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Written by W.M. Mitchell   

The Gospel Messenger—February 1892

Man is a worshiping creature, and he must and will have something to worship. But in his present sinful state he will not, and cannot, worship the true and living God in spirit and in truth. All flesh hath corrupted his way upon the earth, and when we take men as we find them, and as the Lord describes them in his word, idolatry and other abominable sins and lusts are interwoven in their very being, so that each might justly say, as David did, “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”—Psa. li. 5.

In practical life, and especially in worship, it is the natural tendency of men to go wrong. This is true of all men, without exception. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—1 Cor. ii. But it might be thought that after one of these poor sinners has been made alive unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and born of the Spirit into the kingdom of Christ, he would no longer be in danger of worshiping idols. But have not all such found that the enemy is still in the land? He is yet slyly lurking in their earthly nature, where no good thing dwells. He is there in ambush with quite a number of other deadly foes, such as vanity, adultery, revelry, hatred, drunkenness, variance, wrath, strife, sedition, heresy, witchcraft, envying, murder, and such like. With this little colony of deadly enemies and lusts dwelling in their earthly tabernacle, Christians are often allured into idolatrous customs. In the wind up of the first epistle of John, he admonishes the saints by saying, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

And what is an idol? Is it not anything in which we sinfully indulge, or on which we place such high estimate that it engrosses our time, attention and service above that of the worship and service of God? Whenever the Lord’s people find that the cares of the world, and the deceitful charms of riches, are absorbing their time and thoughts, and that they are taking such pleasure and interest therein that they have neither time nor relish for attending their church meetings, or for reading and meditating upon the pure word of God, as they are taught and commanded to do, they have reason to fear that they are even then bowing down to some one or more of their pet idols. Covetousness is idolatry, and Jesus warns his disciples to “Take heed and beware of covetousness.” It is a sly and deceitful enemy that often decoys Christians into many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as an inordinate love of money, which leads to dishonesty, falsehood, treachery, fraud and oppression of the poor and needy, to obtain the coveted idol. “O, thou man of God, flee from these things” in all possible haste, or you are ruined forever in this mortal life as a useful Christian, or as one that has the joys of salvation.—M.

Last Updated ( Friday, 22 September 2006 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.