“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7
This passage was always somewhat of a mystery to me. Why of all of the commandments, “Taking the Lords name in vain” would carry such a harsh penalty. “The Lord will not hold him guiltless” for doing this. Why not “Murder, Adultery, Stealing or Lying? But using God's name as a swear word or cussing like “G-D” ? This had to mean something far more serious than just fowl language. In the previous verses, complete and total commitment, loyalty and obedience to God is emphatically emphasized and then verse 7 sum's it up with this stern warning, “I will not hold him guiltless”. Now the only other sin in scripture that carries such a warning is “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.” Mark 3:28&29 states, Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies where with soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. We understand that “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is attributing the work of God to the devil. Knowing full well that the power of God has done something and saying that it was the devil that did it. The Pharisees, when they witnessed Jesus healing and casting out devils, they said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”Matthew 12:24. Knowing that it was the power of God, but to defend their position, they said it was the devil that did the works. To speak against the Holy Spirit will NOT be forgiven. Matthew 12:32. Now to “Take His Name”, is to enter into a Covenant or Contract with him. When we commit our lives to God, repent of our sins and surrender to him as the Lord of our lives, we essentially “TAKE HIS NAME.” But then if we walk away and go astray from our commitment to him and go back to a sinful life style, it's like being unfaithful in a marriage. Just like a woman who “Takes her husbands name” and then go's back to living as if she were single and committing adultery, she essentially voids her vows and her marriage contract. She has taken his name “IN VAIN”. We are referred to in the New Testament as the “Bride of Christ”and just like a person who is married, we still have a free will to walk out and violate our commitment to God. So then it appears that “Taking the Lords name” is committng our life and entering into a covenant or contract with him.
We have an example of “Taking the Lords name” in Genesis 17:4&5 and 15.
“GOD” by the way, is NOT his name, it is his title. In the old testament God was known as “YHWH”, the unpronounceable name of God. When Abram and Sarai came into a covenant relationship with God, they took the “H” from WHWH and it was placed it in their names changing Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. “For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” Exodus 20:7 So what about “Unconditional Eternal Security”?
Scripture definitely states that we can be “Eternally Secure”but “Unconditionally? Let's take an honest look at what “The whole council of God” reveals and not just a preconceived theology.
“And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, my father which gave them me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand.” John 10:28&29
Notice it say's “No man”, it doesn't say that God couldn't.
No man may be able to take a Butterfly out of the hand of a world champion body builder but that Butterfly can of it's own free will fly away.
But what about Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”.
Also Deuteronomy 31:6,7&8 says, “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee: he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Isreal, Be strong and of good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers
to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee: neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
nThis promise is absolutley true for only those his servants who obey and honor Him.
Ezekiel 18:21 thru 24 and 26 thru 28 states,
“But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die, All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.”
[We can all say AMEN!] But then verse 24 states, “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? [ According to some teaching's YES, but not according to scripture.]
Ezekial verse 24 continues and say's, “All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his tresspass that he hath tresspassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
Again verses 26 and 27 say's “When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
It appears that the “door” swings both way's. Just as we can repent of our sins, we can also repent of our righteousness. We can choose LIFE and we can choose Death. It's just that simple.
Some might say, “Yes but that's Old Testament, isn't it different for us today? That is a valid question.
Let's see. Hebrews 2:1-3 states, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at anytime we should let them slip=(Drift away). For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward: How shall WE escape, if WE neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heared him? “ Notice the author is speaking to believers here not to sinners. We can “Neglect” our Salvation and “take it in vain”.
Hebrews 10: 26-31 “For if WE sin willfully after that WE have RECEIVED the knowledgeof the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God,and hath counted the blood of the covenant, where with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeace belongeth unto me, I will recompence, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge HIS people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” [Again, he is speaking to believers here.]
Hebrews 10:38 and 39 goes on to remind us. “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man DRAW BACK, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;-(Destruction) but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. [We can “Draw back unto perdition”]
Hebrews 3:7-14 states, “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, and harden not your hearts as in the day of provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years wherefore I was grieved with that generation and said They do always err in their heart and they have not known my ways, so I swear in my wrath They shall not enter into my rest. TAKE HEED,Brethren, lest there be in any of YOU an evil heart of unbelief, in DEPARTING from the living God.” [We can “Depart from God.]
