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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Stay Away

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. ~1 John 5:21


1 John was written to the church at Ephesus. John wrote this letter at the age of 90. This was a prominent first century church with a glorious start, gifted pastors, gainful influence, but it also in a grievous condition. The church had been permeated with false doctrine and a drift towards the world. John, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, did a masterful job of addressing the issues that the church was facing and encouraging them to live with a victorious faith. His very last statement to this body of believers was that they would keep themselves from idols. This final statement was a sobering reminder to all churches of the insidious nature of idols in the church.

There is the concept regarding idols.

An idol is a “god” that has the center of our attention and worship. It is something that we are willing to give our time, talent, and treasure to. It is something that is in direct competition with God for our affection, devotion, and worship.

There is the concern regarding idols.

Idols can be tangible and intangible. In our culture, the idols of the typical Christian are the idols of business, education, wealth achievement, and social prominence. Social media has become the modern day “high place” where people unashamedly flaunt their achievements, whereabouts, associations, and deeds without regard to how this might affect others who read them. The typical American gives a large portion of his week for the advancement of his educational and materialistic goals. John saw idolatry affecting the devotion of the hearts of the members at the church of Ephesus, and he was concerned.

There is the corruption from idols.

Idolatry is terribly corrupting. When idolatry enters the church, it spreads through peer influence, friendly entertainment, and time idled away in unprofitable talks. Idols always appear harmless because we do not see their slow, cancerous effect on our beliefs and behavior. When one family sees something that another family has, there is an underlying covetousness that develops in the visiting family. When one student gets heavily involved with multiple school activities to the point where church attendance is affected, this influences other students in the same manner. Idolatry is corrupting.

There is the caution concerning idols.

John lovingly, but firmly, said, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." The permeation of idolatry is correlated with our spiritual level. The believers at Ephesus were like little naïve children, spiritually speaking. The best advice that he could give them was to establish boundaries in their lives to prevent idolatry from overtaking them. They needed to identify the idols that were affecting their hearts and worship and immediately distance themselves from them. Know where the problem can enter in, and put safeguards in place to stop it.

There is the cleansing from idolatry. Idols that have permeated our life need to be removed quickly. We must cleanse our life, thoughts, and desires from the things that have replaced our love for the Lord and His church.

Idolatry is insidious. We must be truthful and humble in heart in dealing with them. Stay away from idols.

Have a God-honoring God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Job 38-39

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