Idolotry, Man’s Natural Instinct
The philosopher speaks of a god shaped vacuum in man’s heart. Many modern preachers preach about man seeking God. Through out history we read of men worshipping idols and gods of their own making, many today worship a god created in their own minds.
God’s word says, “No man seeketh after God.” Is this a contradiction to what I have just said? No, because what men create in their minds or with their hands is not really God it is an idol that they worship. Man seeks to make a god that he can comfortably worship, they do not seek the sovereign God of this universe.
Man sees around him a large world with many dangers, he needs a god to protect him. He has a conscience that accuses him when he does wrong so he needs a god to salve his guilty conscience so he can justify himself, so he must make for himself a god.
Men built the tower of Babel trying to find a god of their liking. If we build a tower surely god will see how religious and good we are. Often we hear men say, “I believe in a supreme being.” They fool themselves in believing this is their salvation. It’s just another idol created in their mind. Believing in a supreme being is what Islamic and others do, it is a god of their imagination.
I. When Man Is In Danger:
He begins to look for his conseption of god. these sailors were praying to their gods. Oftimes men will push out their puny chests and declare “there is no god.” But when danger comes they seek after their god whoever he may be.
ILL. A professor stood in his classroom and declared there is no God. then he got a little braver and said if there is a God up in heaven let him strike me down. Nothing happened, so he repeated the challenge. A few moments went by as he stood staring up toward heaven with his fist clenched and his teeth gritted.
A young man that had just recently been discharged from the Marines, got to his feet and walked forward and knocked the professor from his stand. The professor shook his head in disbelief and said, I said if there was a God I dared him to knock me down. The young ex-Marine smiled and said God was busy he sent me.
Man knows he is weak and that the powers of this universe can destroy him or that providential circumstances may end his life. Man then desires to believe in a supreme being, he wants a god on his side.
1. Man’s Reason Dictates A God:
He looks up at the heavens and then he surveys this world he lives in and says there is some great force behind it all. He may say to himself, I believe there is a living God. He then may become angry if someone accuses him of idolatry. Romans one and two tell how man should recognize the presence of a god looking at his creation.
Some may wish to disagree but I find no grace in Romans one and two only a declaration of judgment on mankind for their lack of belief.
We may go to an art gallery and see all the beautiful paintings displayed; we can then conclude there must be an artist that has done this.
Someone has planned, painted, and displayed this artwork. We may even examine the paintings and find simularities in all the work and reason says one painter did all of these. We may even look at the work and feel we know something about the artists from his work. The use of different colors may cause us to believe his moods.
Man is often in this frame of mind about God, they know about him. They know that surely he must exist.
What if we enter the gallery and the artist comes out and introduces himself. He begins to tell us about why he decided to paint different pictures what he was thinking and what they represented to him. His displays his ideas and his moods and even his dreams in color. We then say we are acquainted with how he feels but still he is a stranger to us.
Then this man comes out and identifies himself as our father, and says to us welcome home son. Then he says all that I have is yours. Our love would go out to him; we have nothing to offer but our love. He cares for me and I for him. A true relationship is realized, it was established when I was conceived but realized only now.
Reason tells man there is a God; he sees the power of God in action, yet reason cannot reveal God to man’s heart. Only God can reveal himself to man.
Reason tells us nothing of the moral character of God. He may view God however it suits him. Reason may tell a theif that a God exists but it does nothing to change what he is nor to cause him to even care.
You may know about God from the works of his creation, but this is not knowing God. Nature and even man’s conscience may say that God exists, but you can only know God if he reveals himself to you.
All of this reason may declare, yet it does not make man to know God. God’s word says, “You must be born again.” we have to be made a new creature. We need a heart transplant and not just a dose of goodness.
God must by grace show man his sinfulness and cause him to know he must stand before this awsome God as our judge. Then he reveals to our heart a Savior. One who took our place to hang upon that old rugged cross and he suffered beneath the hand of God. then and only then do we know God in all his mercy, all his love and in all his grace.
2. Reason Says That Prayer Is Possible:
Reason says that discourse between man the creature and God the Creator is surely possible. Man by reason knows when he is in danger he may cry out to his God.
He may be like the heathen sailors, when danger arose they cried out to their conception of God, but sadly they did not know the God of the storm nor the God of this universe. God might even save him but not because he prayed, but for Jonah’s sake.
Modern evangelism is like this they try to get someone to say the right things. They begin with a question like this, “Do you believe in God?” and most men will say yes, then they say, ”Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” to which again he gets an affermitive. Are you a sinner and men will say, yes.
If by now calling upon this god, as you understand him, you can be delivered from your sins and the torments of hell. Will you do it?
Reason says this God will hear their prayers, and reason further says this will please him for you to pray. This is a gospel based upon man’s logic, but the Bible says God is the author of our salvation, not the god of man’s understanding but this God of the Bible.
There are many who believe themselves to be secure because they have prayed a certain prayer and gone through the baptismal pool they deceive themselves. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 7:21
The heathen are not nearly as misled as some are today, they knew that God was not under any obligation to answer their prayers. They said to Jonah, “if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.”
Nothing is to me more degrading to God than someone who thinks that if they pray in a certain manner or ask God to do some particular thing that God is under some obligation to do it. This is in essense saying that God must obey man, how horrible.
The publican prayed, “Lord be merciful to me a sinner.” To some today they would pray, “God you are under obligation to show me mercy because I have prayed to you.”
God is a prayer hearing God and one who answers prayer, but we are never to be presumptious. We are to come seeking his will and not our own.
Reason said to the heathen there is a god, and also god hears prayers, yet it offers him no comfort or assurance. He was saying, “Pray there is a chance that God might answer, and save us from a watery grave.”
To believe there is a supreme being is merely admitting that there is one greater than ourselves that created all this. To believe that god hears and is able to answer prayer is a logical conclusion. There is no salvation in either of these beliefs. Jesus told us that we must be born again, only in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is there eternal life.