Kendall Lankford

Between Coveting and Contentment

Contentment is the antidote to coveting. It is a state of heart and mind where we rest in God’s provision and plan for our lives. It acknowledges that God, in His infinite wisdom and love, has given us exactly what we need and that we require nothing more. 

17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17

The Evil of Coveting
Coveting is a vile sin that festers in our hearts, often hidden yet ever-destructive. It is a cancer that eats away at our souls, leading us down a path of ruin, misery, and despair. For instance, consider the many ways we transgress this command.
When you see your neighbor’s truck, with four-wheel drive, a towing package, and sitting on an 8-inch lift kit, you feel sorrow that you cannot afford what you have coveted. When you look across the street at your neighbor’s home and feel envious that his house has more room than yours, a better layout, or bigger bedrooms, then you have coveted. When you look at how supportive a friend’s wife appears to be, or how handy so and so’s husband is, or how much Joey Bag of Donuts makes at his job, or how many children Sally Homemaker has, or because of the fear of missing out you bolster your record and your accomplishments to fit in with the Joneses, whenever you look with longing upon who someone is or what they posses, while at the same time looking with resentment upon who you are and what you have, then you have coveted. When you see the wealth, blessings, clothing, power, success, or status of others, and it makes you green with envy, bitter about yourself, or frustrated toward them, then you have plunged into the world of coveting and have sinned against your God.
In this way, coveting is not a harmless thought that you harbor quietly in the deepest, murkiest recesses of your mind; it is poison and cancer to the soul, and you must not entertain it for a moment.
Consider the many forms of coveting that plague our daily lives. You see a colleague receive a promotion and feel resentment and jealousy, wishing it were you instead. You hear of a friend’s vacation and feel a pang of envy, thinking, why can’t we afford those trips? You scroll through social media, coveting the curated lives of others, their perfect families, and their endless joy, and you feel the sting of pain knowing your life does not look like that; all of this is coveting.
It is important to remember that coveting is a gateway sin that leads to further sin. It breeds dissatisfaction with what you have, bitterness, and anger at God, who is sovereign over all things.
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Building a Culture of Truth

Living truthfully and promoting truth is not legalism. It is a manifestation of our love for the God of truth and our desire to see His truth permeate our lives and communities. By being truthful, we emulate God’s nature, contribute to the building up of a godly community, and shine as beacons of His grace and truth in a world marred by deception.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. – Exodus 20:16

When we think of the Ninth Commandment, our minds often fixate on the notion of lying. While this command indeed prohibits lying, it also calls us to something far deeper. It beckons us to embrace a commitment to God’s truth in every corner of our lives and society.
The Westminster Larger Catechism, in Question 144, begins like this “The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man.” This perspective shows that our duty in a war on falsehood extends beyond the white lies, falsified reports, and dutiful silences. We are called to create and preserve a wholesale culture of truth, where honesty and integrity are so thick, that falsehood, lies, and deception are suffocated.
How To Build A Culture Of Truth
The Ninth Commandment calls us not only to avoid falsehood but also to actively promote truth in our communities. Building a culture of truth involves more than honesty in our statements; it requires us to be advocates of truth in every situation.
For instance, in our daily lives, we must embody truth. Think of a whistleblower who exposes corruption despite personal risk out of courage to uphold truth in a culture of deceit. Similarly, in our workplaces, we should not be turtles who hide in their shells. Instead, we should be influencing the landscape and climate of our vocations so that DEI committees and woke HR departments are not propagating harmful and deceitful cultures that gobble up the righteous and spit in the face of reality. In our families, we should teach our children from the Word so that they will know the truth, see the truth as critical to our lives at every level, and encouraging them how to recognize lies, repent of falsehoods, and how to live in the light of Christ in all things. In social circles, we should stand against misinformation, whether it’s a “harmless rumor” or a damaging lie. As people of the truth, we must require that truth abounds in every thing we touch and in everything we can influence.
Creating cultures of truth also means rewarding honesty when someone might be tempted to lie, celebrating fidelity in marriage, refusing to use someone’s preferred pronouns regardless of the cost, and promoting forthrightness in every conceivable dimension. Imagine a garden choked with weeds (falsehoods). Just as a diligent gardener aggressively removes the weeds and continually plants and replants new seeds so that only healthy plants may flourish, we must actively root out deceit everywhere it is found, while also continually speaking truth, promoting truth, and acting in truthful ways in order to suffocate deception out of our world and cultivate a world that aligns with the Word. While that is a tremendous job that none of us can accomplish today, we can begin that work in our lives, in our jobs, and in our homes.
