Taking Names – 4/19/20 AM

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Taking Names

  • Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Joke: A man walked into a courthouse and demanded to see the judge. The judge asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted to get his name changed. He said he was tired of people laughing and making fun of him because of his name. The judge asked him what his name happened to be. He answered, “My name is Leroy Stanks.” The judge grinned and said, “Well, son, I can’t see’s as I blame you. What would you like to have it changed to?” He answered, “I want my name changed to Pedro Stanks.”

What a world we live in. This was the Fox News headline yesterday:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told New Yorkers Saturday that they can snap smartphone photos of social distancing violations and text them to authorities and “enforcement will come” as the coronavirus shutdown remains in place across the Big Apple. “Now it is easier than ever,” he said in a video posted to his official Twitter account. “When you see a crowd, when you see a line that’s not distanced, when you see a supermarket that’s too crowded — anything — you can report it right away so we can get help there to fix the problem.” “Text the photo to 311-692 and action will ensue,” the mayor said, emphasizing the rhyming syllables.

Isn’t that interesting? To “fix the problem” of too many people in one place, we are going to send more people.

If you call and report me for failing to exercise proper “social distancing”, I’m going to pray and ask God to let you go deaf right before the trumpet sounds so you’ll miss the rapture. See how you like “social distancing” when you’re left here all by yourself!

ILLUSTRATION: Remember when we were in school? The teacher would leave the room for some reason. She would always appoint a student to “take names”. They would come up and stand by the chalkboard with a piece of chalk in their hands and a power surge in their eyes. They would stare and wait for someone to breathe wrong so they could “take names”. They acted like they were getting paid commission – the more names they could write down, the closer to Jesus they were going to sit at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Guess what? God’s taking names. He’s writing down some names.

I. Of the Converted

  • Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

ILLUSTRATION: When Stuart was born, he was supposed to be a girl. They told us weeks prior after my wife had a sonogram that he was a girl. She went in for another sonogram and went into labor. They had to do an emergency C-section. I walked in just as they were making the first incision. He was born, and guess what? He wasn’t a girl. We had already picked out a girl name. This baby was going to be named Callie Brooke.  They asked us what his name was so they could put it on the baby bracelet. We looked at one another and stared. We hadn’t thought about it. They said not to worry about it, they would just put Baby Boy Shiflett on there, and so they did. But he couldn’t breathe. He was five weeks early, his lungs were not only underdeveloped, they were deflated. They told us that they were going to have to rush him to the Augusta hospital about 45 minutes away. They told us they needed a name. So I came up with Stuart Lane. Stuart for the Confederate general, Jeb Stuart. Lane for the world champion rodeo cowboy, Lane Frost. (My name Stacey comes from one of the main characters on the Virginian. I like my name better than Trampas!)

When you and I got saved, God wrote our names down in the Lambs book of Life.

  • Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
  • Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

II. Of the Church

  • Acts 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

There is no such thing as a virtual church.

Just like there is no such thing as a virtual marriage. Or a virtual family.

You can no more have a virtual church than you can have a virtual wife or virtual children.

A church needs to be together.

  • A church needs to be together to have congregational singing.
  • A church needs to be together to observe the Lord’s Supper.
  • The church needs to be together to observe water baptism.
  • A church needs to be together to have fellowship, to have accountability, to practice church discipline.
  • A church needs to be together to bring the unsaved in, to pray together, to grow together.

In Acts 1, they had a list of names. The number of the names were about a hundred and twenty.

  • In Acts 2, new converts were ADDED UNTO THEM – vs. 41 Added to what? The list of names!
  • They continued stedfastly in fellowship, breaking of bread, – vs. 42
  • They were together – vs. 44
  • They continuing daily with one accord – vs. 46
  • They continued daily…breaking bread from house to house… – vs. 46
  • And the Lord added to the church daily …vs. 47

Hebrews 12:23

  • 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
  • 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
  • 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling,

GENERAL ASSEMBLY – paneguris (pan-ay’-goo-ris)

a festal gathering of the whole people to celebrate public games or other solemnities

CHURCH – ekklesia ek-klay-see’-ah – a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly; an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating; an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting;

III. Of the Consecrated

In Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus is talking to John about the seven churches. Each letter was personal and direct.

In every letter to the 7 churches, Jesus said – I know thy works.

God sees and knows what is going on, and trust me on this – HE’S TAKING NAMES!!

  • Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
  • Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
  • Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.