By Ronald Graham
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,” Exodus 20:3-5a. This Old Testament stuff doesn’t concern today’s post-modern society. “No other gods before me”? There are so many other gods taking the place of the One true God today that idol worship has actually become the norm.
People have been inventing their own gods for thousands of years. But nothing comes as a surprise to God; He knew the world would become consumed with the worship of idols (false gods). Consequently He gave us a commandment prohibiting the worship of all the false gods men would eventually bring into their lives. Today the Bible is under constant attack and simply dismissed as folklore. Thus idol worship has moved into high gear. Paul explains in the first chapter of Romans that those who worship idols instead of the obvious true God are fools. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21. Why is Paul so harsh in his description of the heart of these folks? “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” Romans 1:25a. It’s pure foolishness to worship the created in lieu of the Creator of the universe. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:20. Idol worshipers will someday stand before the Creator Himself and when that day comes excuses will be nonexistent.
Lucifer, the “shinning one”, at one time was known as the “cherub that covered” “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth;” Ezekiel 28:14a. Now of course he’s known by many names, none of which are at all complimentary, but it wasn’t always that way “…Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty….Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:12b, 15. God created Lucifer as the most beautiful, knowledgeable, perfect in his ways, anointed cherub of all. Lucifer’s downfall came when it was found that iniquity had taken the place of perfection. Then he took his sinful prideful attitude and attempted to usurp God’s authority so he could become god. Lucifer (Satan) has been convincing men to do the same thing since he first appeared in the Garden of Eden. Many now believe they are their own god; they worship the created instead of the Creator.
Idolatry and pride go hand in hand, Satan’s pride turned into rebellion to God and ultimately into idol worship. In Satan’s case he worships himself. But he also wants the world of men to worship him. Satan’s agenda: turn men against the Creator God and they will turn and worship anything as a form of god. Worshipping an idol is worshiping Satan.
The Ten Commandments were given to us by the One true God, the Creator of the universe – Jesus the Christ. Yet today these same Ten Commandments are simply written off as manmade mandates which, in the minds of the lost, were only established to bind and hinder the growth of humanity. The Ten Commandments are systematically being removed from all public view. They are not only being ignored but there is a push on to relegate them to obscurity. For now, though, they are deteriorating having been placed in a category of fables. Can you remember the last time the subject of God’s Ten Commandments was broached by your pastor?
The government removes the Ten Commandments from public view every chance they get. If they don’t remove every vestige of those old tired commandments the ACLU files suit and we know how much the ACLU is feared. When in truth we should fear the One who, with His finger, wrote those Commandments in stone.
I wonder just how many Christian churches post the Ten Commandments so they can be readily viewed by their congregants. Ask most Christians today to recite the Ten Commandments and watch how they stumble, stammer, and squirm in their seats trying desperately to remember even five out of ten; many can’t accurately quote even one of the Ten Commandments.
Yes it’s true, it is impossible for any human being to be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments of God, which is precisely why God sent His only begotten Son to die in our stead. But to no longer teach the Ten Commandments – to simply ignore them altogether – is tantamount to ignoring God. Ignoring God will set in motion a complete lack of caring about who God is coupled with extreme apathy towards God’s word. To neglect any part of the Bible is foolishness. The Ten Commandments must be taught to our children; sadly, today we need to teach the parents as well.
God cannot be pleased with a group of people who claim His provisions, who claim His presence in their midst, who claim the blood of Christ as their covering, and yet neglect and even disparage His commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. Do you love Him?
This world, in which we Christians only sojourn, is fast becoming more and more overrun with people who are filled with anger, hostility, greed, and hatred toward their fellow man and toward their God. We currently live in a world made up of men and women intent on fulfilling every sinful desire, who delve into all sorts of unspeakable evil practices for no more than a few minutes pleasure, and whose goals are only materialistic continually. These folks worship at the altar of Baal (Satan).
