Which World Do We Represent?

Which World Do We Love?

A certain line of reasoning goes: "You have to be realistic living in this world. You can't live with your head in the clouds. At some point you've got to come down to earth. In this world you've got to compromise those high, righteous standards." Does this sound familiar? It's the way the world thinks, and adds insult to any Christian who loves the Lord with all his heart, seeking to follow Him as shown in His Word.
The world calls living a holy life on biblical standards, in our society, "unreasonable". This is the type of excuse used by those who call themselves servants of God, but really love this world. To justify compromise, they add condemnation to those who serve the Lord.
Jesus said that in the last days the love of many would wax cold. Many would become apostate. We see this happening today among those who call themselves Christians. Many might say to themselves, "I know I need to make changes, but I'm not quite ready." A response like this is a sure sign the spirit of repentance has long since fallen asleep and needs to be revived. Jesus said in Revelation what He thought of those who call themselves Christians that aren't burning for Him:  

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.   
Revelation 3:15, 16

Many hear this verse and go "Ho hum, I know I'm not what I should be, but, oh well." That attitude is the lukewarm! The cold becomes openly hostile to any call for fervency to God. Jesus' preference for Christians to become cold, rather than lukewarm, is that at least they don't tell the world they're His representatives, and by their ungodly life blaspheme Him. "Christians" who consider Him little less than a serious hobby, by their lack of fervency to please Him, are a stench in His nostrils. They're the Pharisees and Sadducees of this age. That's why Jesus would consider them only good for vomiting up. The lukewarm who read this and still won't turn, seeking His forgiveness, are truly most pitiable.
Too many calling themselves "Christians" say there's so much evil about, they're no longer shocked or abhor the evil. Dislike and abhor are two different things. A preacher once said, "The greatest security against sin is to be shocked at its presence." Have we grown complacent? Jesus said the love of many would wax cold in the last days because "iniquity would abound".
Being hot for Christ is filled with love for "God is love" and being lukewarm is love grown cold. Continually seeing iniquity tends to remove the shock at sin as the love grows cold, but this doesn't have to be. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. God doesn't give us a commandment he can't enable us to keep. Love isn't just a feeling guided by whim. It can be decided upon. We can have the love again by His grace. He can be our love for us, if we seek Him for it.
Jesus said:
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
     Matthew 5:6

Pray the Lord to give you the hunger and the thirst that's lacking in the "ho hum" attitude or the plain "don't nauseate me" attitude.
I heard it said, "foul language isn't really a sin. Ugly maybe, but not a sin. The words are just ways of expressing oneself." Because of this attitude, people don't mind movies and television with foul language. This is catastrophic. Someone has said, "It is not enough for a gardener to love flowers; he must also hate weeds." So to love God can't go hand in hand with apathy of mind towards unholiness.
Let's look at the foul language. Here lies the outline for the whole of Christian life. This defines the difference between the ways of the world that God hates, and the ways of God that all Christians should be pursuing. A confusion in this, means a confusion as to the entire nature of a Christian's life.
First, what is foul language for? Why do people use it? I came up with a number of reasons:

*   To shock people into silence.
*   They love referring to base things.
*   It shows resistance to authority. (Children aren't allowed to smoke, but they want to do it because they're forbidden and adults do it. They want to be their own man. The same goes with profanity.)
*  They feel that to use "forbidden" language expresses an idea with more force. (The main reason for this, is it pictures the topic of discussion and so engrips the speaker. He  partially loses control of his speech. The violence speaks of greater emotion and conveys a stronger idea.)
*  Ugliness is at the heart of the person's nature and he can't help but speak with ugliness because that's what that person is.
*   Some claim that it's now so common it's just part of the English language, so it's no longer offensive.

The next step is to see what the scriptures say about the quality, character and nature of the two ways in life. The one way is the old man Adam, the fallen nature of man, and the other is the way of the Spirit of Christ, the new Adam that's without sin. After seeing this, we need to consider what the Christian's responsibility is. Can he choose to try and balance the two and call himself a Christian according to God's Word? Is being strict in condemning sin, "walking with your head in the clouds and not living in reality in this world" or is it required of all who would call themselves a servant of God? Since Jesus is the Master, He's the one who should decide.