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The Forgotten Command: The Need for Repentance concerning the Lord’s Day Sabbath

God blesses those individuals and nations who honor the Sabbath, setting it apart as holy unto Him. We cannot expect revival to come to our hearts, both individually and corporately, if we stubbornly refuse obedience to this clear instruction from our Lord.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it, you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.Exodus 20:8-11
The Importance of the Sabbath with “Many Words”
When a person wants to communicate something, they use words. When they are communicating something simple and uncontroversial, and there is broad agreement among communication partners, fewer words are usually chosen by the one communicating. But, when there is controversy, or when the speaker knows that the listeners are inclined to disagree with Him, the speaker will often use more words, especially if that speaker cares about you coming to His point of view and seeing things the way He sees them. The presence of more words indicates that the audience either has a knowledge gap (where they do not understand the command), a belief gap (where they do not believe the command), or a volitional gap (where they are unsure how they are to apply it). Thus, the more words a communicator uses on a particular idea, the more it allows us to see how difficult that idea is to receive from the listener.
With that, God appears to be relatively terse when giving His ten commandments. The most important statements ever uttered, the foundation of all law, occupy few words on a page. So few, in fact, they could be chiseled onto stone tablets and given to God’s people to remember them forever. In this sense, God did not speak complicated concepts that you and I have trouble understanding. Like Mark Twain, it is not the commandments we fail to understand that haunt us, it is the ones we do understand that have become our accusers.
When God uttered words like: “Do not murder,” or when He said: “Do not commit adultery,” or when He said “Do not steal,” He was communicating straightforward and common-sense commands that any thoroughgoing pagan could rightly say yes and amen to. In the Hebrew, each of those commands is only 2 words! Which lets us know that there should be broad agreement about them. In fact, every society on earth that has ever existed has believed that murder is wrong, that you should not sleep with another man’s wife or husband, that honoring father and mother is the basis for a healthy society, and we could go on and on.
In this way, most of the ten commands are pretty short. Just a few words or phrases. For instance, 5 commands could be sent as a single tweet without upgrading to the blue check mark… 6 out of the 10 commandments only use 85 words combined! That is, commands 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 use only 85 total words to describe the entire foundation of the second table of the law, how man is supposed to relate to man, which should let us know something about them. The way we honor one another comprises simple, common-sense concepts that all societies on earth have generally agreed with. That does not mean we obey these commands, but at least we understand them, believe they are good and right, and struggle along trying to enact government, officers, and laws to uphold them. Only the most morally depraved and insane societies in history, like the one we are living in, have championed death, adultery, and the breakdown of the home. May God have mercy on this godless culture to which we are exiled.
However, regarding how we must relate with God, two commands are relatively short (1 and 3), and two are pretty long (2 and 4), demonstrating simple agreement concerning two of them and a hearty struggle for the other two. Take, for instance, the first command, which is only 5 words in the original Hebrew, and the third command comes in at a whopping 6 words, making them direct, to the point, and obvious statements for all who believe in God. In this way, it should not surprise us that these 2 short commands are much less controversial to the average believer than the two longer ones. This is simply the way language works. When God said, “You shall have no other gods before me.” there is not a single Christian who is genuinely bought and paid for by Christ, who will object! When the Scriptures say do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain – some Christians may disagree on the degree to which this applies (e.g., can we lawfully say “gosh, golly, goodness gracious, etc.), but concerning whether we should honor the Lord’s name as holy – all believers generally agree and will say yes and amen. But when it comes to the second and the fourth commandment, you arrive at the epicenter of Christian rebellion.
What do I mean? I mean that the most controversial of the Ten Commandments, the ones that most Christians are not only willing to disobey but willing to offer a thousand justifications for their disobedience, are the two that are the longest, which should not be a surprise to us at all. The second commandment alone has more words than the entire second table of the law. The fourth command has more words than 9 out of the 10 commandments combined! Why are there so many words in these two commands?
