Today's Word for Pastors...
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood--idols that cannot see or hear or walk.]
Today's Preaching Insight...
Idols, Demons, And The Lord's Supper
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
This appears to be a benign, irrelevant passage of Scripture, filled with confusing doubletalk on topics remote to contemporary interests.
After all, who of us is bowing down before idols?
Some of us have been privileged to travel the world and see people who bow down before idols. How quaint they are and how picturesque are their objects of worship. They photograph beautifully on the pages of National Geographic Magazine. We take their pictures, giving only fleeting thought to their eternal state. When I return home and flash the big Buddha on the screen, I have completed the whole process without the slightest inclination toward idol worship. I have never once been tempted to bow down before a clay, wood or bronze image. And I doubt that you have either.
After all, who of us spends a lot of time worrying about the nature of the Lord's Supper — the bread and the wine? We know what they represent. We sense the fulfillment of our celebration when we participate as we did this last Ash Wednesday, as we will Maundy Thursday and as we will the Sunday after Easter. Why get so uptight, as has the apostle Paul?
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Illustration: Peace, Escape
Wilmer McLean owned a home near Bull Run. His house was seriously damaged during the opening battle of the Civil War, and so, falsely believing he would be safer from future conflicts, he rebuilt his home -- only to have it destroyed during the second battle of Bull Run.
Disgusted, he moved to a part of the country where he felt he could escape the ravages of war -- a small, obscure Virginia community called Appomattox. When Lee surrendered to Grant, it was McLean's house that was used by the two generals to sign the historic terms of surrender.
Their aides de camp were so moved by the signing they desired a memento of the occasion -- a souvenir to remember what had taken place in this house. So they all walked off with a piece of furniture from McLean's house.
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