Man-made Gods Are No Gods At All
(Minute Meditation – November 1999)

It has been said that every man and woman worships a god. Who or what is your god?

We have recently returned from Greece where we saw the ruins of the many temples for the worship of the Greek gods. The Parthenon standing on the top of the Acropolis is surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of statues of pagan deities these ancient people gave their lives to worship.

No wonder Paul said in amazement as he stood on Mars Hill that he perceived they were too superstitious (or very religious in the NIV). They had a god for everything. While in Ephesus a riot occurred because Demetrius had accused Paul of saying that “man-made gods are not gods at all.” Paul had told the Athenians, “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone — an image made by man’s design and skill.”

When we view the grandeur of those ruins we marvel at the courage of Paul in standing up and saying “we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”

Today in Greece 98% of the people still worship idols. In contrast, in Turkey 98% of the people are Moslem and they refuse to worship idols. They believe in only one God which they call Allah, but they also reject the Lord Jesus as their savior and relegate him simply to the role of a prophet. Their prophet is Mohammed and they worship five times a day, falling on their faces toward Mecca.

When we see the millions of people in these countries who do not know the true God, we realize that they are “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

Upon returning home, we find ourselves still surrounded by people in this same situation, not knowing the true God. Are we as dedicated as Paul was in trying to shine light in a dark world? We read that while Paul was in Athens, “he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.”

What could one man do against so many pagans? He spoke out. Do we? All the darkness in the entire word is not able to put out the light of one candle. Are we distressed to see that almost everyone we know is worshipping the wrong God? It may not be Zeus or Artemis, but whatever they devote themselves to, such as their job, their education, their home or sports, or whatever they attribute power to, such as their horoscope, lucky charm or superstitious ritual, that can be a god. And the false religious teachings of the Christian community are like worshipping a false god because they are misrepresenting the God revealed in the Bible, even though it may be done in ignorance.

Do we care that all these are perishing? Paul did. Against what some might think were hopeless odds, he spoke up. Most sneered at him, “But a few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.”

Most will sneer at us also, but this should not stop us. Paul tells us that we should “be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

Robert J. Lloyd

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