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Idolatry

September 28, 2000

Re: Idolatry

Hi Jane:

Whenever we put anything else in our lives before God the Bible teaches us that when we do this we are committing idolatry. Idolatry is anything we put before God first. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:5-6:

"For this you know with certainty, that no fornicator or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 5:5-6)

"Therefore put to death your members that are on earth to fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil lust, and covetousness which is idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come." (Colossians 3:5-6)

When we put ourselves first, no matter what it is or how innocent it appears, before our relationship with God, we in essence worship ourselves instead of God and that amounts to idolatry. Paul tells us plainly in the passages above that idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. Note Paulís further comments in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, Nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

The bible is plain that people who put themselves before God will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jane, Jesus has a will and plan for your life. If you confess Jesus as Lord, His will for you is to put self aside, your will and your desires and your ambitions aside and to seek His will and ambitions for your life. When you seek Godís will for your life and then walk in it, the Bible tells us then and only then are you glorifying God with your life. Note what Jesus said about Himself as a man on earth in John 17:1, 4,

"Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do." (John 17:1, 4)

How did Jesus glorify His Father? By submitting Himself to His Father and accomplishing the work He called Him to do as a man on earth. We glorify God in the same way by seeking His will and then walking in it. Anything that we put first before God, no matter how harmless in the worldís eyes it may seem, the Bible calls idolatry. If not repented of it can and will lead to eternal hell. Note Jesusí own words below in the Gospel of Matthew:

"So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ĎLord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?í And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.í" (Matt 7:20-23)

Jesus definition of lawlessness is doing whatever we do that is not according to His will for our lives, that is not in submission to him, even religious things. That is why God doesnít want our good works. Good works are just manís excuse for not surrendering to God and seeking His will and submitting to it once known. "Hey, I go to church on Sunday, I help old ladies across the street whether they want to go or not! I give to charities!" What is it they do not do? They donít obey God. For this reason God says in Isaiah 64:6 "All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment." They are filthy garments because they are not our seeking to serve God but our excuse for not surrendering to Him and doing His will. They are in essence works of sin, not good works. Jane, Jesus doesnít want your good works or good intentions, HE WANTS YOU!!! Until he has you, he has nothing. Jane Jesus loves you. He created you with a plan. Note what he says His plan is: "I came that you might have life and might have it abundantly." His plan for you is to give you life and to give it to you ABUNDANTLY!!! How abundantly. Note what He says in his word in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

"But just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God." (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

Jane, Jesus loves you, He has an abundant purpose and plan for your life, but He cannot implement that plan unless you surrender and submit yourself to him. The first step to knowing Godís will and plan for your life is to surrender to Jesus as Savior and as Lord. As Savior meaning savior from your sins, the penalty of your sin, death: eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23) through Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross, not by any works of yours. As Lord meaning you recognize Jesus as your creator and that he has a will and plan for your life and therefore the right thing to do is to die to self and self-desire and surrender instead yourself to Him and that will and plan and desire he has for your life. This is where true peace, joy an righteousness lies. Paul the Apostle wrote: "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). The second step to knowing Jesusí will and plan for your life is to spend daily time with him at the beginning of your day, not the end, to seek His will and plan for you over your day and the activities of your day. You do this by reading His word. Jesus said in John 8:47:

"He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." (John 8:47)

The Old Testament parallel to this is Isaiah 8:19-20:

"And when they say to you, ĎConsult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,í should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn." (Isaiah 8:19-20)

Jesus promises in His word that if you put Him first by spending time in His word to seek His will that He will reveal Himself to you and that purpose and plan:

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." (John 14:21)

Jesus says if you want to be of Him, then you will show this by turning to and reading and studying His word. Who is the one and only true God and how do we know what is truly His voice to us? By asking ourselves, does what I believe is God speaking to me line up with His Word? This is why God wants you to daily study and read His word so you can come to know who the true God is and what is truly His voice to you. This is because God never speaks contrary to His Word. That is why He gave us the Bible so we would know who the true God was speaking to us.

"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of oneís-own authority-to-loose to-cause-to-come-into-existence, for no prophecy was-ever brought-forth by the will of man, but being-brought-forth by the Holy Spirit, men of God spoke." (2 Peter 1:20-21, dpk translation)

The moment you stop starting your day with Jesus in His word, you automatically make yourself open to and susceptible to the lies and deceptions of Satan. To stop seeking the Lord is to be automatically in the flesh and the Bible tell us that the flesh is under control of Satan. When that happens you are then automatically submitting yourself to Satan and his will and plan for you. Jesus tells you what Satanís will and plan for your life is in John 10:10:

"The thief came only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly."

Jesus tells us that Satanís plan for you, no matter how good and glamorous it appears to be on the surface, in the end is to steal, destroy and kill you. If you reject God by not daily turning to him, this WILL be your end. Jane I love and care about you as my sister. I donít want this to be your end. Please repent and return to Jesus and allow Him to show you the will and plan that he has for you by putting Him first in your day, at the beginning of your day, by spending time with Him in His word and then submitting to that plan. Jesus said "He who is of God hears the words of God" (John 8:47). If you are too busy for Jesus, you are busier than Jesus wants you to be and it is one of your activities that is in the way and needs to go, not Jesus. To put your activities before Jesus is idolatry and the Bible is plain: idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jane, if you havenít truly surrendered to Jesus yet for the first time, then the first thing you need to do is surrender to Him as Savior and Lord and then show you have truly made him Lord by starting your day seeking His will and plan for you. If your not sure you have and want to, or if you have but need to do it again and this time mean it and truly submit to it, then pray this prayer with me:

"Jesus, I confess to you I am a sinner and repent of my known sins right now, my sin of idolatry of putting me first instead of You first. Jesus, I now ask you to come into my heart as Savior from my sins and as Lord of my life. Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving my sins through Your Sonís death and shed blood on the cross and for giving me eternal life. Now take control of my life and through Your Holy Spirit lead me into Your will and plan for my life, in Your Son Jesus Christís name, amen."

If you meant this and will submit to Jesus and His will and plan for your life and will begin to show your submission by spending daily time with Him in His word, then Jesus says know that you are saved and have eternal life and will go to heaven. Jane, I do love and care about you as my sister. Please, repent and turn back to Jesus so we can have sweet fellowship again in Him. God bless you.

Sincerely in Jesus,

Dale P. Kruse
Pastor Evangelist

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