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Which Side Are You On? | Warning Against Idolatry

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2022 3:00 am

Which Side Are You On? | Warning Against Idolatry

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 26, 2022 3:00 am

We throw the word idol around pretty freely in our culture. “So-and-so is a teen idol” . . . “did you watch American Idol?” . . . “Humphrey Bogart was a matinee idol.” But, biblically speaking, an idol is a representation or symbol of an object of worship. It’s a clear transgression of the First Commandment. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie warns about idol worship based on an epic confrontation in 1 Kings 18. Elijah goes toe-to-toe with the prophets of Baal.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere.

No guide this at our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a good thing that you they didn't do what God we may not be worshiping graven images on regulatory shares or something captures more of our attention and God does a lot of things are horrible becomes the most allowed to become a God in the place of God in our culture, was a teen idol. Did you watch American Idol Bogart was a matinee idol, biblically speaking idol was a representation or symbol of an object of worship or transgression of the First Amendment to Greg Laurie warns about idol worship based on the confrontation. Elijah goes so Israel gone off the rail spiritually and morally, they turned to false gods and idols that specifically their case, they turned to Bayeux and*enter Elijah who enters the picture with boldness and courage and throws down the gauntlet so like this is okay here's the deal. First Kings 1819. So all of Israel to join the amount Carmel along with the 450 prophets a bill of 400 profits of Ashtoreth who are supported by Elijah like these odds 851 bring out all your false prophets.

Let's get up there and mount Carmel tell Israel to show up.

Let's have this battle right now. It was the battle of the gods. Here's what amazes me is they have agreed for this first Kings 1820 so Ahab summoned all of Israel in the province amount Carmel Elijah stood in front of them and said how much longer will you waiver hobbling between two opinions of the Lord is God, follow him to bail is God, then follow him look at this, but the people were completely silent. Their silence was deafening. Why because they worship many gods they did not want to stop so he let let's go. Let's see who has the real God.

So here it is first Kings 1826. They prepared one of the bowls placed it on the altar and called in the name of bail from morning till noon time shouting all bill answer us. But there was no reply of any kind, and then they danced hobbling around the altar that they may practice got a funny or it gets funnier.

By the way, so there'd been screaming at hobbling doing everything, Bill. Hear us now. We may laugh at that lesson.

Idol worship is alive and well today.

Oh sure, they worshiped bail. They worship*but do we not worship idols today. This is why John and some of his last words that he gave to the church after walking with the Lord for many years, said little children, keep yourselves from idols listen. Idol is not merely an object, though it includes that an idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of God in your life. Then repeat that an idol is anything or anyone that takes the place of God in your life. Answer this question. What gets you out of bed in the morning. Some people say breakfast. Okay, that's a better name would be really passionate about what he gets fired up about what is the thing that you think about more than any other thing that potentially Israel consider this an idol is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a good thing that you made into a God thing. It's a good thing you made into a God thing, meaning it might be good. There's nothing wrong with a career or something wrong with making a living. There's nothing wrong with a lot of things that were involved in, but if that becomes the most important thing that literally can become an evil thing you've allowed a good thing to become a God thing and it's taken the place of God in your life. There's one way to find out what people are passionate about. Check out their social media by the way employers are doing this now more when someone comes in and applies for a job they go check out their social media. What are they post on twitter, where they talk about on Facebook. What are they will get a photo so they post on Instagram you know this is of interest to them because the Bible says where your posts are, there will your heart be also doesn't say exactly that.

It actually says what were your money is, there will your heart be also. But I think it could include your post as well. I know Christians that used to post about their faith and they would use their social platforms to share the gospel and that have Scriptures and then something happened. I don't know what and they became these crazy renting people and everything's in the RIGHT and if you want to make it even crazier reverse it out of black so it's a white letter even better read letters against a black background you're ranting about this you're ranting about that you start losing followers wants to hear your rants anymore.

What happened your focus changed. Good that thing that you're so obsessed with now actually become your idol, you can make yourself God in your life. You effectively worship yourself.

You don't say it out right. You know my Greg coordinate that you don't do that. But in effect you to Romans 125 says they treated the truth about God for a lie, they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise. Maybe it's worshiping your body you attend the first Church of the perfect physique right just getting your body into the perfect shape your hundreds of photos of yourself on Instagram during the trial, out, you know, the dropout girls come on now. Girls do it more than guys a little thing we pursed her lips look at the camera. It's like I don't know it's weird looking than me or maybe you get plastic surgery to try to look how you look on your social media both when you use a certain kind of filter go for it, you can nip it, talk it tightknit tatted collar at whatever don't become obsessed with your body or with yourself. Be obsessed if you will about Jesus Christ. That's our message. Others bow at the altars of leisure. Even others at the altars of possessions or thing your idol could be a car could be a house could be close a could be so many things or can be money.

You know sometimes you will say the Bible says money is the root of all evil. Actually, the Bible does not say that there's of the Bible does say the love of money is the root of all kinds of people.

