Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
A story from the pages of church history tells of a courageous Christian who lived in the days of the Roman Empire. Arrested for being a follower of Christ and a preacher of the gospel, the man was brought before the emperor of Rome, who told him to either give up Christ or be banished.
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The Christian replied, “You cannot banish me from Christ, for God says, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ “
The ruler said, “I will confiscate your property.”
“My treasures are laid up in heaven,” the Christian answered. “You can’t touch them.”
“Then I will kill you.”
“I’ve been dead to the world in Christ for forty years,” the Christian said. “My life is hid with Christ in God. You can’t touch it.”
Turning to other members of his court, the emperor said in disgust, “What can you do with such a fanatic?”
There will come a time in every Christian’s life when he or she is faced with the choice to bow before someone or something. The Bible says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). An idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of God in your life. An idol can be a person. It can be a relationship. It can be your car or your house. It can be your career. It can be your physique. An idol is something that is more important to you than God Himself. It is something that you effectively bow before and it causes you to compromise in your faith.
We need Christians today who will make a stand. So often we compromise. We will bend. We will cave in because it isn’t politically correct or popular. But let’s remember that a little with God is better than a lot without Him.