Are you willing to sin to get it?

Hello Church Family: If someone were to come up to you today and ask you the question, “ What idol do you worship?” You would most likely laugh at them and then dismiss them as strange and offensive. In our 2021 American culture we don’t usually think of people worshiping idols in our neighborhoods. But, when we go back through Scripture we see that the most frequently discussed problem throughout history was idolatry. Are we as followers of Christ today, in 2021, to be concerned about idolatry in our personal lives? Absolutely! Idol worship remains to be the favorite religion in this world and in Hampstead. As believers we can frequently allow an idol to displace our worship of the One Triune God of the Bible.
So, what is an idol? An idol is anything or anyone that begins to capture our hearts and minds and affections more than God. With that definition we can see how quickly even good things can displace God for our greatest affections. In Revelation 9:20-21, there is a horrible scene. Jesus reveals to John that throughout the history of God’s partial judgments upon this world, mankind did not repent of their idol worship or their sinful works and that is continuing today. What a horrible thought! God graciously delays final judgment with a history of partial judgments for the purpose of people to repent and they don’t! It is easy to stand in judgment over the people represented in these verses and think about how blinded by their idols they must be or we can ask, am I blinded like this by any idol in my own life? Have I allowed something or someone to capture my heart, mind and affection more than God? That should be a question for us as believers knowing that our idols may be very good things like, family, children, job, pleasure, financial security, hobbies, position, etc.
 
Do you have an idol that competes with God for worship in your life? Here are some questions to help us discover idols in our lives that we may have allowed to capture our hearts, minds and affections more than God.
 
What do you protect and defend with your strength, energy, thoughts and words?
 
Are you willing to sin to get it?
 
Are you willing to sin if you think you are going to lose it?
 
Do you run to it for refuge instead of turning to God?
 
What creates the experience of fear, anxiety and worry if it is threatened in any way?
 
What do you build your schedule around?
 
What fights to be always on your mind?
 
What creates despair or depression if you fail to achieve it?
 
What do you sacrifice time and money for?
 
What do you love talking about?

What is most important to you?
 
Identifying idols is the first step. But we cannot stop there. There is another step so that our testimony is not that of Revelation 9:20-21, where the people did not repent of their idols nor their behavior. The next step is repentance. Repentance involves a change of mind. Are are a few more questions to help repentance become a reality:
 
How does your thinking need to change about this idol (Colossians 3:1-5)?
 
What will you stop doing?
 
What will you start to do?
 
What is your plan to “put off” idolatrous attitudes and behaviors and “put on” new attitudes and behavior so that genuine repentance and change can take place?
 
What other brother/sister in Christ will you ask to help you conquer this idol?
 
Plant the love of Christ in the place where the idol has been uprooted so that Christ will grow instead of a new idol who may bring other idols along.
 
Let prayer be your power in the Holy Spirit.
 
Revelation 9:20-21 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
 
This Sunday we will be meeting in person at the church building if you would like to join us in person at 10am. And for those who will be staying at home, we will be live-streaming on our Grace Community Church Topsail YouTube Channel. Push the orange link. We can also be found at https://www.gracetopsail.com/

I look forward to worshiping the Lion and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, with you Sunday. – Steve

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