There's a difference is in their the love of my money's not evil, money is not good money is neutral. The good of the evil of money all depends on what you do with it. So the love of money or maybe another way to put it being obsessed with money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money goes on to say in first Timothy 610, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. See, it's a big deal to God to be number one in your life. Think about the 10 Commandments for a moment.

Okay so commandment number one. Thou shall not murder right now is not number one knowest thou shall not commit adultery. That's a bad one but is not number one. Nora said, thou shall not steal or even thou shall not take the Lord's name in vain. Commandment number one is have no other gods before me know if we were to reprioritize the commitments we might change the order. But God says the big thing at the beginning of this conversation, let me say don't have another God before me because if you have another God before him. That's for all the problems start to see if God is number one in your life. Everything will find its proper balance. If he's not number one in your life. Everything will be in chaos. I want to be number one why the Lord says Ezekiel 20, verse four because I'm a jealous God ever. People say I can follow a God who is jealous hate his jealousy is an indication of his love for you. Not all jealousy is bad speaks of a relationship God say I want an exclusive relationship with you. What you think of your husband came and said honey I love you we been married 20 years but I have five girlfriends now. Are you cool with that. You're not cool with that honey this is a frying pan or you cool with this guy know you wanted exclusive relationship with your husband or your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your wife and God says I want you to be mine and only mine. I don't assure you with some false God. So I this is what I'm asking of you. Your great glory will have the second half of this message just a moment. I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world listen to this.

We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God to join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org will were considering the showdown on Mount Carmel today as Pastor Greg continues her studies based in first Kings 18 let's continue. Here's the thing that was happening with Israel. Elijah says you're wavering or hobbling between two opinions seek they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

I'm so joking I don't know why that's a problem I've had cake and eat that. But you know the ideas I want the best of both worlds here was there thing all we believe in God we believe in Jehovah but I don't know Ashtoreth the big deal, cool, ice fringe benefits.

See Ashtoreth the goddess of fertility.

There's a lot of immoral things that well, but I don't know if they are a moralistic part of the worship we kinda want to do that to so don't think we don't do that in the church today is.

People say I'm a Christian, but am having sex before marriage when second you can do that for God says in Scripture. This is the will of God.

Even your sanctification abstain from immorality know no I the Lord told me it was okay no event Sears and I want to have it all all go to church on Sunday works of the Lord, but then I'll go do this other thing though her someone else writes it will you know we love each other so were living together. It's a test run before we get married you're living in sin and rebellion against God and actually want to know something. Statistically, studies have shown that couples who live together have a far higher divorce rates than those who don't want to sabotage a potential marriage then lived together to here's my point people are trying to live in two worlds.

Oh I love the Lord, but never really go party will get drunk were going to smoke weed know this is what a lie. Just think, stop limited to world of the Lord is God, then follow him in the bales God and follow him make a choice right now and it's still true today. Still true today.

The Bible says go big or stay home exit doesn't say that, but it's a good thought. And really here's one the largest thing of the Lord is God, then you should follow him. Joshua gave a similar charge to Israel back in Joshua 2415.

Standing before the people he said to them, choose the day whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or what would be the gods of the Amorites. As for me and my family.

We will serve the Lord make that stand in your home. Husbands listen to me.

Be a man of God stand up and say in your home.

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord why'd you do the same thing as your children need you to do this desperately because only a generation passed after Joshua made that statement. We read in Judges 210 but another generation grew, and they worship the false gods. It's as good as your generation so you need to pass this on to your children and to your grandchildren. That's our job as we get older we gotta do it and then that's as young people we pass it on to their going to get older then is going to be there. Chop and then their children and their grandchildren than on it goes, but we need to make sure we do our job and passes torch of the truth of God's word in a relationship with Christ on to the next generation first Kings 18 verse 27 rating from the new living translation about noon time Elijah began mocking them. I just like that statement because I am a mocker and I'm glad I'm not the only mocker out there. Elijah began mocking them. He says you have to shout louder.

He is a God. Maybe he's daydreaming or relieving himself, folks. This is in the Bible. That's actually what he said in the original language maybe are gods in the I don't know the eternal outhouse right now where is the living translation puts it, maybe, or God sitting on the toilet. I was fun.

So that's actually what he was implying he was joking all. Maybe he's away on a trip. Or maybe he's asleep and you need to wake him up. Verse 28 so they shouted louder and following their normal custom cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice. I love the statement but still there was no sound, no reply response and amazing cutout is a false gods. You can never make them happy.

You're looking at Tiki God always angry right these false gods are not real.

There, slicing themselves trying to appease these false God sometimes this can even enter into the Christian life.

Or we get this weird idea about God that we have to do a bunch of stuff to earn his fever. Just make this sacrifice/myself up to this other thing in and then God will hear my prayer, God hears your prayers because you come to him through Jesus Christ that I have access to the throne of God through the blood that Christ shared so when I'm doing well and I'm doing all the things a Christian to do. God hears my prayer when I fall short when I fail God still hears my prayer. If all repent of my sin come to him call on his name.

These gods could not hear them because these gods were not real Sangha put a pause great good about fire coming from Evan next week so would just pause the story at this moment in Christ will see what the Lord did.

