Sunday, January 25, 2009


We are prone to worship men. We set before us some athlete, politician, or religious leader and suppose him to be something special. We pledge our allegiance to him or her and suppose that he or she has the power to do great things. It is true that there have been great men and women through the ages. There have been individuals who have stood out above the crowd of humanity for some particular reason. Their intellect, their skills, their inventions, or good deeds have garnered humanity’s admiration. That’s not a bad thing. But when that admiration turns to worship, that’s an entirely different matter.

In the book of Acts we have two accounts of men who were worshipped, both cases are instructive. The first involved King Herod. According to Acts 12:21-22, "He put on his royal apparel, took his seat at the rostrum and began delivering an address" to the people. Apparently his dress and his speech greatly impressed the crowd, for they cried out, "The voice of a god and not a man!" (Acts 12:22). The end result in that case was pretty gruesome. "Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and HE WAS EATEN BY WORMS AND DIED" (Acts 12:23).

The second account involved Paul and Barnabas. Paul healed a man who had been "lame from his mother’s womb" (Acts 14:8). When the multitudes saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying..."the gods have become like men and have come down to us" (Acts 14:11). "And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds" (Acts 14:13)." The response of Barnabas and Paul could not have been stronger. "But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out in the crowd, crying out and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? WE ARE ALSO MEN OF THE SAME NATURE AS YOU" (Acts 14:15).

No matter how great the man, the truth is he is of the same nature as every other man. We are all sinners by birth. No matter how great our intellect, charisma, or deeds--we are all sinners by nature and practice. None of us is deserving of worship. History has proven that it is never a good thing when men worship a man. We should never set any man on a pedestal. We are commanded to respect men--civil and religious leaders and even each other (1 Peter 2:17), but we are never commanded to worship them, indeed we are commanded not to worship anybody or anything except God Himself (Exod. 20:4-5).

THERE IS BUT ONE DESERVING OF WORSHIP--Jesus Christ. Though we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), "he knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21)." Though we are prone to selfishness and pride, he lived a humble and selfless life, putting the needs of others first. He consistently and relentlessly gave of Himself for the betterment of those around Him. The extent of His love was proven in His willingness to die for our sins (1 John 3:16). God raised Him from the dead and He has been exalted "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come" (Eph. 1:21). There will come a day when "every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11).

Respect our leaders and express thanks to those who do good, by all means. Worship them, never. There is but one who is worthy of our worship--Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Jerry

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