Summary: Shows how the Lordship of Christ demands our faithfulness. We must avoid idolatry and worship of money. This sermon is very specifically tailored to the Vietnamese culture.
The Lordship of Christ – Part 3 (Faithfulness)
Joshua 24:14-15 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
I. Coming under the Lordship of Christ means faithfulness to Christ.
A. Coming under Christ’s Lordship should be a calculated decision.
Luke 14:27-30 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
B. Coming under Christ’s Lordship must be a complete decision.
Luke 14:33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
C. Christ’s Lordship is an exclusive Lordship.
Specific to the Vietnamese culture, I believe that God is speaking of two things here that try to divide our faithfulness to God.
II. The gods your forefathers worshipped.
A. Many of us here once worshipped other gods. And if we didn’t then our parents did. Or their parents did. If we go back far enough we can find idolatry.
B. As a jealous God, the Lord strictly prohibits idol worship and demands exclusive worship of Himself.
EX 20:4-6 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ "
C. God cannot be represented in an idol, because he is spirit.
Acts 17:29 "Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man’s design and skill.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
E. God is not taking us away from anything that can help us, because idols are absolutely useless.
Psalm 115:4-8 But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 5They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 6 they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; 7 they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. 8 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
Isaiah and the tree…
Hideyoshi, a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s, commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashing down and wrecked the statue. In a rage Hideyoshi shot an arrow at the fallen colossus. "I put you here at great expense," he shouted, "and you can’t even look after your own temple."
Today in the Word, MBI, August, 1991, p. 23.
F. Even though idols are useless that doesn’t mean they are harmless.
1. Those who worship them become just like them—useless.
2. The spirit being worshiped in idolatry is really demonic spirits.
1 Corinthians 10:19-20 Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
G. Our response must be:
Deuteronomy 7:25, 26 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. 26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.