Beware of Idols

“Because of what we know, let us not to idols go.”


This simple rhyme might be a helpful way of remembering the force of the Apostle John’s exhortation at the end of his first letter – “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 Jn. 5:21).


In preaching about this passage last Lord’s Day, I made reference to the weight of John’s final exhortation in connection with all he addresses throughout his letter.  And in the immediate context of 1 Jn. 5:21, the whole of his letter is summarized with three “we know” statements in vs. 18-20 (emphasis mine):

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.


These truths help us understand why the idolatry is such a dangerous threat.  Idols are deceitful and false gods that undermine the true knowledge and worship of the one true God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Idolatry thus robs God of His glory, and it robs people of the blessing of knowing God, and the eternal life that is found in His Son.  In all its varied forms, idolatry exchanges God’s clearly revealed, life-giving truth with that which is false and deadly.


Beloved, the best way believers can keep themselves from idolatry is to keep growing in the true knowledge of God and His saving work in Jesus Christ!  Keep reading, hearing, memorizing, meditating on, singing,  praying, trusting, and obeying God’s word.  Keep praying for and encouraging your brothers and sisters in Christ in these ways.  And keep sharing God’s word with others, that they might be delivered and kept from the deceitful, destructive dangers of idolatry.


“Because of what we know, let us not to idols go.”


Because Christ lives, and is returning,