These reprobates, abandoned by God, their consciences hardened beyond all repair, change the truth of God into a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator.  Perhaps this best describes the deceived churchmen and churchgoers of our age, spoken of in the paragraph above.  They know the truth of God, for it is written plainly in those handsome Bibles they carry into their house of worship.  But knowing the truth of what God says regarding sexual purity, and how sternly He forbids all manner of uncleanness, they nevertheless say that no man can judge them for their behavior; which in turn leads them to think that God Himself will never hold them accountable for it.  How dreadful is the blindness to which even the religious world may be given up when they forsake the truth of God, and worship the persons and opinions of men instead!

God made man with a mind and a conscience that is intuitively religious, and desires some object to worship.  Man knows within the deep recesses of his being that he is made for some higher purpose than simply satisfying the appetites of the flesh until death claims his body, and he possess a natural instinct to lavish worship, adoration, and reverence upon some worthwhile object.  In our unfallen state, man knew that the only worthwhile object of worship was the God that made him.  But since Adam fell, man in his debased depravity flees from God, and seeks other objects of worship.  God by grace calls many back into fellowship with Himself, so that they become true worshippers of their Creator, as indeed all should be.  But others He permits to grow hardened in sin, and thus they turn to idolatry.  Throughout history, we know that men have turned from the invisible God Who reigns in heaven to worship the sun, the moon, and the hosts of heaven.  Others have built images and statues, before which they fell down and cried for deliverance, some going so far as to offer their own children, or other human beings, as sacrifices to these foul deities.  Tragically, since the early days of the church there have been far too many who have bowed down to images of saints, angels, or Jesus, thinking that they were reverencing God, but all the while serving idols, which causes God to abandon men to their lusts.  It should come as no surprise to us, then, that Roman Catholic countries usually are characterized by rampant immorality, for our text draws a clear connection between idolatry and immoral behavior.  In our own time, we do not find nearly so many bowing down before images, but idolatry is alive and well in the human heart.  Self-worship is still a primary focus for many, men making themselves, their own happiness, wealth, reputation, and pleasure the chief object of life.  The worship of celebrities is a plague that today is perhaps worse than it has been at any time in recorded history.  Athletes, entertainers, scientists, and politicians, all vie for the attentions of the adoring throngs, who lavish more of their time, money, and devotion upon these men who are as degenerate as themselves, than they do upon the God Who created them.

To engage in any form of such idolatry is purest madness.  Is it not a conclusive proof of the blindness of man’s heart that he will serve that which is made rather than He Who made it?  If I were to build a house, it would seem foolish for me to bow in reverence before the house, when I could just as easily honor myself who constructed it.  This is why God through Isaiah mocked the idolaters who carved the same images before which they bowed; it is sheerest madness.  But it is always madness, no matter what is our object of worship other than the true God, to be an idolater.  To worship that which was created by God, like ourselves, rather than the God Who did the creating, is stupidity of the highest order.  The ever-blessed Creator has commanded that our religious worship be reserved for Him alone.  When we step outside that boundary, we are in a sin that leads to perversion of every kind, and ultimately to the destruction of our souls.

 

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