Good morning to those of you who are really serving the Lord out of a pure heart. For “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity.” Psalm 24:3-4 The wording of this verse makes it very personal and individualistic. (we give our own souls over to vanity and worthlessness). And Matthew 5:8 brings out that only the pure in heart shall see God. 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” The word pure means no mixture. I find it interesting that this Greek word is used 27 times in the New Testament (once for every book of the New Testament).
Contrary to popular belief, the Word tells us whom God the Father loves: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him.” And it says in His Word that those who practice wickedness and enjoy sin…HE HATES. That’s hard to believe that God hates certain ones. Many times in the Bible it states that God hates people. Just to list a few for you here…please see Psalm 5:5, Psalm 11:5, Lev. 20:23, Prov. 6:16-19, Hosea 9:15…and God is angry every single day with those who sin. Psalm 7:11.
Back to our opening verse…Who is the “him” listed here? The one who loves Christ. And how do we know from this verse that he loves Christ? Because “he will keep My Word.” When it says in Acts 10:34 “that God is no respecter of persons.” This is talking about the gospel being for all men in all nations. Please see the context in which Peter says it. But God is no respecter of persons when His Word is obeyed, and faith is used, and His conditions are met. Not one single place in the New Testament does it say that God is not partial. I have news for you today, He is very partial. Proverbs 8 says that He will love those who love Him. He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. He gives wisdom to those who ask Him, For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him, etc., etc., etc.
God is a partial God in every sense of the word. The New Testament is very conditional. As a matter of fact, I have already began extensive notes on a New Testament entitled The Conditional New Testament in which we will show beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are conditions that must be met FIRST by us before God will do certain things; and that also there are many things withheld from us, because we do not meet the conditions of it (to receive it). Kenneth Hagin taught along these lines when I was much younger…but I just couldn’t grasp the concept. I encourage you to read the New Testament with this view in mind…each time you see the word “if” – “therefore” – “wherefore” – “for” read it very carefully and you will begin to see a condition attached to it. Example (and a powerful one that most just overlook): “Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, If thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off .” So we can see from this one conditional text alone that one can be cut off if he does not continue in His goodness. The word “if” is the biggest little word in the whole Bible!!
The very first definition of the word “if” (taken from the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of the English Language) is: On the supposition or condition that…” Jesus began His ministry with conditions in His Sermon on the Mount by stating, “For IF you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But IF you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Which if you follow His line of thinking through to its logical conclusion, you will understand that if the Father does not forgive you of your trespasses, then you cannot enter into heaven. And His condition to you for forgiving you of your trespasses is that you forgive others. Only forgiven people are allowed in.
Or how about Colossians 1:22-23 “In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: (do you want to be presented to the Father “holy” without blame, and not having to be reproved?) IF you continue in the faith grounded and settled…” And one more (out of a few hundred pointed ones like this) “IF we endure, we shall also reign with Him. IF we deny Him, He also will deny us.” 2 Timothy 2:12. This has nothing to do with verbal denial as in Matthew 26:34, but this has everything to do with denying Him by your living. For the Word teaches us in Titus 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works (the living out of their profession…”work out your own salvation with fear and trembling“) they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” I would encourage you to go to Titus 1 and read just WHO Paul is speaking about…and you might just be surprised!!!
Friday morning while in prayer, something happened. I noticed a handout on the back table, and I picked it up and read it, and this is what it said (taken from Portraits of God, A Biblical Theology of Holiness by Allan Coppedge), “God warned Israel about profaning His Name by taking it in vain (Exodus 20:7). The taking of the Name of the Lord in vain had to do with claiming the Holiness of His character (claiming to be one of His children—a Christian) while not reflecting the character of a holy people. Ezekiel declared God’s judgment on Israel because they took his ‘holy Name in vain and profaned it among the nations.’ When they did this, God said it became His concern to ‘vindicate the holiness of My great Name‘ (Ezekiel 36:20-23).” In really thinking about this quote on Friday morning, I began to see some powerful truths concerning it.
The third commandment does not say, “Thou shall not speak the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.” It says, “Thou shall not TAKE the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Now just think about it for a moment…the Israelites would not speak of His Name in a cursing way; because it carried the death penalty (Leviticus 24;15-16). Taking the Lord’s Name and using the Lord’s Name to curse are two totally different things. I personally think that taking the Lord’s Name means exactly what it implies. If you call yourself a Christian…and you’re living an unholy life, and you are taking His Name wherever you go, then you are bringing a reproach on the gospel, (and I would encourage you to read my articles entitled: The Oldest False Doctrine in the Bible, and also, The Truth about Backsliders) but more importantly you are bringing a reproach upon His great Name.
Because to call yourself a “CHRISTian” and then live however you want shows the heathen that your God can do nothing. They get a false concept of who God is by your behavior and your speech and your worldliness. Even in the earth, a man is known, loved, and appreciated (and even esteemed) by his good Name. Show me a man who has a good reputation in a town, and I’ll show you an honest man. God is sick and tired of His great Name being taken in vain by so-called “christians” who take His Name into the workplace, into the school, and a countless number of other places, and blaspheme His holy Name by their immoral lifestyles, speech, and worldliness. Bottom line: if you live a nominal christian life with no conviction, no morals, and if someone looks at you and sees no difference between you and himself…then you are taking the Name of the Lord thy God in vain…and the Bible says that the Lord will not hold him guiltless who does this (Ex. 20:7). Folks, it has nothing to do with using a curse word (this is dealt with in Lev. 24:15-16). IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH TAKING HIS NAME WHEREVER YOU GO, AND PEOPLE CAN’T SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR GOD AND THEIR god (satan)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have blasphemed His worthy Name and caused potential converts to have second thoughts about coming to, and serving, our God. I would go so far as to say that you are probably NOT a Christian. Because the Bible says, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ (calls himself a Christian) depart from iniquity.”
If you are not departing from iniquity, then you shouldn’t call yourself a Christian. Call yourself what you really are…a Hypocrite. And the only group of people that Jesus ever turned away were the hypocrites. Because please notice something in 2 Thess. 1:8-9, “rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” Please notice the second group of people mentioned in v.8. They had the gospel, they called themselves “Christians” but they chose to not obey the Word and chose to live in sin and self. See their end in v.9. The same end as the ones who “know not God” in v.8. Two groups of people mentioned in this section of scripture: the unbeliever (“them that know not God“) and the professing Christian (“them that obey not the gospel”).
Folks, we have got to become very serious about Christ, His life, His teachings, His sufferings, and His death. Too many live as if it were all just a fairy tale to them. This is very serious business; and this is why He said that only a few would even make it. He even said that many were on the right road, even at the very gate itself and they would not be able to enter in (Luke 13:24). Even Paul the apostle wasn’t sure at one time if he’d even make it. Listen to what he says, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:11). Again in another place it is written, “but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.” We treat Christ and His sufferings too lightly, we are too flippant with His life and His death. Many have lost (if they ever had it) their reverence and fear of a holy, righteous, and moral God who will one day soon judge all. If we really believed what He said...IF WE REALLY BELIEVED IT…then it would affect every area of our speech, our living, our thinking. No area would be untouched. I’m very passionate today about this Christ!! I have seen the truth, and the Truth has confronted me on the shore of my own heart.