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What God Has Done with Your Permanent Record

When twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden fled to Hong Kong in June of 2013 with a plethora of top-secret NSA and CIA documents, he created a firestorm of controversy that still rages. He has many on his side who are convinced that what he did was heroic and much needed. Others have charged him with being a traitor. In fact, the United States government has charged him with three counts under the Espionage Act. He currently resides with his wife in Moscow where he has been given asylum.

What is of profound interest is Snowden's disclosure that virtually every digital communication made by US citizens—including text messages, Skype calls, emails, Facebook posts, phone calls, Google searches, credit card pur­chases, or the like—is part of what he calls a permanent record. Snowden brought to the attention of the American public that there was little in their lives that they might reasonably regard as private. This permanent record of their movements, purchases, internet activity, and virtually all forms of communication and digital interaction with other people will likely never disappear, at least not in our lifetime. It will always be there for the NSA and the CIA to see and make use of, if they so choose. It is frighten­ing, to say the least.

But I worry far less about any record the government might permanently possess than I do about the fact that God has made a permanent record of my wicked choices, thoughts, fantasies, and failures. The mere thought that my sins are forever registered in the mind of God or written down in some celestial volume is far more unsettling and disturbing to me than knowing that my government knows as much as it does.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Here is the good news: God has erased every last trace of the condemning guilt of our transgressions if you know and trust Christ. This did not happen because God sovereignly destroyed the heavenly server on which this record was stored. Instead, he took the guilt of our sin and imputed it to Jesus. In the death of our Savior for our sins, all trace of anything that might otherwise be held against us is gone.

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