I think the answer is simple. Out of all of the things God told us to do, the easiest for us to rebel against are the laws dictating how we are to worship him. “Do not murder?” oh yes and amen. “Do not kill babies in the womb?” you betcha. But do not make an image of anything in heaven above or earth below… “well… That is not what that means.” We ignore that God gave us these additional words because He loves us and knows our hearts are wicked. He knew that we would have a propensity for misunderstanding, and instead of noticing where God is doubling down and adding increased clarity to assuage our sinful conscience, we double down and make all kinds of excuses, saying these things no longer apply to us. We do it on the command to make no graven images and on the command to make the Sabbath day holy above all other days.
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Celebrating Abominating?

Supporting the LGBTQ movement is tantamount to endorsing rebellion against God. Saying nothing is not only cowardice but a rejection of God’s good commands and character. It is a declaration that we value man’s approval over God’s precepts and laws. By promoting and celebrating these lifestyles, or even by remaining aloof and watching from a distance, we align ourselves with wickedness, we allow the rot to continue, we call what is evil good and what is good evil, and we let fester what will kill this society and leave it languishing under God’s culture-ending judgments.

The LGBTQ Mouth Funk
There are many diseases that can kill you, from things like cancer, heart disease, or kidney disease, but few people consider the perilous bacteria-laden threat that gum disease presents. And this, of course, is for obvious reasons. Gum disease, or gingivitis as it is commonly called, begins in the early stages with very mild and easily treated symptoms, such as redness in the gums, irritation, and swelling. It might reveal itself with a little blood in the sink when flossing or a darker hue of pink upon the gumline, but with a commitment to brushing regularly and perhaps a routine visit to the dentist, it is entirely reversible and will not become a long-term issue for you.
Yet, if it is ignored for long enough and left untreated, gingivitis will turn into periodontitis, which is a much more significant and pesky version of gum disease. After years of gingival neglect, the gums will begin pulling away from the teeth and pockets, where bacteria can settle, will form, infection will set into the gums, and if ignored for long enough, will erode bone structures and even lead to death. What could have been a routine fix ends up polluting the entire mouth and eventually toxifying the whole body, which should be instructive as we enter into the month of a thousand rainbows, or more accurately, stain-bows and shame-bows.
Every year, we are thrust into an entire month filled with an ever-changing flag devoted to the sickest forms of moral deviancy; we have advocacy groups slamming the worst content down our throats from woke companies who virtue signal their way through June, such as Target selling women’s bathing suits last year with penis pockets, or Budweiser – an already piss-poor excuse for beer – putting Dylan Mulvaney, a piss poor excuse for a man, on its can. This is the month when the Whitehouse invites biological men with breast implants to stand on the south lawn and flash manufactured saline flesh sacks at children to the applause of adults. This is the month when people lose their jobs over social media posts dedicated to Biblical fidelity and the month where if you are not an ally of the alphabet gang, then you will be canceled.  
Like gum disease in its most advanced stages, our culture has become thoroughly toxified by what was once a fairly routine infection. A couple rogue LGBTQ germs implanted themselves into the base of America’s gumline about 60 years ago, and now the stink or death has settled into the face of our culture. 
How did we get here? One too many rainbow Twizzlers without a commitment to Biblical fidelity, and what you have is the makings of a full-blown face-rotting disease. You see, in the early twentieth century, as our culture crested the hilltop of Christendom, its first exposure to the LGBTQ movement was tasted. With organizations like the Society for Human Rights in 1924 and the Mattachine Society of 1950 being founded to advance the rights of gays and lesbians, the earliest signs of gum chaffing were beginning to flare up in the mouth. 
A generation later, in the sexually debauched and psychedelic drug era of the 1960s, this mild irritation multiplied into a full-blown condition known as the Stonewall riots of New York, which brought the LGBTQ movement into the national conversation. Suddenly, what was once a minor inflammation that should have been dealt with by the church and the broader culture had morphed into a technicolored blood bath in the sink every time a little brushing was employed. 
Sadly, the movement gained unnecessary momentum in the 1970s and 80s because the dispensational church stood idly by, waiting to be raptured while ignoring the odious smell of swamp breath in the mouth of an infected culture. As we transitioned to the 90s, the cultural gums were already pulling away from the teeth as the AIDS crisis ravaged the homosexual community, demonstrating the damning effects one will receive in the body for violating God’s law. 
