You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney before questioning and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you, free of charge.
This statement, commonly known as the Miranda Warning, probably sounds familiar to you. Maybe you have heard it on your favorite television police drama. Or, perhaps you have had thefrightening experience of having this statement read to you by a police officer.
The Miranda Warning, drawn from the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, may protect a person from self-incrimination, but it doesnt protect a person from righteous judgment. Many people have exercised their right to remain silent only to find themselves standing before a judge as a convicted criminal. Their silence didnt free them from the consequences (the just penalty) for their criminal act.
Lets adjust the Miranda Warning so that it applies not simply to legal proceedings in the earthly realm, but also to cases heard before the Spiritual Supreme Courta court before which every person will one day appear.
You have the right to remain silent. Everything you have ever done or said in violation of Gods Moral Law will be held against you on the Day of Judgment. But God has provided you with an Advocate (the perfect Attorney), Jesus Christ, to represent you free of charge as you face Gods righteous judgment and wraththe just penalty for your sins.
Does the above warning apply to you the same way the Miranda Warning applies to a suspected criminal? Are you guilty of breaking Gods Law? Have you violated the Ten Commandments and therefore sinned against Him?
To find out, honestly answer the following questions. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever taken something that didnt belong to you, no matter how insignificant it may be? Have you ever hated anyone? Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15). Have you ever looked at another person with lust? Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28). If you answered honestly, then according to Gods Holy Moral Law, and by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, murdering, adulterer at heart. And these are only four of the Ten Commandments.
Now think about how many times throughout your life youve done these things (and others)dozens, hundreds, thousands? It should concern you that you will one day stand before the only true Godwho is holy, righteous, and justand be held accountable for your sins. On the Day of Judgment there will be no loopholes or technicalities, no reasonable doubt regarding your guilt, no human attorney to argue your case to make you appear innocent. There will be no extenuating circumstances to justify your guilt and no appeals to a higher court. You will be without excuse.
Exercising your right to remain silent on that great and terrible day will not suppress the weight of evidence against you. God knows the truth. He has seen your every thought, word, and deed. You will be found guilty as charged and you will be sentenced to death (the wages of sin is deathRomans 6:23). You will spend eternity in a prison called hell, a very real place of torment. Does that concern you? It should.
Your only hope is Jesus Christ. There is only one way to avoid the wrath to come. If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the [payment] for our sins (1 John 2: 1-2a). Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died on the cross to pay the full penalty for your sins. Not only did Jesus Christ take the death sentence that was due to you, He rose again, defeating death. And He is alive today!
Yes, you have the right to remain silent. You have the right to remain in your sins. But please don?t. You know in your heart that you are guilty before God. He commands you to repent and believe the Gospel. Repentance involves agreeing that what God says is true; He won't overlook the guilty, we are all sinners, and Christ has died for our sins. This will lead to genuine sorrow, shame and even hatred for what we have done. It will also result in a lifestyle of turning away from sin, and trusting in Jesus alone for salvation. Repent and believe the good news today; you may not have tomorrow.