Saturday, January 26, 2008

God will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain

Have you ever noticed that people who claim to have no animosity towards the Living God use His name in a flippant manner.

Blasphemy has been long overlooked as an excellent proof for the truth of Christianity.

The world around, you can find people who find weird and imaginative ways to curse God. My friend Taketo is Japanese and speaks very little English. He was speaking to a friend in fluent Japanese and I was simply listening with interest, when I heard a derivative of, "Christ" in the middle of his conversation. Taketo, a Buddhist, chose to blaspheme the God of the Universe instead of the god of his culture.

If you ask a secular person for an example of Blasphemy, you'll usually hear "Goddammit", and this is certainly one of the worst. But it is not the only. "Jesus Christ" used without reverence is another example, but so are the ones most people don't think of. "Geez" is blasphemy, without any effort whatsoever you can see that its etymology derives from "Jeezus". Other examples are simply the acronym OMG or the phrase, "Oh my Word" (John 1:1), and especially "Oh my Gosh". If Gosh is not a derivative of God, then I ask you what Heck is a derivative of?

"Man" can be blasphemous of "Son of Man" and similarly "Man Alive" is blaspheming the same name of God. "Word up" was popular a few years ago, and you should now see the blasphemous reason it caught on. Similarly, “Good Lord”, “Oh my Goodness”, and “Goodness Gracious” are all blasphemous.

Perhaps the worst one is "Son of a B..." and other “Son of a” phrases. These are certainly not accidents in language, but cursing Christ through His mother and Father. You are also implying a less than ideal name for Jesus Christ through lineage.

I'm certain I haven't given you even a taste of the curse words that have been invented to curse the Living God, but you see the point.

But why does it matter? The Bible says that God's name is the only name blessed forever. When you curse it, you are declaring your hatred for God by trying to drag His name into the mud. Notice that no-one ever yells out, "Siddhartha Buddha" when they hit their thumb with a hammer, or says, "Allah dammit." The reason is because these names are already cursed. But not the names’ of God, of these Jesus Christ is the name above every name.

Be assured that you don’t need to speak in order to blaspheme God’s name. You are created in the image of Him and of His name. In this you reflect Him and the world can see Him in you. In a perfect world, this would be a wonderful honor, but unfortunately it is also an opportunity for blasphemy.

When you tell a lie, then you tell the world that God is a liar. When you steal, the world doesn't just see you, but an image of God, and determines that He must be a thief. When you speak idle words, you tell the world that God's Word is not eternally important and omniscient. Out of the mouth the heart professes, when you speak curse words you tell the world that God's heart is not infinitely pure. When you look at someone that is not your spouse with lust, you commit adultery in your heart, and you tell the world that the covenant God has made with His bride, the church, is not binding and is not trustworthy.

Another form of blasphemy is when you raise other religions to the level of God, by doing this, you insult His sovereignty, justice, and mercy. Holy Cow is derived from Hinduism and the debacle of the Israelites at the base of Mount Sinai. When you say that the God of Christianity is the same god as Islam, you insinuate that the Living God is unjust, bribable, inhuman, and unloving. When you fixate on one attribute of God, you present an imperfect view of Him. God is Love, but He is also the Righteous Judge, who is Angry with the wicked everyday, a Consuming Fire, a Strong Refuge, an Everlasting Rock, Holy, Mighty, Merciful, Gracious, and the God of Salvation who by no means will clear the guilty.

God will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

Even in the hundreds, if not thousands, of times you have blasphemed God's name, He still loved you and gave Himself for you. Jesus Christ, God the Son, came to this earth, born of a virgin, lived a perfect sinless life, offered Himself up to be crucified on the charge of claiming to be God, died in your place, and on the third day defeated death and rose from the grave. If you'll repent of all your wicked ways, especially your habit of substituting His precious name in place of your filth words, and place your trust in Him, He will save you based on His atoning payment on the cross and forgive you in spite of your hatred of Him. Once you have done this, He will replace your heart with a heart that thirsts for righteousness and loves Him.

Finally, if you hear this message and decide that this offer is not reasonable, that you’d rather hang onto your blasphemy and sundry sins than submit to God, whose name is Righteous, then you commit the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and this sin will not be forgiven. Today is the day of salvation, call out to God in repentance and faith, and all of your sins will be forgiven of you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Millennial Reign

While eschatology is important, it is nothing to consume you. It could be argued that by getting you to climb this mountain of prophecy, the devil has effectively removed you from the ranks of able-bodied preachers, in order to do his will.

