One of the most important distinguishing characteristics of any person is his name. Most people would prefer that their names be used in a good context. No one likes to hear others use his name in any kind of a bad light. If you feel good about yourself you also expect others to feel the same way. And when you possibly hear some negative gossip about yourself, it hurts.
Your name serves to draw a mental picture for others. When your name is mentioned, others relate to it either for good or bad; for in a sense, your name helps serve as a description of you. And for that reason, we do all we can to see that our name is used with respect.
But are we as considerate when it comes to our regard of the use of God’s names. We expect our own friends and families to use our names with respect and fairness, but do we give God the same consideration?
There really is no question or doubt in any of our minds, is there; that we are guilty of abusing or blaspheming God’s name? Blasphemy is the hatred of God which is based upon open rebellion toward or a disregard of God’s existence, or impatience with His laws. It is the degrading of His nature or holiness by word or deed.
It is my firm belief that the world is now being prepared for the eventual emergence of the Anti-christ, who will lead a world-wide program of deception and rebellion against God, and ultimately against us as the Church. Anti-christ is the means by and through whom Satan will make his great and final attempt to seize control of this world and set himself up as lord and ruler.
Any way in which Satan can put forward rebellion against God is of value to him. It could possibly be the counter-attraction of pleasure, or the encouragement of materialism, or the added momentum to man’s sinfulness. All of these will do, just as long as God is defamed or ignored.
Blasphemy with its godlessness will also have a part in the preparation of this world for the kingdom of anti-christ.
We believe, as Christian young people, that it is a very serious matter to use God’s name in a sinful way. God is, after all, a holy God and therefore all of His names are holy. And that demands that we always use His names with fear and reverence on our lips.
It is also our responsibility to uphold God’s name. That means that we must hold ourselves back from the temptation of swearing or cursing. And besides that, we should never become part of these sins in others by keeping silent when blasphemy occurs.
There is no sin more provoking to God than the profaning of His name. In the book of Leviticus (chapter 24: 16) we read that God demanded death for any who dared blaspheme His name. God has not changed His law. We hear it read to us from Sunday to Sunday. But, is the keeping of God’s third commandment that important to us?
We must also bear in mind that the natural man, apart from the saving power of Jesus Christ, is by his very nature a profane person. All of his actions are constantly in rebellion toward God and His law.
For this reason blasphemy in the world is regarded as a very general thing, certainly not something to be taken seriously. Man by his very nature is continually seeking to destroy the difference between that which is Holy and that which is common. Man cannot stand to be reminded that he is in violation of God’s law, and it is for that very reason that as believers we can expect more persecution from the world because we stand directly opposite man’s hatred for God’s holiness.
We should be aware that the world is in gross violation of God’s third commandment. But we must not lose sight of the fact that far too often we are also guilty when it comes to keeping this important law of God.
For an example, we are often guilty of the thoughtless use of the name of God. Far too often our hearts are not filled with what should be fear and reverence when we pray to God. We use His name in a far too casual manner. This is often evident when we speak of God in our daily conversation, in Bible discussion during society, and even in our preaching.
We are also guilty of blaspheming God’s name when we refuse to use it. The power of God is seen throughout all of our lives, as well as throughout all of creation. To deny that there is a creator of this world is to insult God. and as such, is a serious sin.
And then there is the obvious sin of actual cursing and swearing; for whatever reason, whether out of anger or frustration, or perhaps swearing makes us feel like a part of the group we desire to be identified with. We could also feel that to swear once in a while shows a certain amount of maturity and worldliness, something that as young people we often feel tempted to express.
It is such an easy sin to fall into. Our hearts soon become hardened to it, so that we really don’t hear it anymore. But let us not forget the last part of the third commandment which says, “for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.”
It is our calling to openly, and that also means publicly, condemn this sin. It should bother us when we let this sin go unheeded in ourselves or in others. It is our calling as believers to let our light shine. But how often don’t we fall short? It is hard to speak out to others when we know that we are as guilty as they are. For we all violate all of God’s laws. But thanks be to God Who gives us grace, so that we can take our sin to the foot of the cross and know that we will find forgiveness.