Since then, the pesky infection – which would have been curable at every step along the way – has burgeoned into a full-blown septic tank in the soul of our nation, polluting everything it touches, from the legalization of sodomite marriages to the widespread acceptance of pedophiles twerking in dresses for cheering mothers and children to the Mr. potato head trans movement that swaps out genitals faster than you can upgrade your transmission. Evidence of this putrid and aggressive rot is now all around us, and what could have been cured quickly and easily now requires the most potent medicine we have, or this society has no hope. 
To that end, I would like to offer the most vital medicine available, which is found in the Word of God. Instead of celebrating the abominating, becoming allies with the cancer that is killing us, I want to do what so few squishy men will do and simply say what the Bible says and pray that the Lord would use it as an antiseptic to help bring healing and revival to our land. Our only hope as a society is radical repentance and a return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without that, our rampant sexual disorders, child sex slavery, and human trafficking, the killing of our babies in the womb, our furbies and two-spirit-pangolins, our trannies, sodomites, and Gomorrah whorings, will collectively put a once proud nation into the grave with every other society that refused to honor God. 
So, in what follows, instead of standing idly by while the culture and fake Christians go on with the celebration of abominations, I want to offer the Biblical antiseptic that will hopefully reverse the rot and bring healing to our land. To do that, I want to talk about what abominations are in the Bible, what kinds of sins qualify as abominations, how those sins paralyzingly infect a people, and why repenting and turning to Jesus is our culture’s only hope! 
What Is an Abomination?
When we speak about abominations, we are talking about the very worst classification of sins in the hamartiological corpus. These are sins so vile and detestable that they provoke God’s furious wrath like nothing else. These aren’t minor slip-ups or trivial mistakes; they are full-blown rebellions against the Almighty’s very good design and order in Genesis 1, making them creation-bending and breaking sins. Needless to say, the Bible doesn’t mince words here, and neither should we.
According to the best Hebrew linguistic data available in the best lexicons money can buy, an abomination is something that causes loathsome hate or violent, repulsive disgust in the viewer. When it comes to God, an abomination is something that enflames our Creator’s disgust to such epic proportions that the only response He can give is unbridled fury because it offends Him so profoundly, overturns His perfect creation and design so thoroughly, and violates His holy character so flagrantly. The Hebrew Word for abomination is “תּוֹעֵבָה” (toʿevah), which translates to something morally disgusting or detestable. Think about your reaction to a rancid steak infested with week-old maggots being served to you on a dirty plate, and you are getting close to the kind of reaction an abomination produces. Understanding this, an abomination isn’t about a subjective feeling or a cultural preference; these actions are foundationally repugnant and noxious to God, and they ought to be repulsive to us as well. They utterly pollute cultures, defy His Holy commandments, defile His image-bearing people, and warrant the harshest judgment imaginable.
With that, abominations are not run-of-the-mill sins that naturally arose in a fallen world because of our penchant for rebellion. We know from the Bible that every sin separates us from God and pays the wages of hellfire and brimstone, so in that sense, all sins are sort of the same. But abominations are also different. In Scripture, they are set apart as land polluting and divine fury inducing in ways that other sins are not spoken about. Also, in Jewish literature such as the “Book of Enoch,” abominations are described as otherworldly sins, so sinister and unnatural that they must have come from outside of the world, from fallen angels foisting them upon humanity like festering leaking boils, that caused God to destroy the earth in a global flood. If the Book of Enoch is correct, fallen angels taught humans abominable sexual sins that produced the cursed race of the Nephilim, that infected towns like Sodom and Gomorrah, and is the reason God thoroughly decimated the deviant lands of Egypt, Canaan, and Bashan. 
Nonetheless, the Hebrew words translated as “abomination” are often used in association with things like idolatry and false gods (Deuteronomy 17:2–5; 27:15; 29:17; Isaiah 66:3; Jeremiah 32:34; Ezekiel 5:9; 11:18; Hosea 9:10), which lets us know that abominations, especially sexual sins, are also religious sins, since, as Paul tells us, that underneath every mute idol statue is the power of oppressive demons, we can understand that abominations are sins offered in the service of the demonic. They are lude disgusting offerings to Satan and his minions, which is why they are so detestable to God. For instance, in 1 Kings 11:5, the god Molech is called “the abomination of the Ammonites” (ESV). Why? Because Molech was the God that ate your children. He required you and your wife to get pregnant, have the baby, and then roast the screaming writing baby alive in the fires of his belly in a dank oven that sat in the center of the idol. The genuinely vile part of this, if the former were not appalling enough, was that you were supposed to wildly cheer and go on to participate in detestable orgies while the smell of your infant’s charred carcus choked out the breathable air. This is what being given over to demons looks like: the total, wanton participation in, and celebration of, human desecrations.
