The name of God and why I had to leave the swimming pool - by Pat Franklin

Trying to keep  fit, I went to a pool today, forgetting it is school holidays and the kids are there sharing the space usually occupied by us oldies.  That’s OK, they don’t bother me usually, but today one did.  Just as I got down to the deep end on the first lap, a large girl jumped in and came up loudly saying the name of God – twice!    Does this grate your gears?  It grates God’s gears.  

His Third Commandment says:  “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord  will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”  And yet so many do!  I did!  I am forever grateful that somehow the Lord came into my life and forgave even me.

But in the pool, without even thinking,  I  said to the girl: “Don’t use God’s name.  Don’t use God’s name.  It’s bad.”  And I was so upset that I swam back to the shallow end, got out and came home.

And on the way home ...thinking :  “Why didn’t I say that God’s name is holy?  Maybe she thought I meant His holy name was bad!   And praying that she would start to think about God and start to find out about Him and be saved.

Years ago there was a letter in the local newspaper complaining about school children using bad language.  The headline was:  “Out of the mouths of babes – cursing and abuse!”

The headline  was based on a scripture:  “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants  You have ordained strength  (or in some Bible versions “You have perfected praise”)  A psalm of King David, Psalm 8:2.

But now the kids, even the very young sometimes, far from praising God, repeat what they hear all around them  - God’s holy name used as a mere expletive any time you want to blurt something out.

I read of a true incident once of a traveller using God’s name in vain (disrespectfully) in a pub.  This was a couple of hundred years ago in England and a constable happened to be there.   He arrested the man for blasphemy and put him in the stocks all night.  

Being put in the stocks was no small punishment.  People could do whatever they wanted to you .  Plus the discomfort must have been horrible.  I would  guess that that man (if he survived the night) never again used God’s name in vain.

I wish I never had.  It grieves me now because I love Him and hate the fact that I was such a smug , stupid smart aleck that I thought I could get away with it.  How could He have mercy on a person like me?  I often think that God’s mercy is the greatest thing in His universe.  Without it we are all lost.

Of course few people even know the 10 Commandments today.  They are not welcome in our schools, in our courtrooms, anywhere much.

In Oklahoma several years ago at a Bible conference I noticed a couple at the back with posters of the 10 Commandments.  They had saved up and bought  a pile of them and were giving them out.  How God must love that couple!   They looked poor, but they are rich!  In heaven I would not be surprised to see them shining like stars. 

A family story - my  American grandma was once in her kitchen when one of her sons came in and made the mistake of swearing.  She got him by the scruff of his neck and frogmarched him to the sink and washed his mouth out with soap.  That was in the 1930s and people would all have approved.  Now she might be hauled into court for child abuse! 

This is because we are now living in the end times, when according to the Bible good will be seen as evil and evil good.  Just one of many prophecies  ticking the boxes now and showing us so very clearly that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.    The Lord will soon be coming .

If this sounds crazy to you, it is because you do not know much, if anything, about Bible prophecy.  There is so much teaching on it now, so many good books, so many good teachers on the internet, that really there is no excuse for anyone not knowing.

Dear reader, if you do not know God as your Father and His Son Jesus as your Lord, please stop now and think.  The clock is ticking and you will not forever have the chance of asking the Lord to forgive your sins.

Now is the time.  Today is the day of salvation.  Jesus said that whoever comes to Him,, He will NEVER turn them away.  We all have sinned and fallen short – that is what the Bible explicitly teaches.  We all need forgiveness. 

Jesus did not hang for six hours on the cross for good people!  He died for sinners, sinners like me.  And you. 

I saw a woman on TV who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder.  Yet she protested:  “I’m a good person!”  She wasn’t, and even if she had not committed that crime, she still would not have been, because we live in a fallen world and are all tainted by sin. 

Even the best of people need God’s mercy, every one of us.  Even the virgin Mary praised her Saviour!  Even she, the greatest woman who ever lived, needed a Saviour (Luke 1:47).

 Job was the most perfect man on the earth in his day, thousands of years ago.  His book is possibly the oldest book in the Bible, since he lived in the time of the dinosaurs (see Job chapters 40 and 41).   And before you sneer, consider all the dinosaur bones they are now finding with blood vessels still flexible and some even containing blood.

But even Job, wonderful man that he was, was so broken after he encountered the living God and realized his true state, said:  ‘I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.’ Job 42:6

And the great apostle Paul considered himself the ‘chief of sinners’  (1 Timothy 1:15).

Those holy people of the past had the humility and true perspective to see that they needed mercy and help from God.  They would never have dared to misuse His holy name.

Now God’s name is kicked around like an old piece of junk.  Every movie, every TV show, so many people you hear on the street, so many children. 

If only they knew the danger they are in!  What if they died today unrepentant?  Hell is opening its mouth for all those blaspheming God!  Satan is rejoicing at the low state of our civilisation.  He can’t wait for more people to slip into hell.  He wants us all to end up there in torment (see the rich man in hell in Luke chapter 16).

Please, dear readers, if you do not know God, ask Him right now to help you.  He will forgive any sin you have committed if you sincerely come to faith in Jesus and ask for forgiveness.

Here is a prayer to consider saying:  Oh dear God, if You really exist, please help me to know You!  Please help me know Your holy Son, Jesus.  Please Lord Jesus, forgive all my sins.  Please forgive me for misusing and abusing Your holy name.   Please make me one of Your people.

Note:   If anyone out there can use this article to forward it, print out and hand out, you have my permission.  Please!  Time is short.








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Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (One thousand years means one thousand years, the Millennial reign on earth of the Lord Jesus Christ.)
Revelation 20:6

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