The Wrong Name

 
The recent hanging of Saddam Hussein as a news story has seen its zenith come and go. As predicted there has been outrage and eulogizing from Saddam loyalists to smiles and elation from those who despised and experienced the brutality which characterized his dictatorship. One sentiment that is scarcely seen is sadness. You just don’t find many pictures of bitter weeping and mourning his death, though there are a few. To put it bluntly, many people hated him. There is one account throughout the whole event that caught my interest. It has been reported that just before the floor dropped out of the gallows he was reciting the “‘Shahada,’ a Muslim prayer that says there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger, according to an unabridged copy of the same tape, apparently shot with a camera phone and posted on a Web site. Saddam made it to midway through his second recitation of the verse. His last word was Muhammad” (“Saddam Hussein’s Brutal Reign Ends in the Gallows“).  He died with the wrong name on his lips as he entered eternity. He now knows salvation is not in Allah and Muhammad but in the true and only God, Yahweh, and His Son Jesus Christ.I felt in my heart an odd sort of compassion for the former dictator of Iraq. A compassion that he did not know the One before whom he would stand in judgment in a few breaths. This was a very pointed reminder that anyone who dies without Christ will spend an eternity in hell, whether they were a vile dictator or a morally upright person. Though many people hated him, God loved him enough to send His Son to die for his sins – and yours, and mine (John 3:16). It was a grim yet necessary reminder that we need to view our neighbors, our friends, perhaps our family, the cashier in the grocery store, the waitress at a restaurant, the co-worker who sits next to us, the vendors with whom we do business as sinners who are perishing unless they appropriate the person and work of Christ by faith for their sins. This is the good news of the gospel. Those who do not hear or receive it will also die with the wrong name on their lips.

We take heart in the gospel for it remains “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). However, how does the gospel go forth? God has chosen us to be His mouthpiece (Romans 10:14). The word of God will go forth and accomplish its purpose in each heart as God chooses. Augustine said “The locked up heart cannot keep you out. No matter how hard and stiff a man’s heart may be, it cannot resist the touch of your hand. You unlock it whenever you wish, whether for mercy or for justice” (Augustine, Confessions, 5:1). What greater confidence can we have in the gospel than the fact that God goes before it? Duty is ours to share the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20), conversion belongs to God by justifying the sinner (Romans 3:26).

Why then has the evangelical church become so determined to add garnish to the gospel (as if it needs it)? How about living a life that becomes the gospel (Philippians 1:27) so that the power of the gospel is evident in our lives. The witness of a life truly changed by the gospel is far more powerful than a power team who throws, lifts, jerks, and squats thousands of pounds to “wow” people into listening to the gospel. The Thessalonians admonish us that the responsibility to spread the gospel rests upon all Christians not just the “professionals” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8). Let us be reminded the simplicity of the gospel trumps Madison Avenue-the pure, simple, beautiful, powerful gospel can change lives in the 21st century just as it did in the 1st century. Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

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One thought on “The Wrong Name

  1. Your article states >>This was a very pointed reminder that anyone who dies without Christ will spend an eternity in hell, whether they were a vile dictator or a morally upright person.

    Is man mortal or immortal?
    Paul says that man seeks it, Ro. 2:7
    Should man seek it if he is born immortal?

    Paul also says that man puts immortality on in Christ, I Cor. 15:53,54
    Should man put it on if he already has it?

    Paul also says that immortality came by Christ and Christ alone, II Ti. 1:10
    Why would Paul teach this if man is born with immortality?

    God taught man where he came from and where he was going, Ge.3:19 to the ground
    Abraham agreed Ge. 18:27; Job agreed 17:16
    Solomon agreed, Ec. 3:20.

    God told Adam the penalty for sin was death Ge. 2:17 in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    The satan in Ge. 3:4 said ye shall not surely die.

    It is apparent which one those believe who support the supposed doctrine of hell which has been handed down through church dogma.

    The penalty for sin was clear in Genesis and it never changed; it is death. The N.T. certainly teaches this, Ro. 6:23

    Christ paid the penalty for sin, I Cor. 15:3,4 Christ died for our sins.

    According to the supposed doctrine of the hell, the penalty for sin is that people will suffer in torment eternally.

    Christ did not agree, for if that were so, he would still be there now and for eternity; however, he arose on the third day!

    Man’s life in scripture is compared to grass and to a vapor. Man is mortal.
    Man’s only hope for immortality is in Christ, because it was Christ that brought immorality, II Ti. 1:10.

    The words which were translated to hell, are gehenna, hades, and sheol. All of these mean the same thing: the grave and destruction.

    Destruction of the wicked is taught throughout the Bible. The words die, death, destruction, perish and perdition throughout scripture are all teaching the same thing, that the wicked will be destroyed; not live forever somewhere else.

    Would you take a look at two articles which are very helpful on this subject?
    They are at: http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/9290.htm

    http://www.jerrybernard.com/index2.htm

    Also see Dr. Bernard’s article on the soul.
    Man does not have a soul, he is a soul, Ge. 2:7. The word soul in Hebrew for soul is nephesh, which is also translated as ‘a breather’.

    Man’s only hope for immortality is in Christ. Man is born mortal not immortal.

    May you grow in knowledge as you study; for teachers have the burden to get it right, Ja. 3:1.

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