Since we know the true God and eternal life, we must worship Him alone. Nothing could be more foolish than for one who knows, and is in, the one true God, to bow down to the creature, and worship and serve it rather than the Creator. All idols of every sort must be put away. Far more than bowing down to the graven and molten images of the heathen is meant here in the closing words of this epistle. We are to abstain from all idolatry, including the worship of ourselves and our carnal pleasures, the excessive admiration of sinful men (be they good or bad), or slavish devotion to worldly riches and possessions. All of these things may beguile us, and we must ever be ware of these dangers. Even things good and acceptable of themselves may become idols, if we are not careful to center our affections upon the one true God, and the eternal life which we have in Him.

Therefore, these closing words are not just a peculiar ending, nor are they a superfluous appendix to a very heart-searching epistle. They are words upon which the child of God must live, for idolatry is a soul-destroying sin, and will deprive us of the eternal life to which John would urge us with all his heart. Thus, he closes with this warning, that all of God’s children should keep themselves from idols. Amen, and amen.

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