7(I) ”You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20:7, ESV)
Most people think this verse merely deals with cursing and using one of the names of God in the curse or swearing. Undoubtedly that demonstrates a vain use of God’s name, but God means something far deeper here. Jesus must have had this commandment in mind when he proclaimed,
21(Z) “Not everyone who(AA) says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will(AB) enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who(AC) does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22(AD)On that day(AE) many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not(AF) prophesy in your name, and cast out demons(AG) in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23(AH) And then will I declare to them, ‘I(AI) never knew you;(AJ) depart from me,(AK) you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
Jesus speaks to believers in this passage. These people believed they walked the earth doing might works in Jesus’ name. They traveled to Africa and Mexico from America and cast out demons, they thought, in Jesus’ name. They attended charismatic churches, home groups, and Christian camps and there they prophesied, they thought, in Jesus’ name. They spoke in tongues, saw and did miracles, and all the while thought they were doing these things in Jesus’ name. And Jesus, sitting at the right hand of his Father in heaven, saw all that they did, heard all that they taught, and knew all that they thought. When they came before him to accept their reward for their great and selfless works upon the earth Jesus declared to them, “I(AI) never knew you;(AJ) depart from me,(AK) you workers of lawlessness.”
Three things he tells them. First, “I never knew you.” In Biblical terms “to know” someone means “to know one intimately.” In the Old Testament the word was often used to refer to knowing one’s wife sexually. Today many of the churches I described in the recent teaching on the Church of Thyatira believe they dwell on intimate terms with Jesus. They often talk of “passion for Christ.” Their women often sing seductively about their feelings for Christ. But, these illustrate Jezebel’s teachings which lead the Church of Thyatira into the sexual immorality for which Jesus judges her.
Other churches now teach that Jesus was or may have been homosexual. These actively ordain homosexuals to church ministry. Other churches may not yet teach or consider that Jesus was homosexual, but nevertheless, they still ordain homosexuals to the ministry. I urge everyone to read the following link written by an active lesbian “Christian,” Katherine Ragsdale, to gain some understanding of just how far these ideas have gone. Katherine Ragsdale link here.
All of these churches believe they “know” Jesus, but they know him the wrong way. They do not know him according to his truth. All of these replaced his truth with their own truth, their own food. All of them had their secret agendas, like worldly power or prestige, and secret sins, like abortion, adultery or homosexual fornication, which kept them from acknowledging truth. Because they refused to repent these sins and the animating demons behind them became their idols. Thus they ended up sacrificing truth (food) to their idols (demons and demonic sin). Sacrificing food to idols is the second grave sin of Jezebel and her Thyatiran church.
Second, to these whom Jesus never knew, he says, “Depart from me!” Where are they to go? They thought they believed in Jesus and that he would save them. Where do they go now? These are they who “have their part” in the lake of fire. The lake of fire is not hell and it will not contain for eternity. This is the place where they will be cast into outer darkness until they learn to repent and obey Christ in truth. Jesus says,
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,[b] “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done![c] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[d] and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[e] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:5-8, NKJV)
Third, Jesus condemns them as “workers of lawlessness.” If they had known him, then they would have known his truth, his law. But they rejected his law as too harsh. They rejected his law and replaced it with “grace.” But Jesus did not abandon law and truth in order to bring us grace. His way is the way of mercy (grace, righteousness) and truth (law, justice). It is a narrow way and few there be who find it.
Lawless people can never and will never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Hear what the LORD says at the very end of his book.
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments,[g] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But[h] outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)
So what does it mean to “take the name of the LORD in vain?” It means that if we do anything in his name, if we do anything as a Christian or as part of a Christian ministry, and do it in a lawless way, or in a way not in accordance with this truth, then we have used the name of the LORD in vain. Being and acting as a Christian is a serious thing. The way is narrow. We cannot just do what we want to and call it Christian. Yet the vast majority of Christianity take the name of the LORD in vain. We establish countless church programs, ministries, and missionary trips. And we fool ourselves and try to fool others into thinking that these are all good Christian works. When we use the word “Christian” to describe our works and yet Jesus has not called us to these works, nor did they arise from our relationship with and knowledge of him, then we have used his name in vain. And, of course, when we call evil good and good evil (like abortion and homosexual relationships) within a Christian context we have used the LORD’s name in vain. So much of the Church has done this that it has become an abomination in Christ’s eyes. She has become the Abomination of Desolation.