Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.Leviticus 26:1
God takes idolatry very seriously. It is a threat to His preeminence in our lives and must be treated as such. Idols are physical or spiritual images that take the place of love for God in our hearts. Idolatry is all about lust and wrong desires. Anything can be an idol. It used to be that idols were images carved out of wood or stone or gold that people bowed down to and worshiped. Now, idols are anything that one bows down to in his or her heart.
Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.Ezekiel 14:3-8
God treats the matter of idolatry with a Father’s heart. He loves His people and does not desire that they forsake Him with their hearts. When someone sets up an idolatrous image in their hearts and minds, it grieves the heart of God, it injures the heart of God. God’s kingdom is made up of people that have put away idolatry far from their hearts. To them, God alone is to be worshiped and praised. He alone is to have the adoration of their hearts.
God is a jealous God. Jealous for the affection and attention of His people. He does not tolerate false idols in our lives. He lovingly exposes the idols for what they are and makes sure that we understand the severity of our treason against God. When God reveals an idol in your life, the best thing to do is what they did in the Old Testament days: smash them! Destroy them! Burn them! Throw them away from you like you would a dirty rag.
God has revealed idols in my life over the past several years. My CD collection was the first thing to go. It was a false idol in my life. I rejoiced in it more than I rejoiced in the Lord. It was mainly worldly music, which God takes no pleasure in. So, I did what the Lord told me to do. I got rid of my CD collection. Then it was my DVD collection, full of ungodly movies that don’t please or glorify the Lord. Then it was my addiction to pornography. Those are literally false images, set up for men to bow down to and worship. I purpose in my heart not to bow down to those images anymore, by the grace of God. So we see that anything can be an idol when it competes for affection to God. We need the same heart for these things that God has. Zero toleration. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Destroy these false idols before they destroy you!
That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them.Ezekiel 23:37
One day the faithful bride will be married to Jesus Christ. Right now we are engaged to be married to Jesus Christ, by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Christ is coming back for a pure bride, free from the pollutions of the world. Idols in our lives causes us to commit spiritual adultery against God and His Son Jesus Christ. It’s profane and needs to be dealt with. You must remove any graven images from your life, be they physical or spiritual or both. On judgement day, Christ will not tolerate any idols that were in your life. Now is the appointed time, today is the day of salvation. Rid yourself of what is holding you back from being a pleasing vessel unto the Lord. You must take this as seriously as God takes it, or the end will be destruction and perdition, away from the face of God forever. Fire and brimstone. Hell awaits any unrepentant idolater.
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.Acts 15:19-20
It’s interesting that the believers of the New Testament church found idolatry so important that it was mentioned as something to abstain from for the Gentile believers of that day. It is a short list of 4 things, but idolatry is mentioned among them. God hated it in the OT, and still hates it now in the NT. God will always hate that which separates a man from Him. Go now and make sure your hearts, that they flee from idolatry and every evil work. No sinner will enter heaven. Only ex-sinners who have repented of their evil and their witchcraft of idolatry.
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.2 Corinthians 6:16
We are to be God’s temple. We are to be God’s dwelling place by the Holy Spirit. We are to be God’s people. What separates us from the world? A burning hatred for sin in all its forms, including idolatry. The temple of God, us, has no agreement, has no company with idols. Put away those filthy images and be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Christ in His love is withholding judgement, giving us time to be transformed to His will, which is holiness and righteousness. He is giving us time to smash the idols in our lives. We can’t play around with idols. That is harlotry. That is fornication. That is spiritual adultery against God. Put it all away and live only for the glory of God. Time is running out! Soon Christ will return or you will die and will be face to face with the God you claimed to love. Make sure your love is genuine and sincere by departing from every evil work.
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;1 Thessalonians 1:9
These idols try to take the place of God in our hearts. They are false. They are liars. There is no truth in them. They will destroy you if you don’t destroy them first. You can’t walk God’s way and the way of idols at the same time. Choose you this day whom you will serve. You must turn from idols to serve the living and true God. God will not accept you as long as you are determined to hold onto your false idols. Root them out of your heart, as painful as it may be in the short term. In the long term you will be thankful. Put away the temporal pleasures of wicked things so that you may have eternal pleasures with God and His kingdom of righteousness.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.1 John 5:21
John ends the epistle of 1 John with a very important warning to the spiritually immature believers. Keep yourself from idols. Notice that the Lord will not be the one to do the keeping. It’s your heart and it must be your choice to forsake the things of the world, to forsake these false images, these idols that compete for the affection of your heart. God will give you grace of His Word and His Spirit to help you when you are tempted. He will make a way of escape. He can’t override your will. He can’t change your heart without your will and permission. It is a sign of spiritual maturity that one has cut out idols out of his or her life. Let us go on to spiritual maturity in all things. Let the days of idolatry be the days of the past!
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:Colossians 3:5
Paul gives us further clarification as to what idolatry is. Covetousness is idolatry. Greedy desires to have more and more of the world. That is covetousness. Love not the world, neither the things or idols that are in the world. Love God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of mankind. Keeping His commandments will keep you in the path that leads to righteousness. You will be far from the path of idolatry and wickedness. Make your calling and election sure by laying hold of, by seizing eternal life. Flee from idolatry! Run the way of righteousness as God enlarges your heart. Seek the Lord and His righteousness forevermore. Tell the Lord your heart belongs to Him and then show it to be true by loving Him daily, by picking up your cross and following Christ daily. There is no other way to show love than to lay down your life for God’s sake. Be willing to cut out idols out of your life, rather, allow God to cut them out with the sword of His Spirit, the Word of God. Beware of idols, but be at peace in the Lord. He will reveal what needs to go out of your life. If your heart doesn’t condemn you, then you have confidence towards God. Amen.