Occult practices are also called abominations in Scripture, further linking demonic and Satanic power with this most unholy class of sins. Sins such as child sacrifice (Deuteronomy 18:9–12; 20:18; 2 Chronicles 28:3), ungodly sexual relationships, cross-dressing, bestiality, and pedophilia all fall under this category. These sins are never described in mild terms; they are always referred to with adjectives like “abhorrent,” “loathsome,” “unclean,” and “rejected.” The root concept of the word “תּוֹעֵבָה” (toʿevah) probably derives from a root that denotes the idea of inviolability or untouchability, which could imply either holiness or abomination. This dual meaning underscores how deeply offensive abominations are to God—they represent a profound violation of His holiness.
In summary, abominations in the Bible represent the highest degree of moral and spiritual corruption. They are actions and attitudes that not only transgress God’s laws but also challenge His sovereignty and disrupt the harmony of His creation. The severity of God’s response to abominations reflects the depth of their offense. They are not just sins; they are existential threats to the divine order, and as such, they incur the most severe judgments from God. Understanding this helps us grasp the seriousness with which we must approach our own moral conduct and the attitudes we must have in response to our societies’ abominations. To say it simply, it is not righteous to love what God hates. It is not virtuous to permit what makes God vomit. When we think that being Christian is akin to not offending anyone and allowing filth to go on in our streets under the banner of winsomeness, we offend our God and become an ally against God with the abominable and the damned. It is better to be viewed by the world as hateful but to be clean and loving in the eyes of God. 
With that, let us detail what specific sins are called abominations. I am only going to be talking about the rainbow-colored ones in this post since we are about to enter the throes of another June dedicated to the worship of Molech.  
Taxonomizing Abominables
Gay and Lesbian Sex
Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
Homosexual acts (and desires) are a direct assault on God’s design for human sexuality. These acts pervert the natural order established at creation and are called abominations by the Holy Scriptures. This isn’t a matter of interpretation, nor something that was simply cultural in the ancient world; it is obvious from the text. Ignoring it requires a heart of stone, and participating in it is to invite judgment upon your own head, both in this life and in the life to come. Furthermore, the normalization of gay and lesbian relationships in our culture represents the most flagrant rebellion against God’s created order possible. The undermining of the sanctity of marriage is a giving of the middle finger by our nation unto God. And, as they celebrate these abominable acts, they look down the barrel of God’s 44 magnum and mock Him that He has patiently waited to pull the trigger. 
Bestiality
Leviticus 18:23-26: “You shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it… it is a perversion.”
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Taking His Name in Vain

To flippantly defile the holy name as a vulgar utterance manifests a wicked, hardened heart, with complete irreverence for the Almighty. It is an abomination. But the scope of this sin reaches far beyond just foul and debased language. Any time we invoke God’s name rashly, thoughtlessly, or irreverently, we take it in vain. This includes hypocrisy; claiming to follow Christ but living in unrepentant, willful sin like greed, lust, hatred, drunkenness, gossip, or bitterness is one way of making a mockery of His holy name. 

In this series, I take our law homily from our church gathering each week (The law homily is where we read from the law of God and let His law examine our hearts so that we can be a tender-hearted and repenting people), and I post them here for your edification. Here is this week’s law homily on the prohibition against mental idolatry. 
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. – Exodus 20:7
Sinning against His Name
As the Israelites stood trembling at the foot of Mount Sinai, quaking like Mount Vesuvius with the holy fury of Yahweh’s presence, they were confronted with a sobering command: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This wasn’t a trifle prohibition but a severe warning against reducing the limitless majesty of our Creator to the level of the commonplace and ordinary.
In the Hebrew tongue, the word translated as “in vain” is lashav, which means to represent something or someone with “falsehood, lies, or futility.” Coupled with the verb tissa, meaning to “lift up or bear,” this commandment specifically prohibits lifting up, speaking, or employing God’s sacred name that is inconsistent with His character, infinitude, and holiness.
