Monday, January 25, 2010

WHOSE NAME DO WE WEAR?


Driving through a town the other night in the UK, we saw a little sports car pass us by and the license plate caught our attention. We decided to keep up with the car in time for me to snap a photo. Trying to be stealthy and capture the image without being detected by the driver I forgot to turn off the flash. I got the photo but certainly not without the driver seeing the blinding light from the car in his rear view mirror.

We thought about the plate for a while and decided it wouldn't be a coincidence that the automobile would get just such a combination of letters and numbers. It must have been purposeful. It could be that a naive but attention seeking soul is the owner. Or it could that the owner sees it as harmless fun to mock a warning in the Bible. Who knows.

We don't need to know about the car and its owner but we do need to know that the Scriptures let us know that we either wear God's name or we wear the name of the Beast. Let's see two sets of Scripture from the Book of Revelation. The first is a reminder that unrighteous and evil people of the world have marked themselves to be against God:
"16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six." (Rev. 13:16-18)
The number of the the Beast, who gets his authority from the DeViL (DVL on the car's plate?) is 666. God wants the Christians to remain faithful and refuse to wear such a name or to do anything that would identify themselves with evil.

The other passage in the Revelation letter says,
"1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads." (Rev. 14:1)
This passage is following the theme laid out in the previous chapter but this time to show that Christians are marked with the name of God. It's symbolic - no literal tattoo or UPC code required - and is a reminder that God knows who are His. He has their names written in the "Lamb's book of life". If we are a believer in Jesus Christ and have been Baptized for the remission of ours sins, then we are washed in the blood and sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

The reality is that God knows those who are His and those who are not His. The church of Christ is comprised of those who are. The world - unbelievers in the world who mock and persecute Christians - are also known by God as not belonging to Him. He invites them to be, but they have chosen the broad path leading to destruction. The person driving the sports car in Cambridge, UK might want a new tag for His car.

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