Which god do you worship and why do you love it/him/her? There are many gods, and people worship them for various reasons. Ultimately, I believe salvation is at the root of why people worship various gods. However, at the same time, we need to know – salvation from what? Does our god of choice save us from a boring life? A life of poverty? Or does our god promise something beyond this existence we’re currently living?
These are the ultimate questions.
We all die.
However, we spend a short time on this earth and potentially eternity someplace else afterwards.
Therefore, aren’t the most important things we can do while we’re alive related to determining where we go when we’re no longer walking this earth?
Which god do you worship?
The sad reality is that a lot of us don’t know which god we worship. Maybe because we don’t want to have to admit it, even to ourselves. Or maybe because we’re so addicted/attracted to some god that we don’t even know it. Plus, our god isn’t necessarily what we consider a god. Things like money, drugs, sports, sex, word, etc. are all gods to some of us. We don’t necessarily think of them that way, but they are. And let’s not forget power and politics either.
Which god do we really worship?
As for me, I’m Christian. I hope Jesus agrees with me. You see, we’re no different in that regard than anyone else. We’re tempted to do things we know we shouldn’t. And we do things we know we shouldn’t. We aren’t perfect. The question is, where are our hearts? What do we do with the gifts God gave us? Jesus makes this clear in the passage below. This passage is directed at those of us who follow Jesus.
BTW – a talent back then was a very large sum of money. It had nothing to do with the kinds of gifts God gives to followers of Jesus.
Notice the underlined portions.
The Parable of the Talents
25:14-30 Ref—Lk 19:12-27
Mt 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Mt 25:19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
Mt 25:21 “His master replied, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Mt 25:22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
Mt 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Mt 25:24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
Mt 25:26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
Mt 25:28 “ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The two who did something with the gifts they received from God and were given eternal life in Heaven. The other one, who wasted his gift(s) from God was not. Instead, his reward was given to the others.
Expel the Immoral Brother!
1Co 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3 Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
1Co 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
1Co 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
1Co 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
I’m sure we’ll get into more detail on that passage at some point. But for today, it’s the ending that I want to focus on.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.
Likewise, it’s not my responsibility to judge you either, if you’re god is someone other than the God of the Bible.
However, if your god is someone/something else, Christians are commanded to try to tell you about our God. Not to force you, but to try to tell.
Conclusion – Which god do you worship?
Everything above, and more, is what we’re going to do here.
Looking at which god we love, which one our focus is really on, is something we should all do. Also, we should question why we love that god so much?
Jesus is the path to eternal life in Heaven. And He paid the price for us. All we need to do is follow Him. I say “all”, but that’s oversimplifying it. Following Jesus does mean we have to make changes to our way of life. Our other gods must be put away. We must care about the things Jesus cares about. However, Christianity also offers eternity with our Creator.
So, as best as I can, we’ll look at these other gods, and compare them to the God of the Bible.
What can your god do?
To close, I want to include one final passage. No explanation. Just an awesome display of God versus a pagan god of the past.
Elijah on Mount Carmel
1Ki 18:16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
1Ki 18:18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’S commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
1Ki 18:20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
1Ki 18:22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’S prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
1Ki 18:25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
1Ki 18:27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
1Ki 18:30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
1Ki 18:34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
1Ki 18:36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
1Ki 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
1Ki 18:39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
1Ki 18:40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.
1Ki 18:41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
1Ki 18:43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
1Ki 18:44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
1Ki 18:45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the LORD came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay