Outside are . . . the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev. 22:15)
Which one of the following stories is true?
During the Korean War a soldier mailed a jeep home, one piece at a time.
An unassuming employee of a public transportation system stole 2.4 million dollars one coin at a time with a magnet attached to the end of a car radio antenna.
Over the course of twenty years, two men working on a Cadillac assembly line stole a Cadillac one piece at a time.
If you guessed number two you would be correct. However, each story has something in common; the schemes were nearly undetectable because the danger came from within.
Today, the church needs to guard against the internal danger of idolatry. Idolatry can be undetectable in that it is not overt and it has been connected to bits of truth. This is called syncretism—the joining together of two or more incompatible belief systems. It is believed some first-century churches were guilty of syncretizing Christianity with Caesar worship. Once a year, members would go to a temple dedicated to Caesar and declare him lord, making syncretism idolatry, something Jesus said would not be welcomed through the gates of the city.
Church, let us be sure we are only worshiping Christ incarnate, Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, Christ ascended, Christ returning—and no other belief system.
Let the Holy Spirit search your heart.
T. J. Albertson has pastored in The Wesleyan Church for eighteen years, the last sixteen in interchurch service. He loves teaching the whole Bible and its relevance to life.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.