Excerpted from: The Ten Commandments by Dwight L. Moody (1896).
YOU don’t have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you make most of is your god. Whatever you love more than God is your idol. Many a man’s heart is like some Kafirs’ huts, so full of idols that there is hardly room to turn around. Rich and poor, learned and unlearned, all classes of men and women are guilty of this sin.
“Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not” (Isaiah 2:8-9).
A man may make a god of himself, of a child, of a mother, of some precious gift that God has bestowed upon him. He may forget the Giver and let his heart go out in adoration toward the gift.
Many make a god of pleasure; that is what their hearts are set on. If some old Greek or Roman came to life again and saw man in a drunken debauch, would he believe that the worship of Bacchus had died out? If he saw the streets of our large cities filled with harlots, would he believe that the worship of Venus had ceased?
Others take fashion as their god. They give their time and thought to dress. They fear what others will think of them. Do not let us flatter ourselves that all idolaters are in heathen countries.
With many it is the god of money. We haven’t got through worshiping the golden calf yet. If a man will sell his principles for gold, isn’t he making it a god? If he trusts in his wealth to keep him from want and to supply his needs, are not riches his god? Many a man says, “Give me money, and I will give you heaven. What care I for all the glories and treasures of heaven? Give me treasures here! I don’t care for heaven! I want to be a successful businessman.”
How true are the words of Job: “If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had begotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above (Job 31: 24-28).
Words of Grace for Strength
D. L. Moody’s message is more relevant today than even in the day it was written. How far has America turned from the God of creation! 85% of Americans claim to believe in god, but what god? Is it a god of their own making? Is it a god that allows them to feel good about themselves, or a god which brings them pleasure, or a god who makes them wealthy?
Is America’s god a god of politics, a god of wealth, a god of health, a god of sport, a god of race, a god of fashion, a god of feelings, a god of individuality, a god of entertainment, a god of good intentions? Is America’s god the god of Buddhism, the god of Hinduism, the god of Islam, the god of Pantheism, the god of Deism, the god of Atheism, the god of Satanism? Is America filled with all of these gods and perhaps even more?
We believe so, because when really questioned about what they believe, just 9% of the 85% affirm a belief in the Truth of biblical Christianity. Believing that there is one God—Jehovah, who created mankind as a part of all creation, who sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the sin debt of all humanity at Calvary through His death, burial and resurrection.
This same Jesus who ascended into heaven and even today sits at the right hand of His Father as our intercessor, who sent His Holy Spirit to indwell everyone who has accepted His free gift of Grace by acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This same Jesus, who someday (and we believe very soon) will return to earth in power and glory to establish His kingdom.
Once upon a time in America, the True God of the universe, very God of the Bible, was recognized and worshiped by a great majority of the people. But today He has been ignored and those who follow him are marginalized. America seems to have gotten so full of gods that it no longer has room for God. Yet He is still God! And, He still desires all men to turn to Him in worship and obedience.
Today in America, we who do follow Him should be continually on our knees in prayer for people to turn back to Him, the one True God, and we should be praying for a great revival of biblical Christianity to sweep this nation. We should be on our knees repenting of our own lack of faithfulness and crying out to Jesus Christ to begin this revival in our own hearts and lives.
We should be on our knees asking the Holy Spirit to create in our own hearts and minds a spirit of true love for others; so that we might be witnesses of God’s grace to everyone we meet. We should be fervent about this prayer, with a keen sense of urgency, because we know not if the Lord is ready to harden the hearts of those around us, to give them over, once and for all, to their lusts, passions and desires to chase after their false gods.
Today in America, and in the World, there has never been a greater need for man to turn from his own sinfulness to the Only Holy, Just, and One True God. The time is short, and getting shorter. Because at any moment, He could tell His Son to call His Church out of this world and begin to pour out His wrath in tribulation on all who have rejected Him, and soon, Jesus Christ will return in power, glory, and judgment.
America needs Revival!
Dr. Tuck Whitaker and Andy Coticchio
Rafter Cross Ministries