Just about everyone who follows entertainment knows about the gaffe that occurred at the Academy Awards this past weekend. After the 4.5 hours of televised pomp and circumstance, the moment that movie lovers waited for finally arrived…. The announcement of the Best Motion Picture award.
But instead of a smooth build to the program’s crowning moment, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty (through no fault of their own) mistakenly proclaimed the musical “La La Land” the winner. But before the beaming producers and directors of the production could finish their acceptance speeches, they were interrupted and told that the actual Best Picture was not theirs but instead a drama titled “Moonlight.” The embarrassment was palpable for onlookers and officials as trophies were awkwardly pulled from the grasp of one group of people and handed to the real winners. And of course, no one could ignore the sense of déjà vu over how eerily similar this blunder was to the 2016 Miss Universe beauty pageant when the wrong contestant was mistakenly crowned the winner.
You know, in an eternal sense, you don’t ever have to worry about humiliating mix-ups like these. When your name is called by God at the end of time, there will be no mistakes, and no errors. You can be confident that the Perfect Judge, Jesus Christ, has all the correct information about you, the life you have lived, and post importantly, in whom you have placed your faith. In fact, scripture is clear that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Heb 4:13
While this should be comforting news for so many believers who feel their work laboring in the shadows has gone unnoticed and unrewarded on this earth, it’s bad news for those who have ignored God and rejected the gift of His Son. Revelation 21:27 reminds us all that “Nothing impure will ever enter (heaven), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Judgment for those outside the family of God will be swift and immediately, followed by overwhelming regret, remorse and embarrassment… not because there was a mistake, but because the proclamations of Christ will be completely accurate, authoritative, and once made, it will be too late to ask for a recount.
You see, every person who has ever lived is born spiritually dead, and no matter how wealthy, eloquent, or influential you are, you can’t make the transition from death to life by yourself. But the wonderful truth is that God didn’t leave us in this condition with no recourse. Ephesians 2:4 says that because of His compassion and great heart of concern for our situation, He sent Jesus Christ to pay our penalty for sin and become our resurrection.
Christ is the only one who can bring you back from spiritual death and change your existence from a life of loss to a life of eternal gain. While no one knows when the judgment day will come to its glorious crescendo, we’re all urged to be “ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matt 24:44)
So let me urge you to prepare now for the greatest awards show ever, where Jesus will be the one and only Judge who will flawlessly “give to each person according to what they have done.” (Rev 22:12) But you don’t need to try to groom yourself appropriately for this awesome occasion. All you need to do is respond to what He has already done for you and by faith in His work on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, be dazzlingly clothed in the righteousness of Christ. (Is. 61:10).