September 4, 2008 • By Ed Wrather
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. - Ephesians 2:19-22.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. - John 1:12.
A word that has been in frequent use in recent days in the US presidential campaign is “vetted” or “vetting”. The word comes from the world of horse racing where the health of horses are checked out by veterinarians and then the horse is referred to as having been “vetted”. The word has been taken up by the media which uses fact checkers to check the accuracy of stories and that process is referred to as “vetting”. The word is also now used in the development of software where there is “vetting” of code prior to a build being approved or passed on for further testing. In addition, we have all been exposed to the use of “vetting” or “vetted” in relation to the checking of the background of prospective candidates for political office.
While I was a probation and parole officer I would conduct pre-sentence investigations of those convicted of criminal acts but not yet sentenced. It is helpful to the judge to know as much as possible about a person’s life history prior to sentencing. Some of the things that may be checked are the criminal history, employment history, financial records if applicable, references are interviewed, employers are interviewed, family members are also interviewed if possible, and victims are interviewed. If the individual has only recently turned 18 (or if a lifetime pattern of behavior is suspected), teachers may be interviewed and school discipline records may also be checked. The more time available for the investigation, the more thorough and complete it will be with a picture of the person emerging.
As Christians we are children of God meaning that we are part of the royal family of the Lord of lords, and King of kings. What if God had a similar vetting process for all who are prospective candidates to become His children? Can you imagine how that might take place? Let us suppose an investigative angel is dispatched to do the vetting of a prospective Christian’s life. The angel will begin with the basics. “Mr. Prospective Christian (PC for brevity) I will need to ask you a few questions.” “Let’s see, how many lies have you told in your lifetime.” PC replies that he is not sure but thinks it must have been only three or four. The angel begins looking for something in a book and finally says, “Mr. PC it is recorded in God’s book that you have lied two million five hundred fifty-six thousand one hundred and two times which includes the one you just told about the number of times you have lied.” “Now let us consider another of God’s commandments, you know the one about not stealing.” The interview is brutal as each of the PC’s violations of the Ten Commandments is considered. The Angel then informs PC that Part II of the investigation will consist of interviews with family members, relatives, friends, neighbors, employers, and all those who have been encountered in their life.
The truth is that God does have a vetting process for those who want to become a part of His royal family. However, God’s vetting process is much briefer than the one described and much simpler. It consists of one question and that question is this, “Do you know my son, Jesus Christ, as your personal Savior?” Jesus makes this truth very clear in John 14:6 where He states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”