – can we survive God’s scrutiny. Anybody who bases any of his hopes of surviving God’s scrutiny on what he does, remains doomed. His imperfect works ruins Jesus’ perfection. May you all trust solely and completely in what Jesus has done for you. Your eternal destiny depends on it.