Many people want recognition for what they do, instead of giving the glory to God. And what is sad is that some people even want statues made up for themselves and others, which is idolatry in the finest. And what do we see in Catholic churches, these same statues of early saints and Mary are everywhere, which is so wrong in the sight of God. To help you understand what I am speaking of, open up with me to Acts, chapter 14, which talks about what happened to Paul and Barnabas when they were in the town of Lystra. It reads, “and there they preached the gospel. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.” (Acts 14:7-13) So the people who saw and heard what Paul and Barnabas were doing, they were very excited and began to lift them up to be like gods, and even made altars for them both. But as you read further along, you will find out next how upset they were when this happened.
Now, before we see how Paul and Barnabas reacted to all this, think about what you’ve seen when you have been to the Catholic church. Haven’t you seen an altar set up for Mary? Exactly! The same things we are seeing in that church were happening then, which is idolatry in the sight of God. And now you will see how these two men of faith addressed this. It reads, “which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.” (Acts 14:14-18) Praise God! What we see here are true men of God that never wanted themselves lifted up to become like a god or even to have images carved out for them. Offerings from these people were so wrong and that is why they stopped them in their tracts. The same should be said of the Catholic church. My question for them is this. When will you stop making idols for people and doing offerings for Mary? The Bible is against this, so as a church, why not do what God has said? Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that people will no longer be entangled in idolatry. Too many people are looking for recognition for what they do and even give that recognition to others. Where the recognition should be given to You alone, God. Surely, it makes me cringe each time I go someplace and see a statue erected for somebody. I have even stepped foot into churches, like the Catholic church, and have seen statues of different saints and Mary, which is idolatry in the finest. And what really is unnerving is that there is an altar set apart for Mary in these same churches. So, Lord, I ask this with all the sincerity of my heart. How come they say that they are the one true church when they continue to bring forth idolatry in each of their churches and cathedrals? They have a lot going for them and if they would just remove the idolatry portion of their church, I could see them doing some good for You on earth. I am just afraid that the idols will never be removed. The traditions in their religious culture have made it so that people cannot see the evils therein. Therefore, they continue year after year without thinking anything is wrong. And so we have false teachers leading millions of people astray. Lord, this breaks my heart to see people whom I love fall victim to these lies. But I know that You are so merciful and just. If they would just wake up to their sins and repent, I know that You will forgive them. So fall afresh on them today. Do a work like never before in their lives. I would love to see the church as a whole change its wicked ways, but if that doesn’t happen, I pray that people will come of it. In Your mighty Name, Jesus, I pray this. I love You, God. Amen.