Key Verse: Ephesians 5:5 “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (NIV)
An idolater is a worshipper of idols. He is someone who by his action denies the great foundation statement of faith from Israel, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The Bible, especially the Old Testament, was written in a world that worshipped a multitude of gods — its message was radical and offensive: there is one God alone, and only Him shall you serve. The contemporary idolater, however, though he may agree intellectually with the Bible’s message, chooses at the same time to “worship” other “gods.” His loyalties are divided.
These days, we hear sinful choices referred to as “compulsive behaviour.” The psychologists look back into a person’ history and blame neurotic behaviour on childhood sexual abuse, deprivation, or any other negative influence which caused some kind of twist in character. We cast the compulsive sinner as victim. It’s as though his history has determined his destiny.
I suppose, to a certain extent, it’s true that heredity and environment have a great deal to do with how our lives are shaped. Nevertheless, the Bible is very clear in its insistence that ultimately you and I are responsible for our choices, whether compulsive or not.
If immorality, impurity, or greediness consistently colour our living, we are setting up false gods in our live. We can point the finger of blame anywhere we want, but from God’s perspective there’s only one direction to point when apportioning blame. If we insist on worshipping other gods, God will abandon us to their care.