|Volume 17 Number 12 December 2015||
He Knows If You’ve Been Bad or Good
The title for this article comes from the Christmas carol, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” The song warns little boys and girls to be good because, “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake; he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” According to Christmas tradition, good boys and girls get toys and presents while bad boys and girls get lumps of coal. Since Santa always sees and knows, you had better be good!
Many Christians forget that this applies to God, since He is the one that truly sees you at all times and knows all about us, even the number of the hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). Too many seem to think that we can live our lives by our own terms, and we can still be acceptable to God, so long as we remember to act good at the right times. Take, for instance, the example of Hophni and Phinehas. These two boys were sons of Eli, who was a judge in Israel, and they were priests. These boys were lousy, despicable men (1 Samuel 2:12-17). When Israel was defeated by the Philistines, they brought the ark from Shiloh into the camp, and Hophni and Phinehas came with it. Israel was excited about the ark coming, and it scared the Philistines, but Israel was defeated, the ark captured and Hophni and Phinehas were killed (1 Samuel 4). The Israelite camp was fooled by the priests carrying the ark, but God knew better. He knew they had been bad. They were weighed, measured and found wanting.
Why do we wait until the last minute to do our Christmas shopping? This is one of the great mysteries of life. We know that Christmas is always December 25th, and we also know that the longer we wait the more we will pay in shipping costs (which are high enough already). So, next year why don’t we go ahead and get our shopping done early, and save ourselves some money and headaches?
The greatest mystery of life, however, is why do we wait so long to obey the Gospel? We know that a day is coming when we will stand before God in Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). We know that heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people, and we know that hell is a prepared place for an unprepared people (Matthew 25:36, 41). The only thing we don’t know, then, is when our time will be over, and our chances to prepare ourselves will be up (James 4:14). If we wait too long to obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, it will cost us so much more than a headache and extra money. It will cause us eternal heartache. Don’t wait (Acts 22:16)!