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Ephesians 5:5. When God is eliminated from our lives something else must take His place. If another gospel is preached in our Christian churches other than the one true Gospel, then another god is proclaimed instead of the One true God, idol worship has expanded into many Christian churches. Mammon is the new idol.
Just as idol worship became a stumbling block to Israel after they left Egypt, so it is advancing in all societies today. Those who have no use for the true Creator of the universe – the God of the Holy Bible – have their own gods (idols) which they of course worship with all tenacity.
Many atheists are feverously attempting to prove there is no God, that the Bible is a myth. But if there is no God, then why are these folks so adamant in their attempts to disprove Him? It’s impossible to not worship something. The foolish lost of this world continue to worship the creature instead of the Creator.
The Christian is just as vulnerable to idol worship, anything that replaces Jesus Christ in our life as pre-eminent becomes an idol. If Jesus Christ is supreme over your life then you are holding fast to the faith. But the fact is many have relegated that supreme position to the enemy of Christ. “Wait a minute Ron, I love Jesus, and I attend church on Sunday.” That’s fine. Let me ask you a question. What about the other six days and 23 hours which remain in every week? Who’s first in your life on those days and hours? We must understand that God is not a part time God. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” He commands us to place Him in first position in our lives and that we never boot Him out of that position in lieu of something we feel is more attractive and pleasurable.
Man’s inventions can, and do, distract people – ultimately replacing God with an idol. Idol worship is something we must always be mindful of. Ask yourself this question: how much of my day is spent in the word of God? Does anything I own, or anything I long to own, or any activities I’m involved in get in the way of my worship of God and my study of His Word?
It really isn’t rocket science, people; it’s only that old wicked Satan who wants every human to be as lost as he and his hoard of misfits. Idol worship can overwhelm us. We must understand that we are endowed with God-given attributes which are to be used to His glory. Any time we replace God with an idol it’s the same as slapping Him in the face. It’s a statement we are making that says “I love this ‘thing’ more than God.”
God’s blessings are ours to enjoy, but there is no love for God when we attribute those blessings to something we did on our own, or good luck. That attitude is prideful and satanic.
Sinful pride is the culprit for the loss of fellowship with the one and only true and living God. We pride ourselves on our own greatness ultimately replacing the Creator of the universe with an idol, in this case “self” is that idol.
When we speak of the idol worshipers, the stories and lessons from the Bible immediately come to mind. Over and over again we can read in our Bibles of the Israelites backsliding and following after the pagan gods and worshiping at the altar of Baal. The imagery of what and who the Israelites worshipped as god conjures up images of creepy creatures and wood carved human sex organs.
Archaeologists have found reliefs of some incredibly odd looking forms carved into walls which were depicted as being worshipped as gods, some with the body of a man and the head of a bird or the head of a man and the body of a lion, and this is repulsive to most of us today. But today’s idol worshipers also worship at the altar of Baal, only today the idols are not carved images but they still include their idols of sexual pleasures as well as modern technologies. Can you think of an altar where the majority of men, women, and children sit, eyes fixed on their idol for hours on end? How about those people who sacrifice their children who are still in the womb to their idol, the god Moloch.
All religious cults claim to be the true source or path that leads to God, but refuse to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only true path to salvation are all intertwined with idolatry. Muslims, JW’s, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, New Agers, even many Catholics are idol worshipers. Even worshiping at a Christian Church where Jesus is neglected or subordinated to a lesser god, and where the seeker friendly purveyors of mammon are elevated to a position of supremacy, is pure unadulterated evil, and idolatrous.
Idol worship is so prevalent today that to admit to worshiping the one true God, Jesus the Christ, exclusively brings down the wrath of the secular world. The exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone is seen as extremely intolerant to other religions, thus we are hated by a world which prides itself on political correctness. But Jesus told us this is the way it will be for all who follow Him. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19.
Is there anything in your life that is more important than being Christ centered? “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26. Because we love Jesus Christ nothing comes between Him and that love, not even our families or self-preservation.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed