The Name of God
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The Name of God
We live in an era today of liberality of truth. The world believes that we all have the right to choose our own truth and whatever we believe is truth then that is truth for us. The same gets applied when it comes to our faith in God. The result is many different theories or doctrinal beliefs that in a lot of ways contradict each other. It seems that the big issue comes down to the concept of hell. The world does not want to acknowledge that a loving God could or would ever send someone to hell. The world does not want to acknowledge that there is such a thing as eternal punishment. Therefore, we create for ourselves our own theology of who God is to help compensate for how we feel our God should be.
One popular belief is that God is so loving that he will not let the people of his creation to suffer forever. The belief then is that at the resurrection God will raise everyone up from the grave and even those who were in torment and bring them all into his kingdom. This means all the Hitlers, Stalins, and Bin Ladens of the world would also rise into his kingdom as well after a short time of punishment. However, scripture says at the resurrection that people will be sorted as the sheep separated from the goats and those whose names are written in the book of life will be allowed entrance to the kingdom and while the rest will be thrown into a lake of fire.
Those who realize that the scripture contradicts the previous theory believe that a loving God would not allow for eternal suffering. Therefore, the feel that the lake of fire is just a momentary suffering and final death that put them out of their misery. There is no way that God would let them burn and feel the pain for all eternity. However, the scripture says that it will be for all eternity.
Next the belief is that God is not really in charge. These people believe that God bends his will to man’s will. God just created everything but because he created man with free will he just then has stepped aside and let man’s will take over. Man creates his own rules and God then abides by them.
The problem with all these theories and concepts of God is that no matter what someone feels the truth should be it does not change what the truth actually is to be. We cannot put God in a box and shape or bend him to our will. In whatever character we see of God in the scripture there is one common denominator. God will always do what brings glory to himself. This is so when it comes to his grace and mercy and this is so when it comes to his justice and wrath.
When God appeared before Moses in a burning bush what did he say about himself. He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” He is accrediting himself for who he is and for why Moses should be listening to him. God sends Moses back to Egypt to bring his people out of bondage and Moses asks God what he should tell the people in regards to who sent him. Moses is asking for God’s name. God then reveals his name which describes the important thing that I want you all to remember today. This is God’s name and is that we should all revere and respect and it is the name that brings glory to himself. God says, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
This name in itself means that it does not matter what we think is truth about God or what we want to believe is true about God. It doesn’t matter what our feelings are, God is still God. God is who he is and there is nothing that we can do to change that. This means that there is only one absolute truth and that truth is in his name that he has revealed and that truth is that he is the great I AM. In Revelation 1:17-18 Jesus says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One, I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and hades.” This statement reveals that a loving God gave up his life as a sacrifice to pay the price for our wrongs. He took the punishment that was due to us upon himself. This loving God holds the power to send us to eternal death or eternal life.
Jesus shares with us another one of these I AM statements in John chapter 6. The people ask what works they must do to do what God requires. Jesus says that they only work is to believe in the one he has sent. They then ask for a sign just as their ancestors received in the desert when they ate manna. They believed that this bread came from Moses but Jesus tells them it came form the father not Moses. They then ask to always be given this bread that gives life however, they still appear to be talking about the physical bread to keep their bellies satisfied. Jesus says that he is the bread and who ever comes to him and believes in him will receive a great reward and never be thirsty or hungry. Jesus says, that who believes in the Son who the Father sent they will be raised up on the last day. “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” Jesus then says, “I am the bread of life,… I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”
No matter what the world thinks or feels should be true the truth does not change. God is the I AM. We can ask the question, Is God love? The answer I AM. Is God justice, “I AM.” Is God mercy, “I AM.” Is God grace, “I AM.” Is God the beginning and the end, “I AM.” Is God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, “I AM.” Will this loving and gracious God actually send people to the lake of fire to be in torment for all of eternity? The answer is, “I AM WHO I AM.” The answer is yes because God will bring glory to himself. He is the creator and he is sovereign. He is all things; he is the great I AM. He is Lord and no matter what the people of the world feel or think he should be this does not change the truth of who he is. Our ways are not his ways and our ways only bring glory to man while his ways bring glory to himself and rightfully so. Regardless of what kind of box humanity tries to put God in the truth is still in his name, “I AM WHO I AM.”