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By Curtis Pugh


            Besides other terms, the Bible contains the words “idol,” “idols” and “idolatry” a total of 128 times. In 1 Corinthians 10:14, Paul wrote saying, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” Idolatry was then and continues now to be a problem among professing Christians and in their churches. Because of this the children of God are instructed to run from idolatry in whatever form it raises its ugly head.

            We often think that idols are made of wood or stone or metal and indeed often they are. But there are mental gods as well as metal ones. That which is venerated or worshiped in place of the true God of the Bible is idolatry. So, then, idolatry is not limited to bowing or kneeling or kissing or venerating statues or relics or so-called holy objects. It is first of all a mental attitude springing from a sinful heart.

            Idolatry is the honoring of nature or natural, physical things or mental imaginations rather than the worship of God. The Bible says about sinful men: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen,” (Romans 1:25). Instead of worshiping the Creator, Jesus Christ, men and women often worship this or that created thing. Most pagan religions embrace the sun as an object of worship and engage in observance of solstices, etc. Basically such worship is connected with fertility rites – hence bunnies and eggs in the Springtime and evergreen trees in mid-winter, etc.

            One test as to whether worship is idolatry is found in the manner in which worship is carried on. Again the Bible tells us, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing...” (Acts 17:24-25). Whenever worship involves “men's hands” that is a sign of idolatry. After all, the Lord Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him,” (John 4:23). Worship is one thing while service to God is another. Service may involve men's hands, but worship is first of all a spiritual matter. It can be accomplished only by a person who has been regenerated or made alive by the Holy Spirit in the new birth.

            The second thing about worship is that it must be according to truth: not according to men's' ideas or to what someone may sincerely believes is truth. This means that if we would worship God we must first of all have been born from above: born by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then we must know the truth and worship God according to it. John wrote,  “ lie is of the truth,” (1 John 2:21). Any untruth we hold to makes our worship unacceptable. Flee idolatry!

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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