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Abandoning the Loser Gospel: How the Book of Acts Proves an Eschatology of Victory

Let us resolve to abandon the naysaying and hand-wringing and instead embrace the radiant joy and bold witness that defined the apostolic company. No matter the opposition, no matter the changing winds of cultural hostility, we can remain steadfast in our Gospel labor – for it is a labor that will not fail until Christ is worshiped among every tribe and tongue. The future belongs to the overcomers, so let us take our stand with them, unwavering in our hopeful service until that day when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Sorry Not Sorry
If modern evangelicalism were a basketball team, we could be compared to the 2023-2024 Detroit Pistons. In the former days, circa the late 1980s, the Pistons were a dominant team, winning back-to-back titles, pulverizing almost everyone that stood in their path, and becoming a team that was well acquainted with victory. Yet, regardless of such a glorious past, the current iteration of the Detroit Pistons is both laughable and pathetic. Instead of the courage and physicality that defined Isaiah Thomas or the killer instinct of Bill Lamphere, this year’s Pistons were weak, they were cowardly, and they did everything within their power to tank their season. By tanking a season, I mean they believed that if they could lose enough games, a hero would get drafted in the next NBA draft, and that hero would come and rescue them. I can think of no better comparison to modern-day evanjellyfish Christianity.
Although having a past and a legacy littered with tremendous victories, infinitely more glorious than the 1980s Pistons, much of today’s evangelical Church has become toothless, passive, and seemingly content to simply tread water while awaiting a Deliverer to come and rescue us from our own impotence and incompetence. Rather than boldly advancing the Gospel with the fervor and tenacity that defined giants of the faith like Martin Luther, John Calvin, or the Puritans, many modern evangelicals have adopted an attitude of spiritual pacifism, more concerned with tanking our legacy than with building a dynasty that will last forever. And in the same way, no one admires a dejected team with a penchant for losing; no one admires a pathetic Christian religion with a loser’s mentality. This is one area where the Church of Jesus Christ needs desperately to repent.
Now, by repentance, I am not just talking about individual Christians who believe everything is going to hell in a handbasket and have adopted a posture of trembling ostriches within their culture. Sure, they need to repent and grow a spine. But, I lay the majority of the blame, instead, at the feet of pastors and seminaries, who preach such rank eschatological escapism that the laborers have left the fields. I blame pastors and seminaries who publish books, put on conferences, and teach sermon series peddling such an inglorious and hopeless message about how we lose down here that the Church of Jesus Christ can no longer conceptualize what victory is. And as a result, we have become a demoralized church, a defeated church, an impotent church, and a timid church. Precisely none of the things Christ died to make us, we have shamefully become. And, as said before, it is high time we wake up, get up, and get back into the fight.
And that message is precisely what we have been communicating in this series called A Practical Postmillennialism. We have been trying to discover what God says about the end times, what role we have to play in those times, and what that role will require of us as we go and serve our King. If you have followed along, you will know that the Bible’s first book tells us everything we need to know about how God made the world. He made the world so that it would be filled with worshippers. He made the world where humans would rule and extend His dominion. And He made a world where godly men and women would populate every square inch of this planet with discipled worshiping Christians. This is the paradigm for how God created the world in Genesis 1:28, and it is the plan God refuses to abandon after sin enters the world. Instead of scrapping His plan to spread His victory over every square inch of earth’s dirt, He repeats it, restates it, and reinvigorates it by making astounding promises to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. God promises that Noah’s family will fill the world with worshippers one day (Genesis 9:1). He promises that Abraham’s family will bring God’s covenantal blessings to every family on earth (Genesis 12:3). He promises that Isaac’s family will bless all the nations (Genesis 26:4). He promises that Jacob will have kings and nations who rule in allegiance to Yahweh coming from his own loins (Genesis 35:11). And He promises that from the line of Judah, the King of kings would come, and bring the wayward nations into obedience to Him.
This means nothing less than God’s plans to win the entire world to Himself so that no more pagan religions exist, murder is eliminated, infant mortality is eradicated, and the whole world is filled with Christians who worship their King. If you think the future of the world is pluralistic, you have a flawed view of what God is doing. The future, my dear friends, is Christian. The future is about the bright hope of Jesus bringing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The widespread proliferation of pagans with secular philosophies and institutions will fade, will wither, and will give way to the universal empire of Jesus Christ. Far from a loser theology, we have a theology of dominion and victory in the one with the name above all names!
