"Flee from idolatry," Paul warned the believers in the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 10:14). Given what Paul says six verses later, we should want to do just what he said--flee from idolatry. There's more happening then we see when food is sacrificed to idols. Behind every idol is a demon, Paul cautioned (v. 20-21). Therefore, the idols the world worships today are associated with demons too. The idol of self-worship, the idol of doing what is right in his own eyes, the idol of needing to be liked, the sexual idols, the idols of image, the idol of ego, and on and on. Every time one of these idols is worshiped, the demon behind it is fed and empowered.
It's no wonder the world looks how it looks. We shouldn't be shocked by what we see in the world.
We say it’s right to follow our heart in anything we want or do but then we are surprised by where our wicked heart leads us. We’re surprised by the fruit of our worship. But we shouldn't be.
When we pull all morality out of the sexual arena, we shouldn’t be surprised when we see more rape and sexual abuse. When we say character doesn’t matter in leadership, we should not be surprised when our elected leaders behave without good character. When we surround ourselves only with those that like our social media statements and then vilify all who disagree, we shouldn’t be surprised when different races and different cultures can’t get along. We're empowering the demons that spurt on hate and disunity, both in our society and in our souls. When it's celebrated to place our wants and desires and happiness over that of everyone else, we should not be surprised by all the dead, aborted babies. And when each is right in his or her own eyes, nobody needs to submit to anything higher than him or herself. When this is the case, we should not be surprised when someone walks into a school or a church or a crowed place and opens fire on everyone else.
But Paul also argued that instead of sacrificing to idols, we are called to be a living sacrifice to God, being transformed and worshiping the Lord (Romans 12:1-2). To the Corinthians, Paul challenged them to do everything for the glory of God. That means everything they were to do should serve to make God the object of our worship and love, making God famous. The same is true of us.
Think about the what the evening news would look like if substantially more people were submitted and committed to live by God’s ways. That would be a game changer today. It would change the world as we know it.
When we flee from idolatry and live to the glory of God, we are empowered by God to change our communities by the power of the gospel. As ambassadors, we bring hope and truth and light to a dark, hopeless, broken world. And our world need the light of Jesus.
In today's sermon, we looked at 1 Corinthians 10 and idolatry verses the impact of living to glorify God. You can listen to that sermon here.
For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan Catherman