As I arrived at my place of employment this morning, my immediate supervisor asked me to check into some files for some information he needed. I located the two files that he had requested, and as I searched through them, I noticed that not only were the particular reports that he had requested not present, several other items that should have been in them were also missing. Now, this person that I am referring to has been in this position of authority for only a few months, and is quite adamant, as many of the unsaved are, at making a name for himself, seeking the praise of men so that adoration, as it were, will be heaped upon him by those in authority over him, his pride, as I am sure you can tell, must be fed daily, for it has an incredible appetite.
As I informed him of the information I had gleaned from these files, he became both amazed and incredulous at what he considered the seemingly unending faults of the person who last sat in the chair he now resides in, and many and various derogatory words escaped from his lips, but the ones that cut me to the quick were the numerous times that our Lords Name flew from his mouth as a curse word. Now, where I work each day, the Name of Jesus is heard constantly, or at least on a very regular basis, and I can assure you that the word “praise” is not a word that is ever placed before it, the Name of Jesus Christ is used as a curse word, an exclamation of amazement, a derogatory word, save for those few that I have been blessed to lead to the Lord, all of which the Lord has lead to other places, never do I hear his Name outside of what I would consider a sinful way there.
I have joked with many pastors over the years that I probably hear the Name of Jesus more that they do on a daily basis, but I have also noticed something else that is definitely not a joke, nor humorous in any way, I hear the Name of our precious Savior more at my place of employment than I do from many of the Christians I know and meet. Now of course when I do, it is never in a way that would bring dishonor to Him by its use, but as I have thought about this, it is so rare anymore that it becomes very difficult to place these incidents in any kind of time frame. Most that I meet that profess Christ, or at least go to church, when the subject of Christ and His work in their lives is broached, the subject nearly always seems to change, and most generally to one of the temporal, the transitory. What the weather was, is, or is going to be, what they did last weekend or their plans for the upcoming weekend, almost anything but the incredible blessings of Christ, much less on how He is enabling and leading them in their walk with Him.
I would not feel comfortable verbalizing this if it was not occurring on a fairly regular basis, but, and I hope I am wrong, if you think back on some of the recent times that you have met someone, you may have noticed occurrences of the same type, especially in impromptu encounters. My wonderful wife could easily inform you of the seemingly countless hours that we have spent speaking to those that we meet on our many walks, for when I start to speak about our Lord, it is very difficult for me to stop, I know of no other conversational topic that is worth our time, and while I do all that I can to listen to those that we meet about the cares and needs that they are currently experiencing, I must admit that I still fail miserably in this area, for the one that I am speaking to them of has all the answers to whatever they are going through.
As I left the presence of my “boss” this morning to attend to my daily duties, I found myself asking the Lord to please forgive him for the utterances of His Name in the way and meaning that he expressed it, for I know this man is lost, and in ignorance of the name of our Lord, and his for that matter, though he does not yet know it, he used it as a curse word. What surprised me though was a few minutes later, asking God to forgive this man for his impudence toward the name of His Son, was that I heard my mind say, “Lay it to my charge, if need be, Lord,” something I had never thought before, something I had never heard my mind say. I have spent enough time, asked enough questions, made various statements to this man to know that there is no fear of God before his eyes, (Rom. 3:18) that if he died at the moment that we were speaking, he would have died in his sins, that the way that he used the Name of Jesus would not be the determining factor for his lack of salvation, for all will remain lost forever who do not call on the name of Jesus Christ for their salvation, so why did my mind ask the Lord to lay this one charge, this one sin to my account, trust me my friends, I have plenty of sins in my own life that I will be accountable for, though I repent of them daily. (1st John 1:9)
I have thought and asked for the Lords guidance in this matter as I write this letter to you, and have been blessed with these occurrences in the Scriptures that seem relevant to what occurred in my mind this morning, and though in great humility I tell you of them, I in no way am placing myself at the level to which they occurred to these men.
The first one I would have you see is Romans 9:3, “For I wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren,” of course this did not happen, but Paul meant what he said, he loved them so much that he was willing to experience only once what he was blessed to see in the third heaven, (2nd Cor. 12) and to forsake all that was waiting for him for his people. The second, which perhaps comes a little closer to the point of my experience, yet is still light-years apart, is when Stephen was being stoned, (Acts 7:59) he saw the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God, and one of his last words in this life was “Lay not this sin to their charge. (Acts 7:60) And, of course anyone who has even slightly glanced over the Word of God has read these words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
I will never attain to what these individuals did, and I am not worthy to be called by our Lord, much less to stand in His presence, but this morning changed something in me, something that I should have recognized a long time ago, that these lost souls, these ‘brute beast’ that the Scriptures speak of, (2nd Peter 2:12) are to be pitied, that in either ignorance or the blinding of their minds by Satan, they are being led astray, and they are to be pitied. There is a hopelessness that they do not know of yet, that they do not feel, and so we must feel it for them, and do all that we can to help them to see that without Christ this hopelessness will go on throughout all of eternity for them.
I do not know why the Holy Spirit put that request into my mind for that man this morning, for he alone is accountable for his sins, and Christ has already paid the price for them, as He has for all that have ever lived. Perhaps it was so I would learn an important lesson, and then pass that lesson on to you, that we are to love them, all of them, as much as our Lord does, that they matter, that the lost are not our enemies, but our ministry.
God does things that are hard for us to comprehend sometimes, like asking an old man to pray for those who are filled with pride, who are self-centered and self-serving, who use His name as a curse word, just like a young man I knew of many years ago who used to be exactly like they are now.