January 17, 2018

God or gods?

George Stiekes

the LORD He is God; there is none else beside Him (Deuteronomy 4:35). And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The LORD, He is the God; the lORD, He is the God (I Kings 18:39).

We are living today in a godless society. The goal was first to get rid of the Ten Commandments and prayer in school. Our world attacked Christmas and now the celebration is totally secular. Then political correctness far outweighed Christian principles. The doors were flung wide open for abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, transgender changes, the elimination of men and women’s bathrooms and the radical left is doing everything possible to move its godless agenda, totally unaware of the judgment that will follow. What is it going to take for America to recognize that God exists? There will come a time when He will determine to allow our nation to self-destruct or face severe judgment.

There is only one God. So why would God warn the children of Israel that they were not to have any other gods before them?

Are you aware of how many gods our world worships? There are thousands upon thousands, some estimates indicating more than 300,000. There were wicked kings in Israel that erected worship centers to gods that did not exist. People all over the world worship things they can see – rocks, trees, water, animals, birds, fish, the sun, moon and stars – the list is endless.

Beyond these, there are six major religions in our world – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism, Judaism and Christianity. Then there are hundreds of mythological gods such as Zeus and Jupiter. The ancient Greeks saw them as the most powerful of the gods. Many of these gods and goddesses required human sacrifices.

Currently, there are roughly seven billion people in the world. Some estimate that the total population of the world through time is over 102 billion people. All of these people worshipped something – some worshipped many things. One of the problems in trying to guess how many gods is the polytheism of those who worshipped many gods.

As you read God’s Word, it will not take you long to discover the role of Satan and his demons in assisting mankind in the creation of thousands of different gods. Satan himself wants the worship of men as if he is God.

God has created mankind with a built in need for dependency on Himself. The conglomeration of gods only reveals Satan’s attempt to steer mankind away from the one true God.

God’s characteristics or attributes totally separates Him from all other gods – sovereignty, self-existent, self-sufficient, omniscient, omnipotent, faithful, loving, merciful, gracious, immutability, omnipresent, just, righteous, eternal and holy. If there was a glaring difference, it would be God’s holiness and He has instructed those who belong to Him to be like Him.

  1. As God’s children, we are to be imitators of Him (Ephesians 5:1). God has revealed Himself to us in His Son Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5 gives us a number of examples of how we can imitate Him.
  2. We are to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). It is both our privilege and responsibility to imitate Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14); Ephesians 4:24; Galatians 3:27).
  3. We are to think like Christ (Philippians 2:5) – to have the mind of Christ and it is our privilege to allow His mind to dominate and control our lives (I Corinthians 2:16). This is the heart of what it means to be a Christian. We are “little Christ’s” or “Christ ones.” It is God’s will that Christ be magnified in our very bodies (Philippians 1:20).

The one characteristic in particular that He has emphasized for us to imitate is His holiness. But as He which hath called you is HOLY, so be ye HOLY in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye HOLY; for I AM HOLY (I Peter 1:15, 16). Christians are called SAINTS (Philippians 1:1). In the original language, the word for “holy” gives us a number of other words that somewhat reveals what it means to be “holy.” 1. SAINTS, refer to a people like God. 2. SEPARATED, reveals a people separated from the world unto God. 3. SANCTIFIED refers to a holy people and lastly the word HOLY or HOLINESS separates God from all other gods and Christians (God’s children by faith in Christ) from all other religions. If we were saintly, separated, sanctified and holy, we would be known to be pure, morally blameless and consecrated. Does your life now display these characteristics?

We cannot be like God relating to His being infinite, sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, self-sufficient, self-existent, omnipresent and immutable, but we can be faithful, loving, just, merciful, gracious, good and of course, HOLY. Do you strive to be like Him with these characteristics? As Christians, we are His servants, representing Him wherever we go. It has been said that we are the only Bible some people will ever read. That indicates that we have a responsibility to both represent and manifest God wherever we go. This is what the early saints did in the book of Acts turning the world upside down in the name of Christ.

By observing your life, would others recognize that you belong to the one and only true God? Our lives are to be totally God-centered which at times can be very difficult in a humanistic society that is totally man-centered -man’s rights, feelings, struggles, wickedness and potentialities are all center stage in life. Does the world observe anything different in your life?

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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