Pat Franklin writes: Do you know what the Ten Commandments really say?
I was educated in Catholic schools in the USA up to the age of 18 and I did not know them all. One had been carefully hidden from us. When I finally read the Commandments in a Bible at the age of 36, it was a eye-opening experience.
Here they are, the Commandments written by the hand of God and recorded in Exodus Chap 20 and Deut Chap 5. 1 Thou shall have no other gods before Me. 2 (Not in the Catholic Ten Commandments) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity (evil) of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
(In other words, do not make anything at all - statues, pictures, medals, amulets etc - and pray to them or put your trust in the dead people and things they represent and do not venerate man made objects of any sort in any way – it is idolatry! In all my years of Catholic education I never saw, read or heard this commandment. It was completely hidden from us. Every Catholic breaks this commandment and ignorance is no excuse when there are BIbles in every bookshop.) 3 Thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain.
(How many so-called Christians that you know constantly use the word ‘God’ as an expletive in their conversation? - I hear it all the time from people who think they are Christians.) 4 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labour and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it you shall not do any work…for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
(What a great, compassionate heart our Father has to give everybody on earth a day off once a week!) 5 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 6 Thou shall not kill (murder). 7 Thou shall not commit adultery. 8 Thou shall not steal. 9 Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 10 (This one is split into two in the Catholic Ten Commandments - that is how they get ten) Thou shall not covet they neighbour’s house, thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Have you faithfully kept the Commandments? I did not. They were too high and too hard and I was not good enough. Jesus tells us that they are even tougher than first appears – if you even entertain evil thoughts, it is as bad as doing them in God’s eyes. Then the epistle of James (Jesus’ brother) tells us that if you break even one Commandment, in God’s eyes you have broken all ten. So that leaves every one of us on planet earth in deep trouble, because God’s laws are holy, and no one can keep them!
The Commandments are the yardstick and every single one of us is guilty. There is a man of my acquaintance – call him ‘Tom’ - who said that at one time he was in distress thinking about the state of his life. He went into a bookstore and asked for a copy of the Ten Commandments. They didn’t have a copy, but told him there was a “Jesus freak” who often stood at a certain spot handing out literature and he might have a copy. ‘Tom’ found the man and asked for a copy of the Commandments. The man told him: “No one can keep the Commandments.
No one but the Lord Jesus has ever kept them perfectly. What you need is to pray. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone can save you. Go home and pray. Tell Jesus you believe in Him, confess your sins to Him then and there and ask Him to forgive you.” ‘Tom’ immediately went home and did just that. He told me: ‘It felt like a heavy iron anvil was lifted off my shoulders.’ He knew his sins were gone. He felt so relieved and so glad to have his sins forgiven that he began telling all his relatives that Jesus had forgiven him and he was now a new man, a Christian. They were less than delighted and did not want to hear of his new found faith.
Despite many troubles, ‘Tom’ is still a firm believer and knows exactly where he is going and Who he will meet when he dies. In fact he is looking forward to it! You too can know the joy of being forgiven, dear reader. Today can be the day of your salvation. This very day your name could be written down in heaven. You too can do as Tom did. You might not feel anything. I didn’t, the night I prayed that same prayer. Our salvation does not depend on our feelings, but on what Jesus accomplished at the cross. His promises are still true and apply to you, even if you have broken every single commandment scores of times.
Jesus said: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) You have to grasp hold of that promise by making up your mind to believe in Jesus now. Throw in your lot with Him – your eternal destiny is in the balance. If you do nothing, the promise of salvation will not apply to you. Your ‘good deeds’ will not save you. The Bible says they are like filthy rags in God’s eyes. Please do not let stupid pride rob you of the eternal inheritance which could be yours. . Feel free to email with any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org