Exodus 20: 2-6
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Idolatry is a grievous sin before God. Not to make an idol in the form of anything is the first commandment of the Lord.
Religiosity is inherent in a person because man has a spirit and one of the functions of the spirit is to worship. Have you seen an animal that worships? An animal does not have a spirit but only man. So even though man worships, in reality he is not seeking God. Religiosity is innate or built-in to his innermost being because of the spirit in him. The Bible says in Romans 3:11, “No man seeks for God, not even one.”
When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, God gave them this first commandment but the Israelites sin against the Lord over and over again with the sin of idolatry. Every time they permitted themselves to be attracted to the gods of the heathens or the pagan gods, the Lord God of Israel allowed other nations to oppress the Israelites and there were times that they were defeated in battle and eventually their enemies conquered them.
When Christianity spread out to the Mediterranean world, pagans who were converted to Christianity were instructed to get rid of their idols. Let us leave the pagans alone but if someone who profess to be a Christian yet is an idolater; there is a stern instruction to the church from the Word of God not to associate with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13)
Anyone who worship or make sacrifices to an idol is actually worshiping or sacrificing to demons. Behind those idols or images are demons. (1 Corinthians 10:19-20), “Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.”
To a born again Christian, all idols are nothing. They can do no harm nor do well to a Christian. Idols are not to be afraid of because they are nothing. Yet if you allow yourself by compromising to pagan doctrines and still keep idols in your dwelling place the tendency is that you will go back worshiping and serving them. And thus you will become like your dumb idol. You will not understand God’s Word. You will lose appetite in reading the Bible and eventually believe a lie. Besides that, your children and the next generation will have the tendency to also be captivated in worshipping idols. That is why God’s instruction is to burn these idols. Deuteronomy 7:25, “The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.”
Psalms 115: 4-8, “But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet but cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them and so will all who trust in them.”
Beginning in the first century, from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean world Christianity spread out. The churches in the New Testament on whom the apostles wrote letters for and the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation were actual churches located in the Mediterranean world. But now you cannot trace Christianity there because it has been converted to Islam. The big question is why and how did it happen? Let us first examine who Muhammad was. Muhammad, the man destined to be the prophet of a new world religion as well as the spiritual and temporal leader of his people, was born in Mecca between A.D. 570 and 580. He was an orphan was raised first by his grandfather, Adb al-Muttalib, and then by his uncle, Abu Talib. At the age of 25 he married a wealthy widow, Khadija. Her money provided him with ease and independence needed to investigate and appraise the religious situation in Arabia,
The strong monotheism, the theory of revelation, and the Biblical element in the Koran all suggest that Muhammad was exposed to both Christian and Jewish influence. What compelled Muhammad to undertake his world-shaking career will always remain shrouded in mystery. What is clear is that he was disturbed and disgusted by the idolatry of his contemporaries. By the tip of his sword Muhammad conquered Jerusalem and the whole Mediterranean world and converted its inhabitants to Islam. The question again is why God allowed it to happen?
There has always been an attempt by the devil to contaminate the gospel ever since the church of Christ was established in the first century A.D. but the tidal wave of mass deception converting Christians to paganism was during the reign of Constantine the Great. Constantine embraced Christianity and became the spiritual leader of the church while he was at the same time the Pontifex Maximus, which is the title of the highest pagan priest. Do you wonder why it is the title of the Pope of Rome until today? The first Pope actually was Constantine and not Peter. Peter had never been in Rome. There is neither historical fact nor Biblical record that Peter had been in Rome. They only made up the story and it was only a legend. It was Paul who was in Rome as a prisoner when he wrote letters from there, but Paul had no mention of Peter. Peter was not even the prominent leader of the Church in Jerusalem; it was James the half brother of the Lord Jesus. Peter has his mother-in-law that means he was a married man. Check it out in Matthew 8:14. Peter was not infallible as Popes claimed to be because he was rebuked by Paul in front of the congregation for being a hypocrite. (Galatians 2: 11-14) How can then Peter be the Pope?
When Jesus said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.” Peter was not the Rock but it was Jesus. The confession of Peter saying “Jesus is the Son of the living God,” is the foundation of Christ’s Church that means that Jesus is God. That confession is the key. Not the literal keys that we see in images in which Peter is seen holding keys in front of the door of Heaven. That’s ridiculous! The Lord said, “I will give you the keys,” the reason why the keys here is plural because Jesus was not only talking to Peter. He was talking to all who will proclaim the gospel. The pronoun word “you” here is also plural. He is talking to all born again Christians to tell people that Jesus is the Son of the living God and implying that the Savior Himself is God, which is the very foundation of His Church and that confession is the key. (Matthew 16: 13-19)
The total conversion of the Christian Church to paganism was on the third century A.D. The mass destruction and the murders of the idolater Catholics by Muhammad and his army happened on the six century exactly the third generation of the parents that became idolaters. The churches that became a harlot also became the Babylonian religion.