St. John 15:5&6 “ I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abitheth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”. [ It appears here that the branch that WAS abiding in the vine=Jesus, was then later NOT abiding in Him and was cast into the fire. The branches here in this context are speaking of those abiding in Jesus. “I
am the vine and YE are the branches”. He obviously is not referring here to branches of some “Other Vine” but the branches that were abiding in Him.
Another important point that Peter brings out, 2 Peter 1:10 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these, ye shall never fall.
[Why would Peter make such a statement if it were impossible to fall, if we are “Unconditionally Eternally Secure”?] 2 Peter 2:20-22 makes it about as plain as it can be. “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the Holy Commandment delivered unto them , but it happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
Peter here in these passages indicate individuals who have ESCAPED the pollutions of this world through the knowledgeof the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is not someone who merely heard the Gospel of salvation but had received salvation. “They had escaped=pass tense. And they were Entangled AGAIN, not remained entangled. They have KNOWN the way of righteousness not just heard about it.
“For it had been better for them NOT to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it,” Luke 12:47&48 say's, “And that servant, which KNEW his lords will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” [ Someone who is mature and knows better is obviously more liable and accountable than one who is immature and less knowledgable. This also gives indication that there are levels of punishment as well as there are levels of reward.]
“Turn from the Holy Commandment”. How did Jesus answer the lawer when asked, “What is the great commandment in the law?” He said, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus summed up the whole law in these and we can TURN from them if we choose. “The dog is turned to his own vomit AGAIN; and the sow that WAS washed to her walowing in the mire”. These are graphic examples of what it is to return to a life of sin and iniquity.
2 Peter3: 14 “Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless. :17 “Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led astray with the error of the wicked, FALL from your own stedfastness.[ These are obious warnings to us that we can TURN from God, we can be LED ASTRAY, and we can FALL.]
Colossians 1:20-23 states, “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And YOU, that were sometime alianated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death,to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight. IF ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heared, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; wherefore I Paul am a minister.
This passage indicates that we who are #1 Reconciled #2 Made holy #3 Unblameable #4 Unreprovable, MUST CONTINUE in the faith and BE NOT MOVED AWAY.
Why would Paul instruct us to continue and be not moved away if it were not possible?
A couple of the most dramatic examples of this is found in 2 Chronicles verses 15:2 and 24:20 “And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is
with you, while ye be with Him; and IF ye seek Him , He will be found of you: BUT IF ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.” [ And in 2 Chronicles 24:20 it say's] “And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoida the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them,Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? Because ye have forsaken the Lord, He hath also forsaken you.”
New Testament-Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.
[Why would Jesus admonish us to Overcome so that He would not blot out our name in the Book of Life it it were not a possible?]
In the earnest prayer of repentance from “The man after Gods own heart” David, he said “ Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” [It appears here that David was aware of the possibility that this could happen.]
In the Parable of the lost son in Luke 15: 24 The Father said of his son, “For this my son WAS dead, and is ALIVE AGAIN; he WAS lost, and is FOUND”. Remember, he started out at home ALIVE and present.
In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:18-23 We see that each time, the seed was RECEIVED and three out of the four grew for a while but only one out of the four soils bore and produced fruit but because of Tribulation or Persecution, Care of this world or the deceitfulness of Riches, the others did not. Matthew 24:12&13 states, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
[ It is clear here that because of Sin and Iniquity, our love and devotion to the Lord can grow cold and clearly warns us that only those who endure unto the end will be saved, that means to CONTINUE in the faith, because of the possibility of not making it.] Romans 11:22 puts it quite bluntly, “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.” [It couldn't be more clearer than that.]
Romans 11:18-24 States:
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 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. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. [“Because of unbelief they were broken off”. Remember to believe is not just “Mental assent” but to be “Committed to”. To believe in Jesus is more than just Mental Assent to the fact of his existance, remember, James 2:19 reminds us,”Thou BELIEVEST that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also BELIEVE, and tremble.” The devils also believe but they are NOT SAVED. The opposite to Being Committed is to Not be Committed. Therefore they were once committed and then later, not committed, thats why they were cut off. You can't cut something OFF it it were not ON in the first place. The good news is “If they adide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in AGAIN! It go's BOTH way's]
REMEMBER= “For if God spared not the natural branches, TAKE HEED lest He also spare not thee.”
And finally, Revelation 2:4 Jesus speaking-”Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art FALLIN,and REPENT, and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quikly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
#1 Leave our first love.
#2 we can fall.
#3 we can be removed.
#4 we must repent.
We CAN be ETERNALLY SECURE if we want to, it's up to us.