Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-5,11, the apostle Paul refers to the Israelites as an admonition to us, for God was “not well pleased” with them. From this, Paul makes three applications in verses 12-14. 1) Pride is a problem; 2) God is faithful; 3) Flee idolatry.
In Ezekiel 14, the prophet shared with the elders of Israel God’s displeasure at the idolatry practiced by the nation. “I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols” (4b-5).
God called upon them to “Repent, burn away form your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations” (vs. 6). If they would not, He warned, “I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the Lord” (vs. 8).
This prophecy has been fulfilled. The Jews who were unfaithful to God were judged by Him. The judgment they suffered is a proverb to us. We learn from their unfortunate example! “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
But, many of us refuse to learn the lesson. We erect our own idols (things to which we give primacy rather than God). We don’t consider the fact that we may be as guilty as the Israelites: “these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity” (Ezekiel 14:3). Always put God first in your life, and avoid being a sign and a proverb to future generations.
The cable news television station, CNN is running a series titled Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery. The programs are typical fare. Supposed scholars and researchers intersperse comments with a dramatic reenacting of Bible events, trying to “separate truth” from the gospel accounts and church legend. There is no respect for the inspiration of scripture. The resulting program, though claiming to be even handed, is a skewed, skeptical view of the life and ministry of our Lord.
One aspect of this series is the examination of “Christian” relics as an adjunct to the narrative. In this they attempt to establish the authenticity of such items as the Shroud of Turin, the ossuary of the “brother of Jesus”, and bones claimed to be from John the Baptist.
Of course, each time such a relic is shown to be inauthentic, it emboldens some to claim another victory against the “superstition” that is the Christian faith.
Continue reading » In the News: John the Baptist’s Finger?
Idolatry still exists today. There are little gods people put (metaphorically) in their pocket. Gods like money, human wisdom, tradition, pleasure and self.
I just read an interesting essay written by Dan King, describing the moral degradation that was present in Rome in the centuries following Christ’s life. Brother King’s point was that though we live in an ungodly society, it is nevertheless a much better circumstance than the experiences of early Christians.
Evidences supplied to support the thesis included historical references to wars of aggression; state sanctioned idolatry; the moral debauchery and excess of emperors such as Vitellius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus and Elagabalus; the corruption of Roman society which included prostitution, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, divorce , abortion, infanticide and gambling; and a fierce and continual anti-Christian attitude that led to frequent persecution for the first 300 years of the church’s existence.
While things are bad in America, and getting worse, we at least have protections offered by our constitution, and an admittedly dwindling majority that to this day objects to egregious expressions of immorality on the part of our public leaders. As brother King concluded in his essay, “Let us thank God for our freedoms, and pray that our nation will always allow for the right of its citizens to believe what the Bible says and our consciences dictate, and permit us to express those convictions through uninhibited public preaching and teaching.” (Is America More Wicked Than Ancient Rome? Daniel H. King, Sr.)
The text of 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 is examined. Paul prohibits idolatry. He states that when we offer up worship to idols, we provoke the Almighty God.
Idolatry is alive and well today, in various forms.
It is obvious that our country has undergone substantial and fundamental changes in the 236 years since our forefathers declared independence from English rule. A country founded upon the promise of religious freedom has become decidedly secular. Traditional moral standards have been replaced by a situational ethic, and what was once scorned is now championed. While there is obvious concern about our present economic and debt problems, few are interested in discussing moral issues.
Continue reading » In the News: Blasphemy and Idolatry
Sermon 3 of 9
Gospel Meeting May 5-10, 2012
Speaker: Chip Foster
The sermon uses the text of Hosea to look at the state of Israel during the time of the prophet, and makes seven applications. Today we can be guilty of the same sins of Hosea’s time: 1) Lack of Knowledge; 2) Pride; 3) Instability; 4) Mixing with the World; 5) Corruption; 6) Backsliding; and 7) Idolatry.
AOTS Number 58
We should ask ourselves, “Why do we go to church services.” Are we interested in being entertained, or listen to a “favorite” preacher? Or are we being faithful to God?
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A comparison between the Almighty God of heaven, and dumb idols shows the absurdity of idol worship. Though worship of idols is absurd, it was common among pagan peoples, was present among the Jews, and is practiced today.
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Baal, or Ba’al was the principal male god of the Canaanites. Actually, the term Baal means “Lord” in the Hebrew language, and was used in the Old Testament in reference to many different gods, including Jehovah.
In fact, in the days of Hosea the worship of idols had become so prolific that God equated the unfaithfulness of Israel with whoredom.
Continue reading » Worship to Baal