What Does the Bible Say About Idolatry?

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   The first two of the Ten Commandments tell us to keep God first in our life and that idol worship is not condoned by God.  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.”
   Basically an idol isn’t so much about worshipping a statue of sorts, but it can be just about anything that we put ahead of God in our lives.  If something takes us away from the things of God it can become an idol in our life.
   Jeremiah 2: 26-29 says, “As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets.....Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us......But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.....Wherefore will ye plead with me?  Ye all have transgressed against Me, saith the Lord.”
   In 1 John 2:15-16 we read, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world.”
   So just what are some examples of idols in our lives in today's world? In what ways does America wiorship false Gods. Long ago, in ancient days, it was quite common that people many worshipped gods of wood and stone. These false gods were idols....gods that really didn’t exist until man himself created them. Even today, in some parts of the world there are still idols of wood and stone being worshipped. What about the good ole’ USA? Do we worship idols in our country? Maybe not idols of wood or stone, but here are some idols that are being worshipped today: the idols of lust, materialism, and self. These idols  keep people from receiving the full benefits of God’s love and compassion. First of all let’s look at the idol of lust (idolizing the human body and it's pleasures). The idol of lust and sexual immorality is being worshipped and followed by many, many people in this country. This idol is overwhelming our society with billions of dollars flowing into it every year. Worshipping the idol of lust has caused the break up of many marriages and families. Following the idol of lust has led to the outbreak of new and horrible sexually transmitted diseases and the use of abortion as a form of birth control. God’s original purpose for sexuality has been corrupted and twisted. God designed sexuality as a wonderful gift, but only when protected by the purity and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. The false god of lust promises people temporary pleasure but hides the eternal consequences. Following the lust-idol will inevitably lead to pain and destruction. 
   Then we have the idol of materialism. Many people today follow the false god of money and materialism. Chasing the almighty dollar, people who try to find satisfaction in material things will only fin dissapouintment. Jesus said, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15). He also said, “For what is a man profited, if he gains the whole world (the material world), and loses his own soul?”  (Matt.16:26). Material things can never provide genuine satisfaction in life.
   Then we have the idol of self.  When self is given a place  ahead of God, it becomes an idol. The idol of self can take many forms, because there’s a whole heap of ways that people put their own desires ahead of God.  Putting self first can lead to the breakup of marriages. Putting self first leads to physical and sexual abuse....stealing from others... and “stepping on other people” to get ahead. Putting self first never leads to happiness or contentment.  We need to yield to Christ, the living Savior, and allow Him to have first place in our lives. 
   Of course there are other idols such as drugs, alcohol, and other addictions; desiring power, seeking pleasure, and false religions such as witchcraft and the occult. Again, an idol can really be anything that you allow to take a place in your life ahead of the true and living God.
   But the real question we are asking today is, What idols do we ourselves personally serve? What have we allowed to replace what belongs only to God?   If we truly desire God’s love and forgiveness we must turn away from the world, and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.  Only then we will experience the genuine compassion and love of God. This means a genuine heartfelt repentance and commitment, a genuine surrender and trust in Jesus Christ. Are you ready to put your faith in Him, and turn your life over to Him today? If this is what you are really desiring to do, pray sincerely, and ask Jesus to truly become the Lord and Savior of your life.  Ask Him to forgive your sins, and cleanse you.  And make a genuine commitment to follow Him as your Lord and Savior.  If you have never done so, take the time right now to pray to Him, if you are willing to surrender your heart and life to Him. Pray to the Lord in your own words, until you are sure that you have recieved Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  

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