Comedian Jerry Lewis actually made a little cinema history years ago when he filmed the movie “The Bellboy.” It would be no big deal today, but back then it was a first. Jerry Lewis had each scene of the movie videotaped so he could look at it and see if it had come out like he wanted it. If he didn’t like it, they went right back and they got it right. I know, “good old days.” But it was actually a smart idea. Kind of sort of is today.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Getting Ready for God’s Final Exam.”

It’s definitely a good idea to stand back, see what’s wrong, and fix it before it goes to the final print. Especially if the audience for the final print is God Himself, as He looks at how you’ve been living and passes judgment on it. In a sense, He’s given us some ways to look at how we’re doing, to see what you’re doing wrong and to fix it before it goes to the final print.

Our word for today from the Word of God comes in the context of some early believers who were trivializing sacred things and they were, according to the Bible, “weak and sick” as a result. Some had even died as a result. Then, in 1 Corinthians 11:31, Paul says, “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” Take care of it yourself so God doesn’t have to take care of it! God’s response to the sin that we’ve neglected may come in discipline that He administers to us, or at the Judgment Seat of Christ where eternal rewards will either be given or withheld based on how we’ve lived. But in either case, it’s far better for you to deal with it now than for God to deal with it then.

You may be living in that window right now where God is saying, “I’m giving you this time to deal with this yourself. But if you don’t, I will.” It may be the lies you’re telling, the people you’re hurting, the compromises you’re making, that sin you’re playing with. Maybe God’s trying to get you to do something about your pride, or your hypocrisy, your anger, or that – you know – secret sin.

And He’s given you the “videos,” shall we say, that show what you’re really doing. He’ll speak to you through His words in the Bible, sometimes making them feel like an arrow right to the heart of your sin. Or God may be trying to speak to you through some of the people in your life; you know, some people who love you. Maybe people who are just critical of you. But God put them there to be a mirror for you, showing you what needs to be changed. Now maybe you’re stoning the messenger, but that doesn’t change the truth of what they see in you, and what God’s trying to get you to see.

It isn’t smart to flirt with the discipline of Almighty God; the judgment of Almighty God. He just loves you too much to let you keep doing what’s going to damage your life, and probably other lives. And maybe right now He’s giving you that time – this window right now – to deal with it yourself; to confess it to Jesus, the One who died for that very sin. He’s giving you right now an opportunity to repent and turn your back on it, to restore what you need to restore, to apologize to that person you should have apologized to a long time ago, to fix what’s broken, to take whatever steps you need to take to get what’s wrong out of your life.

Believe me, no matter how hard it may be for you to judge that sin yourself, it’s always easier than forcing God to judge it because you wouldn’t. Right now He’s giving you a chance to fix it before it goes to the final print.