Facts About Idols

The Golden Calf

Idolatry is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments (Exodus 20:3-6; 1 Corinthians 6:9). There are a number of things that have the potential of becoming idols for us if we allow them. They are not limited to graven images but could include things like money, possessions, careers, and even people. The warning issued by John at the end of his first epistle – “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21) – remains an important reminder for Christians today.

With the danger of idolatry being a reality and having the divinely given warning in mind, let us notice a few facts about idols.
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Is Jesus the Only Way to Salvation?

One Way

A recent report has found that a minority of Presbyterians believe that “only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved.” Only 39% of members agree or strongly agree with that statement along with just 35% of pastors and 45% of elders.

Before you might jump to conclusions, understand that this was not a report done by a group that is biased against the Presbyterian church, making their findings unreliable. The article linked above cites the latest “Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians” report and was released by the Presbyterian church itself.
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More Righteous than the Religious

Jesus and the Pharisees

The title of this article may sound a little odd. But let me begin by stating that this article is not about how organized religion is wrong – it is not. The point of the article is not to say that religious people are not righteous – many of them are, and they should be. So what is the purpose of this article?

The title is based on one of Jesus’ statements from the Sermon on the Mount:

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

The scribes and Pharisees were regarded as the religious leaders of that day. Jesus’ point was that in order to follow Him, we must live up to a higher standard than what is commonly accepted – even commended to us – among the religious world. Doing just enough to blend in with those who are religious is not enough to be part of His kingdom.
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American Individualism and Ecumenism in Religion

On January 14, 2009, The Christian Science Monitor posted an article about the growing trend in this country of those who claim to be Christians deciding on their own what they will believe instead of relying on some church or denomination. The following paragraph does a fair job summarizing the main points in the article:

“A sizable majority of the country’s faithful no longer hew closely to orthodox teachings, and look more to themselves than to churches or denominations to define their religious convictions, according to two recent surveys. More than half of all Christians also believe that some non-Christians can get into heaven.”

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How to Lose Your Soul


Jesus spoke of the great value of the soul: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Our soul is more valuable than anything and everything in this world. Our soul is the part of us that was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and is redeemed by the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Even if one were able to obtain all of the material things of this world, his soul is still more valuable. So Jesus said that it is foolish for one to forfeit his soul for everything that is of the world. Yet many people forfeit their souls for far less than that.

How does one lose his soul? It is easier than many think. One does not have to be a serial killer or a child molester or a devil worshiper. One can lose his soul for sins that are much less extreme than these. Let us notice four ways in which one can lose his soul.
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