Saturday, December 31, 2011
What Do You Worship?
Everyone and I DO mean everyone, worships something. Even if you are not literally getting on your knees to venerate a person, object, activity or even an idea, there is still something in your life that you put on a pedestal above everything else. That ‘thing’ is what you live for and where you derive your greatest satisfaction.
Most people associate the word ‘worship’ with religion but Webster’s Dictionary carries the meaning a bit further. It says when we worship, we express intense devotion, esteem, love and admiration to a person or thing. We were designed to be in a love relationship with and worship our Creator and as a result, the ancient, overwhelming compulsion to pay homage to something other than ourselves is wired into our being.
We cannot help but do so, even when we aren’t aware we are doing just that! It seems that most people worship that which they’ve been taught by their parents or their culture. For instance, most people in India have been raised to give recognition and honor to the gods of Hinduism. They give offerings to these gods in exchange for the hope of good weather for their crops or protection from disease or other calamity. It would most likely not ever occur to them to question why this is so, and if what they believe is true. They just do it because it is what they are expected to do by their elders.
The same principle applies to different religions all over the world. You tend to stick with what your parents taught you, even if you don’t fully understand the reason or logic behind the ceremonies. This explains why blindly practicing religion leaves people so empty. Of course, there are a large number of people who don’t believe God exists at all and if there is a God, which one is the ‘right’ one?
Those who don’t subscribe to any particular supreme being are still involved in worship. In America, the god of money and prosperity is quite popular. People will sacrifice their families or integrity to this ‘god’ in order to be as successful as possible and get ahead in business. They want to climb that corporate ladder all the way to the top. Unfortunately, they end up realizing there is no ‘top’ and no prize. They end up with loads of money and material things but find themselves alone because they neglected the relationships they were blessed with.
Others are more pleasure oriented and worship the god of their appetite, whether that be some type of intellectualism, recreation, food, electronic entertainment, drugs, travel or sex. Whatever makes them feel good is what they pursue with passion and excitement. They are convinced that, other than the government and their bosses, they are in charge of their own lives and no one tells them what to do or what decisions to make. They feel they are accountable to no one. Unless they are attending a funeral or other memorial service, there is rarely any consideration of what will happen to them when they die. Why think about something so depressing? Besides, their ‘worship’ need is being met even though they don’t realize it.
Even in Christianity, there are a huge number of people who profess to be believers in Christ but are participating in the rituals by rote and without true understanding or interest in what they are doing. They attend church every week, making sure they are dressed in outfits that look ‘churchy.’ They bring the obligatory covered dish to the fellowships and volunteer in the nursery or kitchen as a good Christian should, but if someone in the congregation is experiencing tragedy, well, let someone else sacrifice money or time to help them. They are too busy with carpool and tennis lessons to assist or even pray for that person. They worship the god of pious religious appearance and reputation.
I have some mighty bad news for most of you and you’re not going to like what I am about to say, but I say it out of a burning need to warn as many people as I can while there is still time. I am not out to offend. It matters not to me what you think about me personally. You can discount this news and disparage it all you want. You can laugh in my face and scoff and call me every name in the book. I am past caring about temporal appearances or reputation. I am privileged to make a complete fool out of myself in your eyes for the name of Christ. BUT…what I tell you is truth.
I can state unequivocally that there indeed IS a God. He is known by the following names: Jehovah, YHWH, I AM, Almighty God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. He is the “ancient of days” and has always existed, exists now and will always exist. He is the Creator of all things seen and unseen, and that includes YOU.
There are NOT many different paths to reach this God. He is NOT the same god as Allah, Buddha, nirvana, perfect nothingness or any other god mankind has come up with. Every single person is born a sinful creature, even that seemingly innocent little baby. I’ve had a child and was amazed to see the willful, rebellious nature rear its head when my son was just a couple of months old. It is what it is and we cannot fix it. Only God can.
Every single religion represents mankind’s instinctive need to reconcile with God. Deep down we know there is something bigger than ourselves ‘out there.’ The Bible says in Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal person and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Vs 21-22 go on to state, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”
In other words, as far as God in concerned, He has provided plenty of sufficient evidence in the natural world to clearly prove His existence. If mankind willfully refuses to acknowledge that little tug of worship in his heart and open his eyes to obvious proof of intelligent design in all of nature, creatures and even the universe itself, then he is without excuse.
Every single one of us has an innate, nagging feeling that we will stand before Almighty God and answer for how we lived our lives. Those who have given themselves to the god of so called “intellectualism”, cultured in the arrogant medium of liberal universities, are usually the ones with the biggest mouths, denying the existence of God. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” For every intellectual, scientist, medical doctor, chemist, astrophysicist, etc. that denies the existence of God, there is a colleague of equal education and intellect who would refute their claim. I am not writing this to argue the point.
I am writing this to declare a stark warning. The only way to be made right before God is through Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Period. Like it or not. Believe it or not. End of conversation.
Just about every adult on the planet has noticed in the past 10 years or so, an increase in natural disasters, some of which have been of “Biblical” proportions. You see the moral degradation of society and the increase in crime, particularly violent crime. Every night on the news, you hear of yet another war and the escalation of tensions between countries and cultures. You worry about the financial collapse of the Euro and the Dollar, which would ruin the economies of all nations. Record droughts. Record floods. Famine. Disease once thought eradicated rearing its head. What is going on?
The Bible is quite clear about the signs portending the end of civilization as we know it. We're living in Disney Land compared to what is coming. God is incredibly patient and does not want anyone to be lost to hell, so He has allowed society to toddle on for centuries enjoying prosperity, advances in technology and travel, giving mankind time to turn to Him. BUT God is not only love. He is also perfectly just.
The rejection of His Son’s sacrificial death to cleanse us from all sin so we can be presented to God and live up to His Holy standards, has just about caught up with this world. God is eminently just and His patience has about run out. The Bible tells us of the wrath that Christ will pour out on this earth and sinful mankind. But first Jesus will snatch those whose hearts and minds belong to Him up to heaven to spare us from the mind boggling horrors to come. The signs that this ‘snatching’ will take place VERY soon is all too clear. There is not much time left for you to choose this day whom you will worship.
We ALL will end up worshipping Jesus Christ. Some of us will do so with endless joy and adoration. The rest of you will bow your knee and be forced to confess Jesus is Lord.
Yes, it’s all real. It is really true. And whether you choose to believe it and accept the pardon Christ died to provide you or scoff and go your own way, these things WILL take place. Mark my words…if you choose to laugh this message off as the ranting of some evangelical Christian nut-case, be my guest. But there will come a day when you find yourself face to face with an Almighty God, and you’ll remember my warning. And for all of eternity, you will live with the knowledge that you flagrantly threw away your chance to live in heaven. I’ll be blunt. Don’t be stupid, people. DON’T. BE. STUPID.