At 1:00 P.M., Tuesday, October 4th, 1995, much of America came to a sudden stop! Everyone was waiting for the O.J. Simpson verdict. Nine months! Probably the most watched, most analyzed trial in history and then we're all stunned when the jury announces they've reached the verdict in about four hours! So everybody was guessing, they're all buzzing about it, and then as the verdict hour arrived America stopped to hear it. The verdict will probably be debated for years but one thing is sure, we were obsessed with knowing what the verdict was.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Verdict You Don't Have To Wait For."
After all your life probably wouldn't have been any different no matter what the O.J. Simpson verdict, but there is a verdict that really does affect you. It determines where you will spend Eternity. It's God's verdict on you; "was I good enough," "will I make it to Heaven when I die?" - guilty or not guilty with God. Well, the verdict's not in a sealed envelope, it's in an opened book. I've got it opened in front of me, the Bible. You don't have to wait to find out God's verdict on you.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Romans 3:19 where it says that, "every mouth will be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God." No one is going to miss judgment day, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law." In other words, doing good things. And Romans 3:10 has already told us, "There is no one righteous, not even one." And then we go to verse 22 and it says here, "There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God." Hey, the verdict is in on each of us! Guilty before God. We've broken God's laws over and over again, we've done it our way, not God's way. We've hijacked a life that our Creator gave us and we've decided we'd run it ourselves, and really we've been our own God. Not only has the verdict, even the sentence has been pronounced. Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death."
Now, some are going to try to plead, "Hey, I did a lot of good!" but it's not enough. This says there is not one righteous enough for God. A death penalty cannot be paid by doing good, a death penalty can only be paid by someone dying. Our sin leaves us condemned in the court room of God. The sentence in a word is Hell. But this reading of the verdict is followed by an amazing offer of a pardon, Romans 3:24 says, "we're justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus," it goes on to tell us that it is possible to be rescued by faith in His blood - simply put, Someone has come to pay your death penalty, God's Son. Our only hope of ever being right with God, of ever going to Heaven, is placing all our hope in Jesus Christ. The One who died is our substitute. He loved you that much.
Your life might be so full of Earth stuff that you've neglected your Eternity. Well don't. Jesus died so He could forgive your sin and erase it from God's book and trade the death penalty you deserve for Eternal Life you don't deserve. But you have to put your total trust in Him to be your Savior. If you never have, don't risk another day without Him.
You see, you are guilty before God, we all are. The sentence is death, but if you belong to Jesus Christ, you can have Him as your defense attorney before His Father and a guaranteed verdict of not guilty!