• johned@aibi.ph

There Will Not Be Any Idols In Heaven

(Exodus 20:4-6 NKJV) "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; {5} you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, {6} but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

(1 Corinthians 10:14 NKJV) Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

There will be no idols in heaven. No-one there will bow down to anyone other than the Lord. There will be no temple there for the Lord shall be its temple. In the light of His throne with lightnings and peals of thunder, in the presence of myriads upon myriads of holy angels who would an idol make? There will be no shrines to foreign gods such as Moloch, Baal, Kali or Jove. There will be no philosophers worshipping their doctrines and debating whether God exists. There will be no Mammon hungry dollar worshipper gloating over the streets of gold. Such thoughts will be impossible before the Majesty on high.

Who would dare cast a horoscope as the Creator of the Heavens booms forth His commands? Or take such an insane risk in the presence of a holy and jealous God? And if someone did who would be foolish enough to listen ? Who would consult the creation when they could consult the Creator? It would be a brave magician indeed who tried to impress the Almighty with his powers or think that he could gain a following with mere spells and potions. No wizardry can rival God's creative power or deal with sin. They will burn with shame.
If then this is to be the case why then do we regard such things now?

Why do we give respect to that which is soon to be despised? Why do we hold money in high esteem and not God? Why do we seek our fortunes in the stars and not in holy obedience? Why do we let our children read idolatrous literature written by deceived pagans and reward them with prizes for knowing myths and legends about foreign gods? Why is a person said to be learned if he knows much about Jove or Buddha and to be narrow and ignorant if he knows much about Jesus? Why take the names of idols on our lips ? What benefit is there in this? Will God reward us for it? Is the praise of men worth more than our very souls?

Walk around any large shopping center and read the signs named after idols, wizards, magicians and pagan gods such as Neptune or Mars. Western culture is rapidly jettisoning Christ Jesus for a tawdry mixture of spiritual has-beens. Yet I have a deeper concern. It is that Christians are serving idols as well as Christ Jesus. Here is what I mean:

The worship of Mammon- Giving final decision-making power to money and not to God's Word or to the Holy Spirit is to make Mammon Lord not Jesus Christ. It stems from unbelief in God's provision and eventually becomes idolatry. (Colossians 3:5-6 NKJV) Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. {6} Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.

Involvement in pagan, New Age or occult ceremonies and practices
- Many Christians do this often in the name of "culture" or 'broadmindedness". To know about such things is not wrong. To participate in them is. To bring back idols from Indian reservations or overseas countries, to purchase African masks or items of pagan witchcraft. To "half-believe" in charming but spiritually evil tribal creation stories. To eat in a Hare Krishna restaurant. These cause untold spiritual damage and darken our hearts. They insert themselves in our thought life and lead us astray from pure devotion to Christ. Here are a couple on Bible references...

(Deuteronomy 7:5, 25, 26 NKJV) "But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire..... you shall not covet the silver or 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. {26} "Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.

(1 Corinthians 10:19-22 NKJV) What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? {20} Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. {21} You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. {22} Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Narcissism - when Self is God.
- What happens when God clearly says "No" to some desire of your heart? Are you indignant? Do you feel wronged? If so then Self, not God, is central to your life. You have built an imaginary kingdom in which you are an all-important king and where your wishes are everyone else's commands. Your armed forces are rage, anger, unforgiveness, manipulations, rejection, and moody tempers. You marshal them to get your own way. You have a vanity that cries out every minute for the praise and adulation of others. Your daydreams are full of you receiving praise and honor and glory.

Hardly is God praised at all. To seek His praise, His honor and His glory seems too hard until your own insatiable appetite for it is fulfilled. Will you act that way when you stand before the Throne of Glory? Then why act that way now? Prepare yourself for eternity. Tell God that you have sinned in this and ask two things - firstly for forgiveness and secondly for the ability to praise Him and to become His rue worshipper so that you constantly praise Him and not yourself. As a side benefit you will find your self-esteem needs are met along the way as He reveals who you are to Him.

(James 3:14-18 NKJV) But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. {15} This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. {16} For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. {17} But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. {18} Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Syncretism - Pagan thoughts plus Christian gospel
. Christianity stands alone. It interprets other systems of thought and is not interpreted by them.(1 Cor 2:14-16) You cannot adequately fit Christ into a Buddhist or Confucian framework. You cannot rightly make Jesus a Marxist, a capitalist or the ideal social worker. You cannot explain the Bible in terms of UFO's and visits by aliens or interpret Genesis in terms of any cosmological theory.

(Colossians 2:8 NIV) See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

There are intellectual frameworks that are proud and lofty and which vaunt themselves over the gospel as critics of the nature, work and purposes of God. Maligning the Scriptures and sneering at eternal verities they are bankrupt, hollow and deceptive. Such critical systems of thought become intellectual strongholds imprisoning the believer with clever arguments, pretensions and thoughts. Paul is not at all sympathetic to such philosophies but instead wages war against them.

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. {4} The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. {5} We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Nearly all of us have been imprisoned to some extent by these philosophies. We need to test our beliefs to see whether they are intellectual idols that need to be cast down. A simple test is "Could I believe this philosophy as I stand before God on His throne in Heaven?". Could you tell the Almighty that He didn't write the Bible? Would you still hold to your doubts about the resurrection? Learning and education are very good things. Glorying in your intellect is not. When we find a belief that is unworthy of heaven then we should forsake it. We should say "Yes, so and so believed that but I will not take that as gospel. I will not let Christ be judged by any man-made system of thought. I will humbly learn from God."

(1 Corinthians 3:18-23 NKJV) Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. {19} For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; {20} and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." {21} Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: {22} whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come; all are yours. {23} And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

Removing Idols From Your Heart And Your Life

Physical objects associated with idolatry, magic or witchcraft must not be taken into ones home. Indeed they must be destroyed by burning even though they may be made of silver or gold or be rare books of considerable monetary value.

(Deuteronomy 7:25-26 NKJV) "You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or 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. {26} "Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. (Acts 19:18-20 NKJV) And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. {19} Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. {20} So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

This is the easy part. The comes the mental and spiritual forsaking of the "strongholds" they have created within you. I will use astrology as an example. You may burn your astrology books but take a long while to stop thinking of yourself as a Leo or a Gemini. This requires a ruthless repentance from the entire system of thought. You may have used your star sign as an excuse for certain personal weaknesses such as natural laziness. Or it may have flattered you in other areas telling you that you were stronger, wiser, or nobler than you really are. You need to forsake the deceptive self-concept that the idol has created within you. You need to say

"Father God I refuse to let astrology tell me who I am , whom I should marry and what I should be like, these areas belong to you and to your word the Bible. I have been deceived and I readily went along with it. I wanted to believe what I was told. It gratified my mind and my flesh. It flattered me. I chose to believe these things and now I realize that they are the empty conceptions of men and the doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-4). I do not want to believe these things any more. Wash my mind and heart and spirit with the blood of Jesus Christ so that I am cleansed from this error. Please Lord, replace its lies with Your truth."

You then need to replace the idolatrous self-concept with one gleaned from the systematic study of Scripture. The above procedure can be used not only with astrology but with New Age beliefs, intellectual doubts, magic, the occult and whatever else has et itself up in your life as an idolatrous stronghold opposed to Christ.
What I have said in this article may at first appear to be severe and harsh, uncompromising. Almost as if I was on a holy war against other cultures and beliefs. However I am not calling you to make war on other cultures and beliefs but rather to purify your own hearts for Heaven where no idols can dwell. © Copyright GlobalChristians.Org 1997

This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.