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.
Date Written: June 1, 2006
Date Preached: June 4, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (AM)
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…