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Question 5

Would you provide an example of misusing or taking God’s name in vain?

The use of God’s name in profanity is a sad case in point. Sometimes people call down God’s damnation on other people. This is a serious offense to God for a number of reasons. When these profane words are uttered, they are trivializing or ignoring God’s holiness and His authority to judge.

Furthermore, the words are not correct doctrinally; God does not damn anyone (John 3:16–21). People are in hell not because God sent them there but because they refused to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Lost people are responsible for their eternal plight and we cannot and ought not to blame God (Rev. 20:11–15). This profane use of God’s name may even place ideas about God that are incorrect in the minds of our children, our family members, and in the minds of people that we love and care about. Yes, judgment is coming, but the notion that God damns people to hell misrepresents God and insults His love, grace, and mercy.

If you have profanely used the Lord’s name in the past, commit to ceasing from this profanity. Confess your sin to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you guard your tongue, especially if your profanity has become a habit or pattern of speech. By the power of the Spirit, bless the name of God at home, in the workplace, and with your friends, praising His name for His glory and honor in all situations in life.

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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