There are several meanings of the word “generation” and one of them is the average time interval between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring. The dictionary doesn’t have a specific number of years a generation has. But if we are going to refer the Scriptures a generation is approximately a hundred years. Let us read Genesis 15:13-16, (NIV) Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years, But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
Unmistakably, we can see from the third century when the Christian Church became a harlot and began to worship other gods until the sixth century. This was when Catholics were slaughtered by the Muslims, mathematically, it was in the third generation and continued in eradicating professing Christians to the next generation, which was the fourth. The warning from the Word of God was fulfilled.
In the reign of Constantine Christians began to worship the Queen of Heaven who was from Babylonian religion whom they named as Mary. They also began to worship a child god from Babylon and named him baby Jesus. The Jesus that the Catholics were worshipping is not the true and Biblical Jesus. It is a false god made of wood, stone, silver or gold. The Church became an idolater. God had given the Catholics a chance to repent and get rid of pagan doctrines and its practices through the warnings of His Word. For centuries God was patient but the “HARLOT CHURCH” hardened her heart. People became religious fanatics and superstitious that they venerate and worship even pieces of wood supposedly from the original cross of Christ and even bones supposedly of the dead Saints. Idolatry was so rampant in Churches. It became so detestable to God and that was why He allowed the professing Church of Christ to be eradicated. The Church was annihilated and destroyed. They were massacred by the Muslims. Churches in those places were of no use or worth to God that was why He allowed Muhammad who hated idols to conquer that place. Now you cannot trace Christianity there.
Although the Roman Empire was divided into kingdoms, the Kings and their subjects in the whole Europe were spiritually under the Sovereign rule of the Pope of Rome.
As the Word of God says that He is a jealous God, He is not jealous with idols and false gods. These are nothing to Him. God can burn these useless idols in an instant but God is jealous with the Christians who turned their backs from God to worship and make devotion to idols and other gods. It took God’s enduring patience even for centuries to give His Church a chance to repent but the Church did not heed to His Word that was the reason God allowed the professing Christian Church to be ravaged by a plague.
Bubonic plague, so called from the buboes or swelling on the bodies of the victims and carried to humans by fleas from the sick rats, attacked the lymphatic gland system. From Sicily the Black Death swept the Western Mediterranean littoral in 1347, raged in Italy, Spain, and France in 1348, reached Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Low Countries, and England in 1349, and Scandinavia and Poland in 1350. Plague hammered Europe again and again in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and continued its ravages, though with diminished intensity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Reliable estimates of the loss of human life vary from 12 to 70 percent, on the region, with global loss for the years between 1348 and 1377 of no less than 40 percent. For example, the population of the rural Country side around the Tuscan City of Pistoia had been about 13,000 in the mid-thirteenth century. In 1401 it was less than 9,000. The number of inhabitants as of the City itself feels from 11,000 in 1244 to 6,000 in 1351 and to 3,900 in 1415. “No one wept for the dead,” wrote a Sienese Chronicler, “because everyone expected death himself.”
People in those places who suffered with the plague were rabid idolaters who professed to be Christians. Now does anyone think that what happened was just happenstance?
People ignorantly blamed the Jewish communities for the plague because the Jews were not affected. So they accused the Jews as witches. The primary reason why Jewish communities were spared from the plague was because they did not assume to be Christians; and secondly, they have learned their lesson in a hard way that is why they don’t worship idols anymore.
Were the commandments of God and its warning was just written for nothing? Let us leave the pagans or the heathens and the atheists in this world alone. It is none of our business if they worship idols or false gods or even if they worship themselves. The Bible in Ephesians 2: 11-12 says that they are without hope and without God in this world. But for anyone who becomes a Christian, the first commandment written in big letters, cannot escape their eyes and their mind. If you disobey these commandments you actually hate God.
Someone will say, “We have idols at home and in our churches. We worship them ever since I came to this world and we are doing okay. In fact we are rich because these idols we possessed have given us good fortune.” Satan can make you rich too!
Remember, that God is patient. It took centuries before God implemented the punishment to the third and fourth generation. Do you think that their fathers went to heaven? “No idolater can inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Let us read Jeremiah 10:1-5; 14-15: "Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good.” “Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery; in the time of their punishment they will perish.”
If Muhammad and his army had spared idolater catholics from destruction, then God is a liar. If the Black Death in Europe that ravaged the idolater catholics did not occur then God’s warning would be a lie. But God never lies. Christians should learn a lesson from the past. Idolatry is a grievous sin before God!
Continue to read the next topic "A greedy person is an idolater"
Sermon by: Pastor Bobby Cabonce