Jesus spoke of feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, befriending the stranger, and visiting the imprisoned. All of these have an esoteric and exoteric meaning, but none has anything to do with end-times theology.

Stephen was stoned knowing nothing of eschatology, James knew only what Christ had told him, the thief on the cross knew only the Gospel, and the Ethiopian Eunich ran off to Africa without a copy of the Books of Revelation, Matthew, or Thessalonians. Each of these men is safely held in the hand of God without the faintest idea of Christ's return.

Revelation contains valuable ministerial information, Dr. John MacArthur calls 2 Thessalonians a Pastoral Epistle instead of an Eschatological Epistle, and all scripture is valuable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. The value of eschatology is not in a proper understanding of the Gospel or a litmus test for salvation, but a promise and expectation that this present evil age will not last forever. Dr. William Varner states masterfully that prophecy is not given to form a calendar, but to form a character; a character of prayerfulness, watchfulness, honesty, and holiness.

Instead of arguing on which way the Millennial Reign will pan out, it is best to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, then go forth and preach the Gospel to all creation.

Christ is not preparing to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, you figured out a difficult riddle at the expense of the hungry, thirsty, naked, lonely, and imprisoned."

The servant will be lauded for being good and faithful in delivering the Bread of Life, Living Water, Righteousness, Friendship, and Liberty to the lost and snatching them, in mercy, out of the fire.

Please consider this: eschatology is a fascinating subject, but its bearing on salvation is non-existent, and letting it consume you gives a temporary victory to satan in consuming the efforts of a valuable minister of Christ.

The Seven Deadly Sins?

In Response to On-Faith's question, "Which of the Seven Deadly Sins is most prevalent and harmful in our society today?"
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This question is one based on misunderstanding, pride, and making a mountain into a mole-hill. In Christianity there is, as Cal Thomas put so masterfully, no gradiation of sin. In the works-based cult of Catholicism is there an idea that you can go to Hell any quicker by breaking certain laws. This cult is only Christian in the liberalist of definitions, a definition which has nothing to do with being a follower of Christ.

This ridiculousness of the idea of seven deadly sins is made manifest when you actually read the Bible for what it says.

All liars will have their place in the Lake of Fire. It doesn't imply that prideful liars are condemned and humble liars are not.

The idolater has no inheritence the kingdom of Christ and of God. There is no room to squeeze, "The gluttonous idolater is doomed while the sumptuous idolater is not." There is plenty of room to say that someone who lusts after money is an idolater and anyone who makes up a God which suites them is equally so as someone worshipping a golden Buddha.

Rest assured, each of the Catholic sins are deadly in Christianity, but trying to make them moreso than any other is making an idol which is not entirely Holy in every way.

You've heard it said of old, thou shalt not commit adultery, but Jesus said, whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

You will be judged as harshly if you've lived a life of larceny, or if you've stolen only one thing no matter the value, but you will also be judged on the thoughts and intents of your heart. If you've thought of stealing something, your deceitful mind will damn you.

Considering anger, everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

The sin of blasphemy is as deadly as the sin of murder. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and caused the fall of the Universe, how much more deadly is embracing the culture of fornication, pornography, and mammon-worship?

Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned; but many have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

We have caused the death of not only ourselves, but the rest of God's creation, we deserved to be punished. If a judge did not sentence a murderer, we would call him a bad judge; because God is good, He must punish the murderers, the rapists, the fornicators, the adulterers, the thieves, and the liars.

But because God is love, and He loved us, not that we loved Him, He became the man Jesus Christ and went to the cross in your stead. Our sin and death caused the death of the God of the Universe through His offering, so that we might be absolved in His substitutionary death. Then on the Third Day, He showed His absolute authority over the law of sin and death, and rose from the grave to live forevermore.

For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

He demands everyone everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, not by breaking one of the Catholic Churches Seven Deadly Sins, but by breaking any of God's moral laws.

Pride will keep you from this grace and forgiveness, rest assured that pride comes before destruction and the haughty heart before the fall. Humble yourself before God, and He will lift you up, not because you haven't broken the Seven Deadly Sins, but because you have broken them magnificently and Jesus Christ paid your fine so that you are absolved.