a Godly Reputation
10 Aug, 2003 AM
PLACE: BBC Blarney
It is neat being well-known. To have people run up to you
and say I know you
Just coming back from Youth Camp this past week, a bunch
of kids got to know Jesus Christ more personally, and they got to meet a whole
bunch of new friends, and got to know each other! What a blessing!
Knowing about God is not the same as God knowing you (Gal
There is a day coming when Jesus will declare, “Depart
from me ye cursed… I never knew you!” (Mt 7:21-23)
You had better get a reputation in heaven! And this
message is to help you do just that!
Background (Acts 19:13-17)
A. Vagabond Jews were outcasts, not accepted as Jews - weird, cults - the cults were expanding (as they are today)
B. Exorcists are hypnotists that pretended to “free people from evil spirits.” Sometimes, they tap into some real power using different incantations, and medicines (drugs) - using powerful names, and magic-sounding sayings.
C. These “exorcists” tried out the name of Jesus - they had been to one of Paul’s meetings, and instead of repenting and receiving Christ, they thought to just USE Him - still standard today - people only want to USE Jesus (as a fire escape, or a Genie service)!
D. The head honcho of the group of vagabond Jews is a man named Sceva - he has seven sons who together try out this new “formulae” first on a well known demon possessed man.
E. To adjure you is to command. This is where charismatics got the idea of “commanding” demons, and rebuking devils!
F. But it all backfires (19:15,16) - God teaches the entire city some things about devils, and about messing with them:
1. The devils know Jesus - every demon knows and fears Jesus (James 2:19)
2. The devils also know Paul - what an amazing thing!
a. Do the devils know YOUR name!?
b. Does YOUR prayer life shake heaven and hell?
c. Heaven and hell knew all about Job - that’s what they talked about in Job 1 and 2
d. Heaven and hell knew all about Simon Peter (Lk 22:31)
G. Some warnings:
1. Supernatural, and almost deadly strength is associated with demon possession (Mk 5:1-4)
2. These 7 sons had only been dabbling in exorcism - it would be like a couple of kids trying to take on a JCB - Demons are very powerful
3. Don’t mess with Oui-ja boards, Tarot cards, Fortune tellers, Horrorscopes, etc! You will only end up wounded, and more empty (19:16)!
Message – Does Heaven and Hell Know Your Name?
Good Name is a Good Thing
(Eccl 7:1; Pr 22:1)
Probably one of the most important things to have is a
good, trustworthy name – that people honour when they think of you
Tell me, when I list the following names out, whether the
person had a good name or a bad name:
Good Name is a New Name.
We are all born with a name that our parents gave us –
probably with the hope that we would turn out like our name
Craig is a variation of a crag – a rock that sticks out
like a sore thumb!
EX: George Pappavlahodimtrakopoulous has the distinction
of having the longest name in the telephone book in Lansing Michigan. He is a
restaurant owner, and has a standing offer to give a free meal to anyone who can
pronounce his name perfect the first time. Few win!
That old boy needs a new name – or we need a new tongue!
We all start out as a Jacob – a lying, selfish,
self-centred, conniving, scheming, hussling kind of a person – these are
ungodly character traits
What we need is a new name – a better name – a name
that would portray godly character traits – like the name Israel
God changed the names of so many people in the Bible
Saul of Tarsus – to Paul
Abram to Abraham
Sarai to Sarah
Jacob to Israel
Simon to Peter
Do you know what all that shows? That people need a new
name – comes with the new birth – being born again!
We sing the song, there’s a new name, written down in
Good Name is an Eternal Name
– Written down in heaven (Lk 10:20; Philp 4:3)
It is great to be alive – to have been born into this
I enjoy most everything I do
When I was born, my name was written down on a piece of
paper, and recorded in several books back in Austin, Texas.
I have a copy of my actual Birth Cert!
But that name on that record, Craig Alan Ledbetter
represents a life that lasts only a few dozen years.
Some people are able to live over 100 years.
Before the Flood, people actually lived up to 969 years
But they all died – except for Enoch.
The thing to know is, a Good Name is when your name is
engraved in heaven!
A good name is one that lasts forever with you in heaven!
Good Name is an Earned Name
(Rev :17) – nobody just has a good name
Some people are born with a good name they inherited from
their parents – but only ruin it by living a spoiled rotten life!
You earn a good name by:
By godliness (1Ti 6:6)
good deeds (Gen 39:21) get you a good name
By being obedient – not a rebel! Doing what you
are commanded to do – that makes you trustworthy like nothing else
By courageous deeds – going beyond the call of
Most people only want a hero’s name by some great effort
– like a superman.
Yet, that kind of a name is so rare.
The Stephen’s and the Moses who stand up to the bad
guys, already were courageous in the little things long before they rose to the
challenge of facing off with a crowd of religious zealots or a Pharaoh
Good Name is Something to Pass On
It is called an heritage and it is more than just the
possessions of a life being passed on to the kids
It is the honour of being part of the family of someone
Jesus passed on His name onto us – all Christians
inherited HIS name
I wonder how many people think low of the name Christian?
I believe most do, and it is simply because CHRISTIANS have trodden under foot
the good name Christian
By calling themselves Christian, and yet lying constantly
By calling themselves a child of God, and yet getting
their joys from a bottle at a pub
By calling themselves Born Again, and yet living like the
By calling themselves Christian, and yet never making
CHRIST pre-eminent in their life – barley coming to church once in a while, or
even not at all!
What caused Christianity to spread throughout the whole
world before was not the threat of the sword, or the pressure of the government,
but the shining testimonies and rock-solid trustworthiness of all Christians
A Christian’s word was as good as gold – could bank on
A Christian’s honour was worth more than life itself
A Christian’s reputation told the world, we have
something eternal that the whole world needs to survive!
Good Name is a Delicate Thing
– Don’t Throw it Away
Moses was faithful – he had and held onto a good name
David almost threw his away by the pleasures of sin for a
King Saul did throw his away out of stubbornness and pride
Demas forsook his good name (Cf Col 4:14; Phile 1:24 with
Protect the good name of Christian. Protect the good name
you have – even if it is only a little good – don’t lose any more of its
to the devil (Rev 3:1,2)
How well known are you?
Forget how popular you may be here while on earth!
How well known are you in heaven?
How well known are you in hell?
If you are saved, all of heaven heard your name shouted
from one end to the other – every angel has heard of you!
If you are only living for yourself, the devil leaves you
If only the devil knows you, then heaven help you! That
would be the stupidest thing – to only impress the world, and the devil!
What we need is a good name in both heaven and hell!
One that rejoices our Father
One that infuriates the devil!
It comes with getting saved – being born again!
AND, it comes with living a courageous Christian life –
not a wimp!
Bible Baptist Church
Blarney, Co. Cork
Mallow, Co. Cork
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