"I Didn't Know"
October 29, 2012
His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:20
Every judge who sits on the bench hears excuses. There are good excuses, bad excuses, terrible excuses, acceptable excuses and humorous excuses.
I'm not sure how to rate the excuse made by Anthony Tilley.
Let me tell you about Tilley. It was last Christmastime, and he broke into his girlfriend's house, smashed her television, stuck knives into her walls, and threw her Christmas tree out the door. Then he went and kicked in the door to her neighbor's house, too. The prosecutor said that Tilley intended to assault the neighbor.
Tilley was arrested for breaking and entering and intending to commit an indictable offense.
Anthony Tilley admits he did everything, but he has an excuse. That excuse is ... are you ready for this ... no, of course, you're not. Tilley's excuse is he was too drunk to know what he was doing.
But there's more.
Judge James Walsh, at least, in part, agreed with Tilley's excuse. He ruled that Tilley was so drunk there was reasonable doubt he could think clearly enough to commit the crime of assault on his neighbor. So the judge, at least in this area, found Tilley innocent because he was too drunk.
So, you tell me: is it a good excuse, bad excuse, silly excuse or sad? Maybe a bit of all?
I guess all that can be said is this: it is an excuse which worked ... at least in part.
Scripture is clear that when the Lord Jesus returns, He is not going to be receptive to people's excuses. You can certainly understand why. His entire life was lived so sinners might be forgiven and declared innocent on Judgment Day.
So we might be saved is why Jesus fulfilled both law and prophecy. So that we might be made right with God is why He said, "No!" to all of Satan's temptations. So we might be released from sin's condemnation, He picked up those sins and, along with His cross, carried them to Calvary. Then, when all else had been done, He defeated humankind's greatest enemy: death.
You can see why Jesus won't be looking for excuses on Judgment Day. He endured much so that we might have the free gift of eternal life. This is why, when too-late day comes, there will be no acceptable reason, no satisfactory excuse that will move Jesus to say, "What? You didn't want to believe in Me? Well, that's just fine; you just come on in to heaven anyway."
And since there will be no acceptable excuse, it is only right that we do all we can, as often as we can, as long as we can to share the Savior with a lost and dying world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, use us to share salvation's story with the lost. Help us point clearly to the Savior whose life was spent, so all who believe might have life eternal. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries