By Him, I mean the Lord Jesus Christ--the virgin born Son of God who gave Himself on Calvary that we might have our sins forgiven and have eternal life. He is the central theme or scarlet thread that runs through out the Bible from cover to cover. He is the One who created all things. (Col. 1:16: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”) He is the I AM who met Moses at the burning bush. He is the smitten Rock out of which came water for the children of Israel in the wilderness. He is the fourth man in the furnace. He is the Word who was God and became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”) He is the One who was, is, and is to come. (Rev. 1:8: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”) It is all about Him--the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, there are many who magnify or worship something other than Him. I want to deal with just four, even though I am sure there are many more, but I think these four will make my point--It is all about Him!
1. Some worship man instead of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Rev. 22:8-9 (And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”), when John had been shown by an angel thing which must shortly come to pass, he fell down to worship him, not knowing who he was. But the angel said he was only a fellowservant. Thus, he was saying do not worship man, worship God. I thank the Lord for the men He allowed to cross my path. I respect them and love them but I do not worship them. The Lord uses men in every person’s life that is saved for that is His way. (Rom. 10:13-15: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”) Men are just ministers or human instruments the Lord uses in every believer’s life. (I Cor. 3:5: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?”) Yet, men are not perfect, only the Lord is. Every man preaches with a margin of error because he has his flesh to contend with. Therefore, you should never worship a man but God. It is all about Him!
2. Some worship the local church instead of the God of the local church.
The word for church means a called out assembly of baptized believers who meet together to worship and glorify the Lord. The church is a local visible body not some invisible, universal body. Some take this truth to the extreme and worship the local church instead of the God of the church. I am a local church man and I respect the local church but I do not worship the local church. By the way, the building is not the local church. Once I was on the mission field, I witnessed some coming to the building where the church met and they bowed down and kissed the dirt floor of the building. Do not worship the building. Many say I would never do that yet in their preaching they lift up the local church more than they lift up the Lord Jesus; thus, they are worshiping the local church. Some will shout over being a Baptist and will not even say amen to the message of the cross. Worship God. It is all about Him!
3. Some worship the KJV Bible instead of the God of the Bible.
I use the KJV and that is the only version I will ever use. I believe that the KJV is God’s preserved word for English speaking people today. God breathed it (II Tim. 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”) and moved on holy men of old (II Peter 1:21: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”) to pen down the original Scripture. Where are the original writings today? They are not around in completed form. Why? Because the Lord knew if He allowed them to still be here, someone who enshrine them and worship them; therefore, He was good to us not to let us have the original Scripture. But if you are saved, you have something better than the original Scripture--the Holy Ghost of God who is the originator of the Scripture who lives in you and will guide you into all truth. He also has given us a Bible, the preserved word of God (KJV) which we can carry in our hands. If we had the original we could not pack it. Thank the Lord for the preserved Word we have. But the Lord never intended us to worship the Bible but worship the God of the Bible. Yet, some today are lifting up the KJV Bible above the Lord. One day I was preaching about the cross and a missionary was present but about asleep. I mentioned the KJV 1611 and he almost shouted and then slumped back down in his seat as I continued preaching about the cross. That was a good example of someone worshiping the KJV instead of the God of the KJV. Thank the Lord for the preserved Word for it is the record one must believe but it points you to the Son and in Him there is life. (I John 5:10-12: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar ; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”) Jesus told the Pharisees, life was not in the Scripture but in Him. (John 5:39-40: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”) It is all about Him!
4. Some worship a doctrine instead of the God of the doctrine.
Thank the Lord for true doctrine (teaching) but there are some today who embrace the doctrines of grace and magnify those doctrines about the Lord. Those who do so want to discuss those doctrines all the time, yet many of them at one time practiced easy believism and saw that did not work for it fill our churches with lost people. Then when they came to grips that that did not work, they embraced the doctrines of grace and went in the ditch on the other side of the road. The sad part about it, they never admitted they were not saved when they practiced the easy believism so all they have done is embraced a doctrine instead of the God of the doctrine. Paul rebuked the church at Corinth for coming together having a doctrine. (I Cor. 14:26: “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”) “Edifying” means to build up or lift up. Jesus said in John 12:32 (“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”) that we need to lift up Him not a doctrine. It is all about Him!
The Lord laid this on my heart sometime ago for this paper. It bothers me when men worship a man instead of the Lord, when men worship the local church instead of the God of the local church, when men worship the KJV Bible instead of the God of the Bible, and when men worship a doctrine instead of the God of the doctrine. (Mat. 13:9: “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”) Listen to what the Lord is saying to you. Do not get in a ditch. It is all about Him--the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE PERSUADER - Oct.-Dec., 2006