The Gifts Part 40
Whether it’s an evangelist, a teacher, a prophet or an angel, the Bible teaches us that it is sin to worship anyone or anything other than God. As John was shown the great and wondrous things he was shown, from the great multitude in heaven, to the voice that came from the throne, he fell to his feet to worship the angel that was revealing these things to him, and the angel’s rebuke was succinct and to the point: ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!’
The cult of personality is big and growing by leaps and bounds in our day and age, wherein we attempt to raise up, exalt, and praise the messenger rather than the messenger’s Master. Unscrupulous individuals the world over have tapped into this tendency to raise men up, and so elevate themselves, promote themselves, highlight themselves and make themselves out to be more than mere vessels in the hopes that they will garner enough of a following wherein the private jet and lavish mansion are a hardy love offering away.
Due to the inherent temptation of having a following, or the inherent temptation of what having a following might mean by way of the material, there are countless individuals who have disavowed themselves of their Master, who have even gone so far as to be in open rebellion toward Him, all for the sake of having a broader audience, or more adherents.
Because they know the way is narrow, because they know few are those who find it, they attempt of their own volition to broaden the way, to make it more accessible, to make it more pleasing to the flesh, to make it more comfortable and easy to travel, thereby denying the Lord who bought them. It is desire for more of this earth that compels men to forsake the truth of God’s word, to bring in destructive heresies, and undermine the Scripture. You will never see a false teacher or a false prophet encourage you to holier living, to a more righteous walk, or to a closer relationship with God. On the contrary, their aim is to give license to sin, to broaden the way of truth, and take the notion of personal accountability or consequence off the table entirely. Rather than focus on eternity and the kingdom of God, their focus is set squarely on the here and now, and on making the flesh as comfortable as possible.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating, man will disappoint you with greater consistency than you can possibly envision. If you place your trust in man, whoever that man might be, your trust has been placed in something mortal, passing, fleeting, limited, and earthly. Worship God, He will never let you down, He will never disappoint you, nor will you ever be disillusioned by His actions, His conduct, or His lifestyle.
History is littered with the misplaced hopes men have placed in other men, yet we refuse to learn from the mistakes of those who came before us, and blindly follow after men who present themselves as worthy substitutes for Christ. There can be no surrogate, there can be no substitute, there can be nothing that we can replace Jesus with, and this is one of the crucial lessons we must learn as we pass through this life.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
As we can plainly see from Paul’s writing to the church of Corinth, the tendency to follow after men is not a new thing, but is as old as the church itself. Rather than glorying in the fact that some were saying they were of Paul, and instructing those who were of Cephas or Apollos to switch camps and come to his side, Paul rebukes them all and asks them a simple yet profound question: “Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
Who is it that shed His blood that you might be forgiven, who is it that died that you might have life, who is it that loved us while we were yet sinners? It was Christ, worship Him!
This world is passing away. All the human constructs all the fanciful progress we beat our chests over, all the feigned civility, are but fleeting things. Place your faith in that which has permanence, offer your worship to He who is eternal, praise Him who paid the ultimate price that you might be redeemed from the mire of sin and be reconciled unto God.
If God bestows a gift upon a man, it is not the man himself who ought to be worshiped or praised it is the God who bestowed the gift, the God who in His infinite mercy reached out to His children in power and authority, giving them that which He promised.
I have heard too many stories throughout my years in ministry, and have witnessed too many faiths utterly shipwrecked because they placed their trust in men rather than in God to make light of this issue, or gloss over it as though it were irrelevant. The worship of man leads to ruination, it leads to heartache and heartbreak, and even in our day and age we have enough examples of those whom we raised to the heavens only to see come crashing back to earth that by now we ought to know better.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.