Characteristics of the Wicked:

Let's look at some of the scriptures referring to the nature and speech of the wicked:
7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.   
Psalms 10:7

4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?   
Psalms 12:4

17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.    
    Psalms 109:17,18

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.           
Proverbs 6:12

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.   
Romans 3:10-18

In the above, we can pull these overall characteristics of the wicked:
*     Mouth of cursing, deceit, fraud, mischief and vanity.
*     Their tongue is controlled solely by themselves.
*     They love to curse and blessing is foreign to their speech patterns.
*     They speak with a froward mouth (froward = crooked and perverse).
*     They speak bitterness.
*     Their speech is not of peace.

Characteristics of the Wicked and the Righteous:
The following verses are combination verses that contrast the righteous with the wicked. Let's compare these and see what they also itemize as characteristics:
11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. 20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. 31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
    Proverbs 10:11,20,31,32

3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.   
Proverbs 13:3

4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. 26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. 28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.            
Proverbs 15:4,26,28

12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.   
Ecclesiastes 10:12

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.   
Luke 6:45

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.    
       Colossians 3:1-17

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife, is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.   
James 3:8-18

We see these characteristics of the wicked:
*    Mouth of violence.
*    Speech worth little.
*    Speak frowardness.
*    Speaks to destruction.
*    Speech shows a breach of spirit.
*    They pour out evil things.
*    Their speech destroys themselves.
*    Manifests their evil heart.
*    Speech of anger, wrath and malice.
*    Blasphemy.
*    Filthy talk.
*    Unruly speech.
*    Speech full of death.
*    Hypocritical - speaks good one minute, evil the next.
*    Words of strife.
*    Words of envy.
We see these characteristics of the righteous:
*     Mouth a well of life.
*     Speech is choice silver.
*     Talk brings forth wisdom.
*     Discerning speech between what's acceptable and what isn't.
*     Guarded mouth.
*     Speech is a tree of life.
*     Pleasant words.
*     Gracious speech.
*     Merciful speech.
*     Kind speech.
*     Humble speech.
*     Speaks with meekness.
*     Not speech of impatience.
*     Forgiving speech, not quarreling.
*     Speaks with love.
*     Peaceful.
*     Thankful.
*     Praises to God.
*    All spoken in Jesus' name. (As a representative of how Jesus would speak in your situation.)
*     Good conversation.
*     Pure speech.
*     Gentle speech.
*     Fair conversation.
*     Without hypocrisy.
The following verses show a list of characteristics, but also instruction:
6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.          
 Psalms 12:6
3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.           
Psalms 141:3
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.           
Proverbs 4:23,24
8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. 13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.           
Proverbs 8:8,13,36
27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.   
Proverbs 17:27
16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
    Proverbs 23:16
2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?   
Ecclesiastes 5:2,6
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.       
Matthew 10:16
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.   
Matthew 12:36,37
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.           
Matthew 15:11,18
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.   
Romans 12: 1,2,9,14,17-21
20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no currupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.    
    Ephesians 4:20-29
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.       
Ephesians 5:3,4
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always, for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.    
    Ephesians 5:8-21
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.   
Philippians 2:12-16
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.           
Philippians 4:8
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.           
Colossians 4:5,6
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,   
2 Timothy 2:24

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;   
1 Peter 1:15
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good.   
1 Peter 3:8-13
7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)           
2 Peter 2:7,8
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.  
 2 Peter 3:14

The above verses address the servants of God. They more than list characteristics found among servants of God, they instruct in definite language. Examples: All words, Nothing froward, Hate frowardness, Live Holy Is Reasonable Service, Abhor evil, Never speak with filthiness, Rebuke ungodliness, Always speak with grace, Always thank God, All conversation to be holy. These aren't just ideals. They're commands. They leave no excuse for inappropriate language.
A pastor told me, "Everyone swears. They can't help themselves. Men will slip." He himself blasphemed God twice during the conversation, after preaching the Sunday service. God's Word leaves no excuse and tells us ALL words are to be accounted for (Matthew 12:36). In Ephesians, above, it says Christians should never have filthy speech.
Jesus spoke with force when he condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees. He called them hypocrites and named their crimes, but He didn't resort to base words to express with force. Such arguing, to allow for ugly speech to express with force, is to argue for the promotion of iniquity.
The argument that the language is no longer sinful because it's part of the common language of American life is utter rubbish. Under this argument, blaspheming God's name is also no longer a sin, because it's just part of the American language. This statement would nullify God's Word holding all guilty who use His name in vain. Philippians 2:12-16 above also instructs us to shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. When a people become utterly perverse and no longer see sin as sin, then it becomes no longer sin? What kind of reasoning is this? What's more, God told us to shine as lights - not become assimilated into the perverse mold. Under this reasoning, it would be fine for Christians to go around naked, if the rest of society decided it was fine. As a matter of fact, I know of a popular female "Christian" singer who went topless on the public beaches in Africa saying it was all right because the Africans went naked.
The advice, "You have to be realistic living in this world. You can't live with your head in the clouds. At some point you've got to come back down to earth. In this world you've got to compromise those high righteous standards.", is sheer treachery to Paul's instruction found in Colossians 3:1-17 above. "Seek those things which are above" and "Set your affections on things above." This sounds like head in the clouds walking to me! The clouds of heaven that is. Romans 12:1 (quoted above) tells us this is our reasonable service, not a meritorious, above and beyond the call of duty action. This is what's expected. In fact, to not do so is to blaspheme God by living sub-standard of His holiness, wearing His name and telling the world we're His representatives. In this we're a light to the world that says God doesn't mind obscenity and isn't beyond whatever evil it is we cleave to, or should I say, cleaves to us.
We think that we can enjoy entertainment with ugly words, even though we don't like the words. God is very clear to the contrary:
33 Be not deceived; evil communi-cations corrupt good manners.           
1 Corinthians 15:33

