Is Your Personal Data Completely Private?

Amir TsarfatiBy Amir Tsarfati12 Minutes

Excerpt taken from The Day Approaching: An Israeli’s Message of Warning and Hope for the Last Days by Amir Tsarfati.

Chapter 14
The Millenium — More Than a Long Time-Out

The Great Data Collector

We all like our privacy. None of us want Big Brother looking over our shoulders or intervening in our lives. We cringe when we hear about Facebook and Google accumulating and storing personal information about us, and we feel betrayed when we learn that they’ve sold the details of our lives to data collectors and marketers. Sometimes it seems that if we even think about wanting to buy a new watch, there are suddenly advertisements for watches on every web page we open.

As good as Facebook and Google are at gathering specifics about us, there is One who is better. Our God is the great Data Collector. He can scrape up every scrap of information about who we are and what we do, and file all of it in the bottomless depths of His omniscient internal storage. His knowledge about us doesn’t simply extend to who we are or what we’ve done. It also includes everything that we are ever going to do or think. How many times in the Gospels did Jesus sit with a group of people, and, knowing their thoughts ahead of time, answer their questions even before they asked them?

If we were to open the file cabinets of God’s unlimited mind, what knowledge about us might we find there? Let’s create a sample list:

The Works of All People

“I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:12). God has seen every action of every person throughout all time, and He has written them in his books. There will come a day when those books will be opened and read before all mankind.

The Names of All Christians

“Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). If everyone whose name is not in the Book of Life is condemned, then to whom do the names belong which are written in the Book of Life? These are those who are not condemned — those who have given their lives to Christ and have committed to following Him day by day.

The Number and Names of All the Stars

“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name” (Psalm 147:4). Okay, maybe this one isn’t directly about humanity, but it’s still pretty amazing. Have you ever been away from the city lights and looked up into the heavens? The view that we have with just our naked eyes is astounding. When we realize that we are glimpsing only a tiny fraction of the universe, we are reminded of just how huge our God is. Why would God take the time to learn the names of all the stars?

Actually, He didn’t. He already knew them because He made them. He named each one as He created it and placed it in its perfect place-“You’ll be Bob Star. You’ll be Sally Star. And you — the extra sparkly one — you’ll be Starry McStarster.”

The Hairs on Our Heads

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). Admittedly, some people’s heads are less of a challenge to God than others. It’s amazing that the Lord knows us so well that even a detail this seemingly meaningless is not beyond His care. If God cares so much about the little things, imagine His passion for the big things.

All Our Tears

“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8). If you ever feel alone when you are crying, know that you are not. In those heartbroken times of grief and sorrow, the Lord is there feeling every tear you cry. He knows every reason that you weep.

The Physical Features of Every Person

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:16). At the moment of conception, God knew what you would look like. Even before He watched that first cell division, then the next split, then the next and the next-God had seen your face and took joy in the beauty of His creation.

Every Spoken Word

“I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). Remember when you said such-and-such to that person? So does God. From the shouted insults to the curses muttered under your breath, God hears them all and will hold us to account. He also hears and loves every whispered prayer and exclamation of praise — sounds that please His ears and bring joy to His heart.

Every Godly Work

“God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10). When you leave a box of food on the doorstep of a family in need, God sees it. During the late nights spent cleaning the church in preparation for the next day’s services, the Lord is watching. When you are shuffling along because your knees are stiff and tender from hours spent in private prayer, the Spirit has been with you every moment. There is nothing done for the glory of God that He doesn’t see and remember.

Investments Made in God’s Kingdom.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20-21).

I have been in many churches and participated in countless services. There are some churches where I sit down in the front row until I am called up to speak. In others, I have a chair set up for me on the stage. From that vantage point, it’s amazing what I can see — often things that you think nobody sees.

I can spot those of you who are dozing, and I can see your reac­tion when your wife elbows you awake. I can usually tell the differ­ence between someone looking up a Bible passage on their phone and someone checking their Facebook page while trying to make it seem as if they are looking up a Bible passage. I can also see those who, during the offering, are looking around wanting to make sure that everyone sees what they are putting into the plate. Then there are those who covertly slip something into the offering, hoping that nobody notices what they are doing. That second way is how we should give. Fold your check before you slip it into the plate. Wrap your $20 bill inside a $1 bill. God knows what we give — there’s no reason anyone else ever should. We are laying up treasures in heaven, not accolades on earth.

Those Who Fear God

“Those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name” (Malachi 3:16). Those who worship the LORD and desire to know Him are recognized and heard by Him. He also ensures that their names are listed in His book of remembrance.

This brings us back to the books in Revelation 20:11-15. These books are filled with names and information. The first volume keeps track of all people over all time everywhere. Every person who has ever been born has been listed in this book. The second is the Book of Life. This is the list of all those who are destined to spend eternity with God.

In a sense, both books are books of life — one includes everyone who has ever been alive, and one lists everyone who will enter eternity. The former is the lesser of the books, and the latter is the greater. Like the feasts, there is the shadow, and there is the substance.

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