But here's the thing I want to close with and I touch on this already. God wants an exclusive relationship with you.

Why would you settle for a cheap substitute. We chase after things this world offers that were told will make us happy and they don't think they make us more miserable or really longing for is a relationship with God himself, and he showed how serious he is about this relationship by sending his son to suffer and die on a cross for your sins so you could be forgiven. So you could come into a relationship with him. He not only promises you live beyond the grave and he does what he promises you live during life. Medical science can potentially add years to your life. But only Christ can add life to your years. My wife Kathy just had the opportunity to lead her and to the Lord. She's 101 years of raising know you say that stats are pretty unlikely that you will come to faith that would later like, but 101 years old when is beyond the reach of God and she prayed with her and her and prayed and Kathy told me that she said pretty these words after me, Lord Jesus come into my life. Forgive me of all of my sins and she said that my aunt prayed, forgive me of all of my sentences. She wasn't just repeating that she was understanding and so now she knows that her and is ready to meet the Lord. How wonderful that is wonder if you know that right now if you're sure your sin is forgiven. If you're certain you'll go to heaven when you die you have this relationship with Jesus. Have you been trying to live in two worlds. So working out really well is it it never does. Because you know you have too much of Christ to be happy in the world and too much of the world to be happy in Christ you're living in a miserable no man's land of compromise and I strongly urge you to make a choice right that's your if that's where you're at if you're living in two worlds appear living two lives you're living in the worst possible version of the Christian life. The worst that so it's kind of all Internet. It would study you spring now Lord we want to be in your side. We want to follow Jesus, and if there any idols in our life Lord. We may not think there are but there may be what you show us what they are and help us to re-prioritize to put you at the forefront of our life again, we are more important to us and anything else you have the one we get up for in the morning. You're the one were fired up about your the one we want to talk about more than anything else. Lord we want you to be the Lord God of every area of our life and I pray now, Lord, for any that if joint is who may not know you. They may not have a relationship with you. They don't have the hope of heaven, let this be the moment they believe in Jesus Noller had served out of our praying, if you want Christ to come into your life when it you just pray a prayer similar to the prayer. My wife prayed with her and just say Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin rose again from the dead. I am sorry for my sin that I choose to follow you from this moment Jesus name I pray, amen. No doubt the most important for anyone can pray Pastor Greg Laurie leading many who want to make your hearts right with God today. If you just prayed with Pastor Greg and meant those words sincerely will first of all we want to welcome you into the family of God.

And then we want to help you get started. Living the life of faith to send you something we call our new believers growth packet. It will help answer some questions you may have. Begin laying a solid foundation for your face will send it free of charge. When you ask for. Again, it's the new believers growth packet just mention that when you call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click the words know God will Pastor Greg were making available your fascinating book on revelation yeah but I think the first time a pastor decides to teach from the book of Revelation is a little sobering. You know little intimidating. Just the remember the first time you drove in yes it it is all the above eat it.

It's an overwhelming book. It's a book that's filled with imagery. It's a book that's filled with statements that are not always easily understood what I think as you begin to piece it together and understand that studying the book of Daniel is a great help in understanding the book of Revelation. Understanding the format of it. Understanding the purpose of it, it suddenly comes into focus for you, you know, just take the word Revelation by the way, it's Revelation singular, not revelations plural. I bring this up because people often say why been reading revelations while it's Revelation, but Revelation means to unveil. So God's not trying to hide things from us.

He's trying to unveil reveal things to us. You know it's interesting Jesus in Matthew 24 I and what we call the all of the discourse says when you see the abomination of desolation happen then we read let the reader understand.

So Jesus is talking about end times events and there's that little detail. Let the reader under stand. So why would Jesus say that if he didn't want us to understand Bible prophecy and how it applies to us today. I believe were living in the last days.

I believe Jesus could come back at any moment and I believe we need to be ready in the book of Revelation will help us to live a life that is prepared for the return of Christ, so we have a beautiful hardcover book commentary on the book of Revelation and simply called Revelation, a book of promises and I'm so excited about this because this is going to help you understand this great book of Revelation in out Bible prophecy applies to you so I hope you'll order this book that we will send you for your gift of any size and whatever you send. We will use to enable us to continue to teach the word of God here on our radio broadcast a new beginning and also to proclaim the gospel and call people to Jesus Christ.

So order your copy of this book. Revelation a book of promises and will send it to you for your gift of any size. Try to such a rich book if I could even promises a special blessing. No other book of the Bible does that every like to send you this resource to thank you for your donation right now.

Dave let me jump in really quick and not only are we offering this book. Revelation about the promises, but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times events so you probably wondered okay I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation period and the antichrist and the second coming. What happens when will this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lease it out for you that's included in the book you're talking about right now. Yeah that's right it comes automatically to get in touch with your donation today and will thank you with a copy of Revelation, a book of promises and will only be able to mention this resource. A short time longer. You can write a set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.for the next time more inside confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Vail first joint is hereunder new beginning pastors and Bible teachers Greg Moore and thanks for the new beginning. Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org


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