He warns us the evil does corrupt the good, no matter how confident we feel about ourselves. Paul even warned believers:

12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
    1 Corinthians 10:12

Solomon said that the person who feels he can handle corruption and won't get burnt is a fool:
16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. 
   Proverbs 14:16
1 Corinthians 15:33 teaches that ungodly language does lead from Christ, so it's also evil on that count. This leaves it as something to be abhorred, Romans 12:9. The passage about Lot in 1 Peter (quoted above), tells us righteous Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. The other side of the story is that a person whose heart is right with God will be vexed (mortified, nauseated) by filthy conversation. Hearing it all the time because it's part of our society doesn't change that. Lot was in such a society and he was vexed. If the conversation doesn't vex us, that tells the tale that the foul speech has affected us. It has caused us to no longer abhor the sin as God's Word commands. If such is part of the shows we watch and the music we listen to, then it doesn't vex us. If it did, we would be torn down by the entertainments, not relaxed if it vexed us. Vexation is not restorative. We need to examine our hearts honestly in regards to this. Such a change of life may cause strife with family and friends, but who do we love more, God or mammon?

The verses listed in the batch above list the following characteristics as well as instructions:

*     The Lord's words are pure, tested.
*     Pray for God to keep watch over our mouths.
*     Watch our mouths diligently, put perverse lips and froward speech far from us.
*     All our words are to be righteous. Nothing froward or perverse.
*     We should hate the froward mouth.
*     Watch our words and let them be excellent.
*     Speak right things.
*     Don't speak rashly.
*     Our speech is to be wise and harmless.
*     We will have to account for all idle words.
*     Speech is a mirror image of our heart.
*     Corrupt speech defiles a man.
*     Present ourselves a living sacrifice, holy, which is reasonable service.
*    Don't conform to this world. Renew our minds to prove what's good, acceptable and perfect will of God.
*     Abhor evil, cleave to good.
*     Bless and don't curse.
*     Don't speak vengefully.
*     Put off the old man's speech.
*    There are appropriate things to be angry at, but this anger does not give place to devilish speech.
*     Speech should never be corrupt, but should minister grace.
*     Christians should never speak with filthiness or foolishness or any allusion to evil.
*     Speech shouldn't curse misfortune, but praise God's faithfulness always.
*     All speech should fall under the classification of goodness, righteousness and truth.
*     We must examine all speech to see what is acceptable to God.
*     Don't fellowship with speech that is ungodly, but rather rebuke it.
*     Our speech should be fulfilling God's good pleasure, not complaining, not fighting, harmless, not bearing any sign of something that should be rebuked.
*     True, honest, lovely, pure, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy.
*     Speech always with grace.
*     Gentle and patient.
*     Be holy in all manner of conversation.
*     Refrain your tongue from evil and speak no guile.
*     Filthy conversation vexes the righteous.
*     Speech without spot and blameless.

Looking back over the lists, ask yourself the question:

"Can I say that ugly words are _______________________________?"

