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Sermon #67: Idol Worship

Some people worship God and idols (other gods) at the same time. Such people never give themselves time and space to question their actions. Today they are in the assembly of the saints, worshiping God (or so to say); tomorrow they are holding an all night prayer to other gods, seeking protection and guidance!

Look at this: “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’" - 2 Corinthians 6:16 (NIV)

Some think that worshiping God and idols at the same time provides some kind of insurance cover. In their reasoning they say, “You never know what works. If God doesn't work for me, idols will; if idols don’t work for me, God will.”  

What is God's position on idolatry and people who practise it?

Look at this: Then the word of the LORD came to me: "This is what the LORD says: 'In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt--completely useless!  For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,' declares the LORD, 'to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.' - Jeremiah 13:8-11 (NIV)

Have you seen that? 

According to God, people who go after other gods are wicked, stubborn and completely useless. Could such people also qualify to be His children? Could children be completely useless to their Father?

Note this too: We are His for His renown, praise and honor, not ours. We are not His for our renown. We are not His for our praise. We are not His for our honor. But for His! Remember, He loved us first and it's by His grace that we are able to stand before Him today.

You are either for or against God; there is no middle ground. That's what I believe. According to this logic, if you attend church and worship idols at the same time, you might fool yourself believing you belong to both camps. It doesn't work that way with God, so I believe.

Salvation means giving one’s life to Christ; it means surrender, total surrender. You cannot give your life to God and own it. You either have given it away, or you still own it. People can attend church without giving their lives to God; I actually believe there is quite a number of people in this condition.

Here are more bible verses on idolatry:
  • “They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols.” - Deuteronomy 32:21 (NIV)
  •  They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, "You shall not do this." - 2 Kings 17:12 (NIV)
  • While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” - Acts 17:16 (NIV) 
  • “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” - 1 John 5:21 NIV
  •  “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in ... detestable idolatry.” - 1 Peter 4:3 (NIV)