Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wrong Number

Yesterday a call came from a number that appeared on the caller ID several times previously. As with numbers of this type, automated calls, a disconnect occurred on the previous calls. This time, the caller asked for a person whose name was totally unfamiliar to anyone at this number. Surprise was the reaction of the caller when he learned that the number was given or received falsely/wrongly.

The caller sounded like a debt collection person, but did not identify himself, only stating that he would remove my phone number from the records.

This is the result of calling upon someone without being certain that the right means of calling upon that someone is being used. Apparently, as is often the case, this caller had the right name. Apparently he had been assured that the means of contacting this person was correct. The caller apparently used this information more than once, calling upon the name via incorrect means. Finally the person learned that all of his attempts were in vain.

There is a point of comparison to be made to those who call upon the name of the Lord via incorrect means. They call and call and call, using the correct name, but with the same results as the debt collector who called using the right name but the wrong phone number.

It is puzzling to me that among those calling themselves Christians that it is hard to find anyone who truly acknowledges that calling upon the Lord involves more than simply using the name of the Lord. It amazes me that people forget that the Second Commandment was given as a warning against the false notion that using the name of the Lord is without defined parameters. Through Moses the Lord declares,

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)

The Lord Jesus states this even more powerfully to His disciples in Matthew 7:21-23,

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Is this not the same as what the caller heard from me when he asked for someone by name but calling for that person at the wrong phone number? Is the Lord not warning that He will hold everyone accountable who calls upon His name not in accord with the way that He has ordained?

Will people calling themselves Christians not listen to this warning from the very lips of the one that they claim to be calling upon? Will they continue with eyes, ears, and hearts closed to His warning? Will they endlessly cry that all that matters is that one “believe in Jesus” even though Jesus Himself sternly warns that this belief must be according to the faith that the Holy Spirit works and not according to what individuals or even churches declare from their own hearts and minds?

James writes in Chapter 5:

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
(James 5:15-20)

How often do people quote this passage while ignoring the point of this admonition? The point is that we be converted from our errors of doctrine and errors in practice of that doctrine so that our prayers are truly prayers of righteousness, prayers that are moved by the Holy Spirit and thus are truly righteous and heard by God. Otherwise it is as though we are simply dialing the wrong number and calling out for one who is not at that number. Calling out more frequently and more loudly and more fervently does not make the wrong means effective anymore than if the debt collector keeps calling my number calling upon the name of a person who is in no way connected with that number.


The Old Geezer said...

interesting blog
God bless you

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

Thanks for sharing your kind comment. God's blessings to you, too, in Christ Jesus.