Put the different items in the blank and see what the answers come up. Looking at some of the last list: Can I say that ugly language is righteous? excellent? harmless? holy? perfect will of God? ministers grace? after all goodness, righteousness and truth? after God's good pleasure? lovely? of good report? virtuous? praiseworthy? with grace? without spot? These are the things we're called to, and the other list we're to abhor and stay clear of. On which side do ugly words fall? Answer the following and see which side you would have to answer the affirmative to. Can I say that ugly words are violent? worth little? froward? manifests an evil heart? filthy? unruly? strife? cursing? bitter?
Note: Christians are to be harmless. Can ugly speech be said to be harmless? If the answer is no, then we're clearly commanded to stay far from it. But one might object that Jesus' clearing out the temple wasn't harmless. Paul's calling the high priest at his trial a white washed wall wasn't gentle. The point isn't that the godly don't deal forcefully when needed, but they don't resort to ugliness. Banishing thieves from the holy place isn't ugly, even execution of the law on criminals isn't ugly. It may not be delightful, but it isn't ugly. Paul's reference to the high priest wasn't ugly. It was a phrase Paul used to show the appearance the hypocrisy was bearing in one playing the judge, yet being the offender.

The symptoms manifest in our language are indicators of the condition of our state before God. I know of people who are active in their churches, yet profane speech comes from their mouth. The true state of the inner heart is made light in this. They may do all sorts of charitable things and seem to care about others, but the state is still profaned. Remember the rich man and Lazarus. When they died, the rich man was in Hell. He prayed Abraham to send Lazarus to visit his brethren to warn them so they wouldn't go to Hell. The rich man cared for his brethren even when he had nothing left.   On the other hand, there are those who never use profanity, but aren't surrendered to God. Some can bridle their tongue and hide what's inside. To discern the inner state the foul language is a definite tell-tale sign, but when the tongue is carefully watched, the individual needs to look deeper. Don't be satisfied with the controlled mouth.

Briefly looking at Blasphemy:
Many don't think anything of using God's name in vain. They do this by either using His title or something refering to Him or His holiness as an expressive phrase. God said he wouldn't hold him guiltless who used His name in vain (Exodus 20:7). He also commanded the execution of anyone who did (Leviticus 24:16). I think if people realized what the issue of this commandment is they would realize the evil to a greater extent. What's the crime? God is holy and He is to be revered as such with due respect. All that refers to Him is to be done with honor. To use His name or anything referring to Him for common usage, is not showing honor to Him or His holiness. It's to desecrate, or say He's not worthy to be set apart for reverence.

  To live ungodly and say we're Christians is also to take His name in vain. Why? Since we're to do all we do in the name of Christ we are, therefore, saying that Christ is like this, He does that, to the rest of the world (Colossians 3:17). If we go to the movies to watch that which uses His name and His Father's as filth, and enjoy the movie instead of being nauseated by His desecration, we tell the world Jesus isn't made sick by such. We therefore smear His character and that's representing Him in an unholy manner. That is blaspheme.

This brings us to the second part of our message:

Who Are We As Christians?

We call ourselves Christians, yet so often don't think about what that means. Do we really care about being a Christian? Do we really love the Lord? My heart bursts with grieving over the iniquity I see Christians partaking. They don't want to remain pure until marriage, they joke about sexually inappropriate things, they watch shows and listen to music that blaspheme that holy name by which they're called. Their heart has grown cold and indifferent.

Let's examine ourselves in light of the following titles. We need to hold before us a list of the offices we're entrusted with to remind us of God's expectations and our responsibilities.

We are Disciples:
In Acts we're told the disciples were called Christians.
26b And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.   
Acts 11:26b

So what's expected of a disciple? In Luke we see a disciple is one who continues in Christ.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him. 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.    33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot by my disciple.  
Luke 14:27-30,33

In John, we see that a disciple is one who continues in Jesus' Word:
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;           
John 8:31

  A disciple is to be as his master. He studies and imitates. He checks to see how his master behaves and conforms to that behavior himself. That's the definition of a disciple. If you don't care to know how He behaves and His ways, that violates the principal of discipleship. The principal of being a Christian.

We are ambassadors:
We're a representative to the world of Christ. The Great Commission gave us this position. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 we see Paul pointing this out, in particular about himself, but it applies to all Christians. What does this responsibility place on us? It leaves us with the reminder that all we do is a testimony to the world. Knowing we're Christians through our word, the world observes to see what our testimony means and what kind of a God we serve. We need to ask if our behavior's suitable for one in the position of representing God on earth.
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be he holy: for I am holy.
    1 Peter 1:15,16

We are glorifiers:
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.   
1 Corinthians 10:31

We need to ask ourselves if what we're doing glorifies God. Yes, all we do reflects on Him. When you're about to do something, ask yourself this question: Does this glorify God? If it's playing a game of volleyball it can in the way you play, your attitude. It also testifies God's people enjoy life with clean activities.

We are the living dead:
Not quite zombies. We're to carry our cross, daily dying to ourselves. Does our life and behavior testify to our doing this, or the opposite?
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.   
Luke 9:23

We are confessors:
All our works confess or deny Him. Paul said of Jesus that if we confess Him He will confess us, if we deny Him He will deny us (2 Tim. 2:11-13; Mat. 10:32, 33). Paul told us some deny Christ in works (Titus 1:16). This reminds us that our actions either confess Christ before men or deny Him. Does our action tell of Him or deny we know Him?

We are overcomers:
He has overcome all.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,   
Jude 24
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

     1 John 5:3,4

We can overcome all things through Christ. As far as how this testifies of Him, we show the world He truly is sufficient for all our needs or He's not. If we say, "We just can't live the Christian life," we say Christ is insufficient and He hasn't provided for us to be victorious. What shameful witness we tell the world of the creator of all things. God has shown us that it's in our inability that He is glorified:

9 And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   
2 Corinthians 12:9

These titles: Disciple, Ambassador, Glorifier, Living Dead, Confessor and Overcomer speak very clearly about our behavior and guide us in knowing if it's appropriate or not. All shameful behavior brings shame on Christ and all honorable behavior magnifies Him.   If we have a problem with lack of desire to resist temptation or lack of desire to examine what we're doing, do we just think, oh well? Do we really care? There's no excuse for this. We're to hate evil.
As disciples, we're to follow our Master's example. Jesus gave us an example for dealing with attitude battles in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion. His flesh was weak, so He struggled in prayer until He overcame. If our hatred of evil isn't there, we need to struggle in prayer with God to possess the mind of Christ. If we have His attitudes, we'll be zealous to live to His standards and examine ourselves with fervor and honesty. I see people who call themselves Christians bringing shame to the name of God and they don't even begin to realize it. They have no knowledge of His ways and they don't care enough to read His Word to find out how they should be living.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    2 Peter 3:10,11

2 Peter makes it clear. Many Christians read this verse, but never think how it applies to them, or how they're living in light of this. Stop and ask yourself how you measure up as I cover the different ways we testify and fulfill the titles we've been given.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.   
1 John 3:3


In our business:
If we have a business of our own, what do we sell as representatives of Jesus? Do all to the glory of God. Does our merchandise do that? What type of books are on our shelves, ones that use profanity, ones that show sexual immorality; or clean wholesome books we wouldn't be ashamed to give to Jesus as a gift? What type of video tapes do we sell or rent? What type of advertisements do we have on the wall? Does our business operate under the Golden Rule? Does our business speak out holiness or unholiness?

In our job:
If we're employed by someone, how do we testify? Do we show faithfulness, showing up for work on time, giving our best for our employer? Are we diligent in our work? Do we work with an attitude of rendering service to God? On the other hand, do we refuse to lie for someone, partake in something we shouldn't?

Our choice of entertainment:
What do we listen to, watch and read? Is it holy or unholy? Does it testify that we're purifying ourselves as we are pure in Christ? Does it speak Christ? Is it something you could see Jesus enjoying, or would He who hates sin hate it?

Our conversation:
Is our speech foul or beautiful? The words that come from our mouth, could they come from the mouth of Jesus? Do we speak gossip or bigotry? Do we speak evil of men or women, complain about our husbands or wives? How do we treat others? Do we show compassion? Do we boast so people think the best of us and maybe look a little better than the person we're boasting to? Is our conduct towards our boyfriend or girlfriend after modesty and decency?

Our dress:
Is our dress modest or immodest? Could you see Mary the mother of Jesus in that short skirt? We need to examine all our actions and see if they meet the test of who we are as Christians. If we can ask the following questions and answer them in the positive response, we can rest assured we're living faithfully towards God.

In everything:
We need to ask ourselves in all we do:
Would Christ do that?
Would an Ambassador of Christ do that?
Is this glorifying to God?
Is this something that would be seen in someone who is dead to himself?
Does this confess or deny Jesus?
Does this declare the victory that Jesus has given me or cast accusation on Him of not supplying sufficiently?

In so many ways we testify as to which world we represent and which world we love. Let's take a closer look to make sure where are hearts are really found.

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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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