We are in Laodicean times when the greater part of the Church has let down. According to the last half of Revelation 3:14-22, the Church of God is not receiving a passing grade at this time. Jesus is outside knocking – trying to get our attention.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Our forefathers had a lot of trouble with idolatry. In the Old Testament, idolatry was a constant problem. Is idolatry a big problem in God’s church today?
“And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 32:4)
“Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (1 Kings 12:28)
The ancient nation of Israel lost their home in the promised land and were carried away into captivity because of their idolatry and Sabbath breaking. Idolatry is the worship and devotion of idols, images, or anything in place of God. It is the worship of false gods. It is the wrong prioritization, excessive attachment or veneration of anything. Idolatry robs God of His preeminence.
Why did the Israelites worship a calf-idol? It seems preposterous to us – doesn’t it? In Egypt the Israelites had been exposed to pagan gods. The bull, calf or steer represented strength, power, virility and a host of aggressive attributes. Without God in the picture the Israelites often reverted back to the base things of the world. They would kiss the calf (Hosea 13:2). They would revere the idol instead of God. God intends that we come to understand His supreme sovereignty.
We hardly ever hear of idolatry being mentioned in the Church of God today. Some think that all the idolatry today is in the Catholic Church with all their statues. Could it be that the sin of idolatry, which was so pervasive in the Old Testament, doesn’t apply so much to the True Church of God at this time?
Or, brethren, could it be that we are looking in all the wrong places? Could we be fooled into thinking that we are putting God first, when in reality, we are telling Him to take a back seat to our other pursuits? That is putting God in second place. “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”
Is there any chance that we usurp God’s name and authority, and claim to be His agents when, in reality, we are actually furthering our own agendas – and if fact kiss the calf? The truth is, idolatry is just as much alive and active today as it has ever been. Here’s the problem; for God’s Church, led by His Spirit – idolatry is fatal.
Some corporate church organizations have fallen back into the same idolatrous trap of putting loyalty to men and organizations ahead of loyalty to God. We need to recognize that there is a great deal of idolatry within the greater churches of God. Every time that we do not put God first in what we are doing – anytime that we are not looking directly to God – we are guilty of idolatry.
Your brother in Christ,
Warren M. Zehrung