SHERMAN, Ill. (BP) -- Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois was a defendant in a high-profile legal case where, once again, a politician was convicted on criminal charges. What really sealed the governor's conviction: Blagojevich's own words allegedly attempting to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Blagojevich had no idea that his telephone conversations were being recorded. What the governor thought he was saying in private was eventually presented to a jury in a public trial.
Historically, criminal trials were not always public. The founding fathers of our country, however, were keenly aware of the abuses associated with secret trials, including the English Star Chamber and the Spanish Inquisitions. Thus, under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution you have a right to a public trial.
The U.S. criminal justice system has flaws, but it strives to give an accused, not a perfect trial, but a fair trial. Having trials open to the public furthers this goal.
One day each person will stand trial in God's courtroom. Some will be surprised that these trials also will be public.
God wants to establish to all of humanity that He is righteous and fair, and His judgments are perfect and flawless. Thus, God is likely to accomplish these goals if the trials are public.
The most detailed descriptions of the trials that will take place in God's courtroom are set forth in Daniel 7:9-11 and Revelation 20:11-12.
The prophet Daniel, for instance, stated that "myriads upon myriads" were standing before God at the Great White Throne Judgment (Daniel 7:10). In Daniel's day, if a person wanted to describe a vast number of people, millions or billions, the phrase "myriads upon myriads" would be used. It is the type of phrase to describe the sands on a seashore. Attending these public trials will be the largest gathering of people ever assembled in human history.
Many may also be surprised to learn that God has been recording their entire lives, not just a few telephone conversations like Governor Blagojevich experienced. It is as if God has a special videotape that records not only actions but also words, thoughts and attitudes. As the Bible states, "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).
Your secret thoughts, including those violent, greedy or immoral thoughts will be put into evidence. As the Bible states, "God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus" (Romans 2:16). These thoughts and other actions are most likely contained in the "books." Again, as the Bible states, "The dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds" (Revelation 20:12).
There is a strong possibility that at your trial the entire tape is going to be replayed in its entirety for every minute of your life. You are not going to be able to hide anything. There is a definite possibility that your spouse, children, co-workers and friends will hear all of the evidence that is presented.
Fortunately, for those who accept God's offer of a pardon though Jesus Christ, all of their sins will have been erased and God will drop His hammer and declare, "Not Guilty!"
Bruce Kugler, on the Web at www.godscourtroom.org, is an attorney in Sherman, Ill., who has written and produced an evangelistic film, "God's Courtroom," which will be aired at 9 p.m. June 25 on the NRB TV Network, carried on DirecTV channel 378 and Sky Angel channel 126.