People have a built in need to worship a power they believe greater than they are. The origin of this comes from the Bible:
Ge 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
God created man to worship Him, yet once man fell into sin, he started making his own objects of worship out of stone, wood, precious metals and various irons. Much of this was in his imagination … but worship he must. It could be some fantasy imagine in the mind, some self-concocted religion or an adopted religion that suits his morals and ethics. Worship he must. It is for this reason that over the years of existence as the human race, that man has searched for a god, divine being, super power and savior that he may venerate to appease his greatest need which is deliverance from sin and guilt. Because of the spiritual dimension of man, there is this innate need or even craving to worship. Apart from the statues and images, man has worshipped planets, stars and suns. He has worshipped trees and nature. Although he refuses to admit that his ancestors are worshipped … there is ancestral worship or veneration practiced. In a materialistic and secular state, power, image, money, possessions, houses, gardens, sex, alcohol, drugs and many other things are worshipped. Man must worship because he was created to worship God … yet through sin he finds other idol gods to worship. The Jews had a picture of God from the pages of the Books of Moses. They worshiped this God … but because they rejected the Writings and Prophets … they rejected the Messiah God promised would come. When He came, because of their rejection of the larger portion of the Old Testament, they saw Jesus as an imposter and false prophet … and because He was attracting the crowds away from Judaism, the spiritual leaders removed Him from the landscape by having Him crucified. However, because He was God’s Messiah, God raised Him from the dead. At Pentecost Peter proclaimed the Gospel seeing 3,000 plus Jews being converted to Jesus. Then in Acts 3, Peter accompanied by his younger colleague John, we see Peter accusing the high priests (past and present) as well as the people of Israel, for the killing of their Messiah. They did not want what God sent, so they killed him, yet God raised Him from the dead. In this act, God ended the Old Covenant shaped in animal blood sacrificing and started the New Covenant in Jesus Blood Sacrifice.
1) Worship whoever you will, yet God only receives those coming to Him through Jesus Christ!
Ac 4:11 “He is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
They rejected the “stone” … the corner stone or capstone on which the New Covenant is built … however that is God’s one and only Messiah. Refuse Him, refuse eternal life! We need to be very clear in our understanding of God’s one and only salvific plan!
(1) Man might follow any religion of his choice. He might be the most moral person around. He might help the poor and destitute. He might build hospitals, clinics, schools, universities and houses for the disadvantaged … but if Jesus is excluded as being the only Savior from his belief system, that religion is not from the God of Creation and the Cross.
(2) Some might think this is cruel and that we who are called Evangelicals are acting in God’s stead, casting judgment upon good people trying to make a difference in society. No! We are not being harsh, cruel or barring people from heaven. Rather in love we seek to alert those “working” towards their salvation (which they can’t do), that because God loves us, we are able to love God and love His salvation plan. Therefore in love we share the Gospel which only presents Jesus Christ, crucified, dead and buried, yet raised to life as God’s one and only salvific plan for lost man!
(3) The reason the true Church makes such a fuss about Jesus is because Jesus is God’s only Savior. Note that there is no other name “under heaven” given to us by which salvation might be received. Literally it is Jesus or hell! Harsh? Cruel? Judgmental? Call it that if you like but this is what God’s Word teaches. Consider a few issues that flow out of this teaching …
(a) The Church has a mission. It seems as though most of the Christian Church today wants to please man to be relevant. Change the Gospel Message and alter the Gospel Requirements to become a Christian. Be tolerant and accept people as they are without being offensive or rejecting behavior that goes against the grain of Scripture. Rather alter the meaning of Scripture to make it say whatever you want it to say so that you don’t offend. Around the world this is happening and the Church is no longer the Church of God. To be the Church of God, the Church must be dogmatic! The central and cornerstone of our faith must be God’s Word, unadulterated, pure in its original form and believed to be such by those who form the leadership and membership of the Church. Flowing from this, the Bible must be taught accurately without fear of man. When the Church honors God, God honors that Church!
(b) True Christians have a mission. It is encumbered of all Christians to demonstrate their allegiance to Jesus as Lord, God, Savior and King. When they do, they accept His Word as their authority in life and their instruction manual to live by. One of the problems with the Church today is that the world looks at Church members and sees they themselves do not believe the Bible and what it teaches. They raise the question … “Why ought we to believe the Bible if Church members don’t believe the Bible to be God’s Word that needs to be obeyed?”
(c) Real Christian Families have a mission. One of the greatest sadness’s to me as a pastor is the way “Christian Families” fragment and fall apart. The neighbors hear the screaming, swearing and shouting. The drunkenness, loose behavior and divorce contradicts everything the Bible teaches. Shocking! God’s intention for the Christian Family is that they demonstrate their intentional Christianity to their neighbors and friends by living by the Bible. Few understand that every Christian Family is a micro-Church. Let’s pray that Christian Families will demonstrate to whom they belong by the way they live.
Glorious God and Father, as we thank You for Your Word. We thank You for saving us through the Lord Jesus. Many are religious worshipping many idols. We worship Jesus. Amen.