Columnist Bob Green of the Chicago Tribune has a theory about what's wrong with the world. He blames it on what he calls the "Death of The Permanent Record." He recalls that grade school children once lived in fear of having their bad behavior noted on The Permanent Record. Because of this people learned in their youth to stop before they did something deceitful or unethical. They didn't stop because they were so good but for fear of having their actions written down.

Today, according to Bob Green, people have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a permanent record. In fact, they believe no one has a right to keep track. Green says that with today's emphasis on our rights to privacy, if a school child were ever threatened with something going on his permanent record, he would probably file suit under the Freedom of Information Act and gain possession of his files before recess.

Behind Green's humor is an excellent point: Where there is no fear of a lasting record, people tend to do what they think they can get away with. The problem for mankind, however, is that a permanent record does exist - and it is kept by God. Revelation 20 declares that one day "books" will be opened.