My Faithful Bride; My Family Name
When we were young, our moms would write our names on such items as belonged to us before shipping us off to school or summer camp. This showed ownership. When we got older and purchased cars and homes, our names appeared on the titles and deeds, thus denoting exactly who had paid the often hefty prices necessary to purchase them. And when we men got married, our wives took our last names as a sign of honor, respect, and to denote who they now “belonged” to (in the biblical sense of course).
As a husband myself, I can only try to imagine how I would have felt, if after many years of our covenant relationship my wife one day suddenly decided to change her name to that of a former – or even worse yet, newfound – suitor. I can only try to imagine how devastated I would have been if she all of the sudden decided to honor and glorify some other man, by changing and taking His name instead of mine, thereby giving and bringing to him, the honor, respect, and submission – let alone the implied suggestion of a deeper intimate relationship – due her rightful husband! Tell me husbands, how would you feel in such a situation?
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev. 19:5-16); the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last (Rev. 22:13); the Builder/Founder, Purchaser, Owner, and “Husband” of His church or saved group of people (Matt. 16:18-19; Acts 20:28; Rom. 16:16; Eph. 5:22-32). As such, He is supposed to have absolute and complete pre-eminence in everything – especially when it comes to His bride which is His church (Eph. 1:15-23; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-18; etc) “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
So then, my question: In light of all of the above, how can anyone who considers themselves to be a Christian, even consider attending or becoming part of a church which calls itself by or honors the names/teachings of such mere men as Martin Luther or the Baptist for example, or a method, day, community, or event, more than the Christ, by wearing (and thus honoring) their/that, or any name above His (1 Cor. 1:10-13)? While the question may seem hard, the answer really is incredibly simple… After all, His church both was, and is, built upon such reverence for, recognition of, and submission to, Him and Him alone (Matt. 16:13-18; Acts 2:36-41) as His bride.
My question? In light of all that, how can anyone who professes to honor and follow Him as Lord consider worshipping with a group which honors the names/teachings of mere men such as Martin Luther or the Baptist, or a method, day, or event, more than the Christ, by wearing, and thus reverencing, celebrating, and honoring that name above His (1 Cor. 1:10-13).
So what about your friends and neighbors? They really need to be lovingly asked the questions… “What name does the group they affiliate/worship with wear, honor, and promote over and above Christ’s?” “Does that really make good sense to them?” Because here’s the scariest part of all – at least for me: If one can’t truthfully, scripturally, and in good conscience answer that question both here and now, how will they ever answer to God for it? Or better yet, to the Christ Himself? How will they ever stand before God and Christ and tell Them that Their name wasn’t good enough? That some sinner’s man-made name was worth glorifying and honoring more than His was to them? Think about that… and if that thought bothers them, as it surely should and once certainly did me, then it provides a perfect opportunity for you, fellow saint, to invite them to come and check out what – or better yet, WHO – the church of CHRIST is all about this coming Sunday!!!