There is a story in 1 Kings 18 about Elijah proving that God is the one and only true God. The people were wicked and had been serving the Baals. Baal was not any god but just a representation of any number of gods represented by idols. The people worshipped not only the idols of the pagans that lived around them, but they bowed down before the gods of other nations, and in some cases made up their own gods. Some were trying to worship the one true God, and serve the idols at the same time. Elijah challenged the people to make up their minds. In the commandments that God gave to Moses on the mountain, He said “you shall have no other gods before Me”. (Exodus 20:3).
Elijah gathered the people at Mount Carmel. He challenged the prophets of Baal to a duel. A duel not between him and them, but to see which God was a real God, and not just any god. All the people were to witness this event. “Elijah stood in front of them and said: ’How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the LORD is God, worship him! But if Baal is God, worship him’!” (1 Kings 18:20) The end of the story shows that God triumphed over Baal, and many of the people made up their minds and started to serve the LORD once again. They even killed the prophets of Baal. Read the whole story when you get the time.
The situation is really not any different today than back then. While many do not bow down before idols of wood or stone, they do practice a form of idolatry.
There is the god of self, where people think they are more important than the true God. They will not listen to God’s commands, but they will do their own thing. These people are looking for their own glory, and are not seeking to give God the glory. Selfishness causes more problems than any other thing, and it is at the root of every sin.
There is the god of lust, where people seek to fulfill their passions. The truth is that society is catering to these lusts. Practically every form of media these days are cashing in on the sexual craze that many people are involved in.
There is the god of greed, which the bible describes as covetousness, and it is also called a form of idolatry. Let’s face it, money talks, and the almighty dollar takes a lot more precedence than God these days. As long as there is money to be made, people could care less if something is right or wrong. Bribes, payouts, kickbacks are normal these days, and only the honest people suffer from this blight upon society.
And, rather than serve the God of the bible, people make up their own gods. Many people do not like the restrictions God places upon them, nor do they want to follow the commands of God. So while they claim to serve God, they simply serve a god of their own minds. But “do not be deceived, God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7).
If you want to go to heaven, the only way is HIS WAY. You may think that living a life of righteousness is too restrictive, but the end result will be better for you than if you make up your own god and live like YOU want to live.
God is not willing that any perish (2 Peter 3:9). You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died on the cross for your sins. (Acts 8:37). You must repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), you must confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:32) and you must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Then you must remain faithful and continue learning how to serve God (2 Peter 3:18). Let us help you on your spiritual journey. May God bless you in your study of His word.
By - Carey Scott via the Ranger Times 6/26/2011
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