Christians Must Avoid the Israelites' Mistakes - 2 (1 Corinthians 10:7)
1. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Christians are given some very important instructions that are based on God's dealings with the Israelites. 2. Some general matters are presented in vs.1-6. a. According to vs.1-4, God blessed the Israelites by delivering them from Egypt, by providing food and water for them, and by providing direction and protection for them. b. However, we learn from vs.5 that God was not pleased with many of the Israelites, and they were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. c. In vs.6 Christians are admonished to avoid the mistakes of the Israelites. 3. In vs.7 we are shown that Christians must not be "idolaters." 4. Since these instructions are based on events recorded in the Old Testament, let us briefly examine . . .
I. THE ISRAELITES AND IDOLATRY
A. God clearly taught the Israelites to avoid idolatry. 1. God condemned idolatry in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-6). 2. He also told His people to avoid idolaters because of their influence (Deuteronomy 7:1-5). B. The folly of worshipping idols is pointed out in Psalm 115:1-9. C. Unfortunately, the Israelites practiced idolatry on many occasions, and God punished them. 1. Aaron made the golden calf, and the Israelites worshipped it (Exodus 32:1-6, 35). 2. The Israelites worshipped idols after Joshua died (Judges 2:11-14). 3. Solomon worshipped and built high places for the gods of his wives (1 Kings 11:4-10). 4. Many of the kings who ruled Israel and Judah were idolaters, and both kingdoms were eventually taken into captivity. D. On the basis of this information, let us turn our attention to . . .
II. CHRISTIANS AND IDOLATRY
A. God clearly teaches Christians to avoid idolatry. 1. God repeatedly condemns idolatry in the New Testament. a. 1 Corinthians 10:14 b. 1 John 5:21 c. Revelation 21:8 2. God also teaches Christians to avoid idolaters because of their influence. a. 1 Corinthians 5:11 b. 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 B. The folly of worshipping idols is discussed in Acts 17:24-29. C. The New Testament teaches that God will punish idolaters. 1. Idolaters will not inherit God's kingdom. a. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 b. Galatians 5:19-21 2. Most Christians would not practice idolatry by bowing down before an image; however, we must realize that the New Testament identifies "covetousness" as idolatry. a. Ephesians 5:5 b. Colossians 3:5 3. This should help us understand why Jesus issued such a strong warning against covetousness in Luke 12:15.