Summary: Idolatry is not limited to the pagan, but is rampant in our churches today. We must recognize these idols before we can confess and have God remove them.

Sermon Brief

Date Written: June 1, 2006

Date Preached: June 4, 2006

Where Preached: OZHBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Sermon Series: Idolatry in the Church

Sermon Title: The Idols We Serve!

Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4 READ PASSAGES HERE


When Paul wrote these verses to Timothy, he was speaking of sinful human nature… of those outside the salvation of Christ.

But I see more and more today… that even WITHIN the walls of the church; these words apply more and more to those who CALL themselves Christians…

Do you know why our world is NOT being turned upside down for Jesus, like it was on the day of Pentecost? It is because of the idolatry of those who are in the church today!

What is IDOLATRY? – Encarta’s Internet Dictionary defines Idolatry as…extreme admiration or fanatical devotion to somebody or something…

The great church father of the 4th century, Augustine of Hippo once said, “… IDOLATRY IS WORSHIPING ANYTHING THAT OUGHT TO BE USED, OR USING ANYTHING THAT OUGHT TO BE WORSHIPED…”

But ultimately, idolatry is an expression of arrogant human pride. It is a direct by product of the self-deception that is within our sinful and selfish nature.

We often think of idolatry as bowing down to a statue of wood or stone! We think of it as being done by heathens and pagan of other countries!,

But the Bible tells us that idolatry is anything that takes 1st place in our heart apart from God and warns us against it… 1 Jn 5:21 says, “…Little children, guard yourselves from idols…”

Our sinful nature naturally directs us to trust in things that appeal to our carnal senses and because of our sin nature… we seek approval from carnal one rather than from the eternal One.

In our world we have many people who have ‘idols’ in their lives… like Robbie Williams, a British pop singer, spoke on BBC Radio in July 2001…

Williams said, “…I haven’t had a drink or done drugs for seven months, and I’m feeling good. I’m enjoying it… Instead of drinking I pray. Not for long. I ask Elvis to look after me. I’ve got the tattoo on my arm: "Elvis grant me serenity." Before the gig we all get in a huddle and pray to Elvis to look after us while we’re onstage…”

Now to me that is about the CRAZIEST thing I have ever heard, but understand that this British musician is not alone… there are idols in ALL of our lives!

And the sad thing is that We KNOW these are idols are there, but we simply refuse to acknowledge them for what they are – idols…

Now, preacher you are losin’ it! I don’t worship idols in my house… I am NOT affected by idolatry in my life… why R you wasting your time and mine by preaching on this?

Don’t misunderstand me here! I do not believe that there are any of us here who have a problem with bowing down to stone idols, golden calves, or praying to Elvis… or anything like that...

But take that away and we, as believers, still have "other gods or idols" that we bow down to each and every day! I find that we devote our entire life to the pursuit of the things WE desire, and we leave God to settle for the ‘back seat’ of our lives…

We have become a fellowship that is willing to live our lives however we please and then try to fit God into OUR plans and desires… We try to make what is carnal…godly!

A Wheaton College professor, Dr. Leland Ryken once said, "Earlier in this century, someone claimed that we work at our play and play at our work. Today the confusion has deepened: we worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship."

Have you ever heard the old African proverb that says, "The man who tries to walk two roads…will split his pants." This is just what Jesus taught when He said that we could not serve two masters… that we would love one and hate the other…that it would literally rip us apart…

So…What are some of our idols today, …


I have long said that if all the believers who were members of the church would tithe as God’s Word commands… the institution of the church would NEVER have a financial issue… building funds and capital fund raising campaigns would be a thing of the past…

But in the fellowship of the church today, more people are thinking about what they owe and what they want… and so their tithe or offering is an afterthought… God is not a priority in the pocketbooks of many believers today!

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