So with that, I have been trying to take down the loser gospel of dispensationalism, of premillennialism, of some ammillennials, and of the lion’s share of evangelicalism. Instead, I would like to see an eschatology of victory, which is the eschatology of Christian history, retake root in this land. I would like to see Christianity become that glorious champion of Christ, who will storm the gates of hell with water guns, and will take their beatings with joy for the name of Christ, and will see the Kingdom growing and pushing back the enemy in our lifetime. I want to see the Church become what it has been in the past and stop pooping her pants every time our culture acts like pagans.
With that in mind, today’s episode will examine the Book of Acts and show how it not only proves Postmillennialism but also gives us the attitude adjustment we need to stop losing and start winning, working, warring, building, and extending His dominion.
So, with that, let us begin!
The Loser Mentality and the Book of Acts
If you want to know what Jesus wanted His Kingdom to look like or how He envisioned us to think, act, or labor in this world, you would be hard-pressed to find a better example than the first-century Church. These are the men who knew Jesus face to face. They are the ones who heard His sermons, wrestled with His parables, and watched as He gave one discourse after another on the nature of the Kingdom throughout His three and a half years of ministry. They also had off-the-record conversations, campfire discussions, and other forms of communication not recorded in Scripture. They had the unique privilege of asking Jesus questions that we do not get to ask, and as a result, they got a unique glimpse into Jesus’ vision for the Kingdom of God and what His Church was to be about and to accomplish. Thus, when we look at how the first-century Church behaved, we can actually intuit much about the theology of the Kingdom.
For instance, if the early Church believed in the same way as John MacArthur, that the Church loses down here, we should expect to see the early Church losing. We should expect to hear a bit of pessimism in their vernacular. And we should expect to read a fair amount of hedging on just how much success could be possible in order to maintain our status as losers. And if you think that is harsh, I would remind you that we are English speakers. People who win are winners. People who fight are fighters. People who lose are losers. People who lie are liars. This is not very controversial English. It is only controversial because we do not want to reckon with the implications of our embraced theology. When we say the Church loses down here, we are saying she is the loser down here. Whether we like that or not or have the integrity to admit it, that is precisely what we are saying. And, I, for one, am totally unwilling to speak in such ways about the bride of Christ (whether directly by the words coming out of my face or indirectly through what I believe about her in my mind). I would rather overestimate how much she will accomplish with Christ as her bridegroom than stand before the King of Glory one day and explain why I filled my time with bashing and doubting His bride. If there were ever a husband I would not want to face after slandering His beloved wife, Christ Jesus would rank supreme.
Now, back to the point… The Church we see in Acts does not act like losers, does not think like losers, does not moan and whine like losers, and does not expect to become losers. From the earliest moments of the book all the way to the very end, we see a group of people who expect to win, expect that the Kingdom of God will rapidly advance, and are overjoyed when God begins doing that in their lifetime. So, with that, I would like us to look at a few examples in this book to see how their expectation was nothing short of victory. I would invite anyone interested to see this book with new eyes to continue with me as we open it.
When Do the Last Days Begin?
The end times are not a future period we look forward to – they began 2,000 years ago with the incarnation of Christ. This is because the Bible divides time into two categories. The former times (which are the times of the law and the prophets, temples and tabernacles, priesthoods and sacrifices, etc.) and the latter times or end times (which is the period of Christ and His Spirit-indwelled Church). And guess what? The New Testament makes this abundantly plain for anyone with eyes to see. For instance, the author of Revelation, when talking about the inauguration of the end times says: these events “must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1) and that the “time” for the changing of the ages is not long away in the distant future but “is near” (Revelation 1:3). Jesus warns He will return in judgment “quickly” against apostate Israel (Revelation 22:7,12,20; Matthew 24:34), which is why James declares that the Judge who will pronounce judgment on the Jews is standing “right at the door” (James 5:9). This is why the author of Hebrews so clearly differentiates an era that is passing away (Hebrews 9:26) and a more perfect era (the end times) which has now come in Christ (Hebrews 9:26). He even tells us that in the old times God spoke to His people through the law and the prophets, but “now in these last days God has spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2). Since God has incontrovertibly put away the Old Covenant types and shadows and has spoken to us through His beloved Child it is painfully apparent that we are living in the last days. We are not waiting for the end to start – we have been living squarely in the long-promised eschaton for two millennia!
Now, as clear as that is, not everyone agrees. Many modern evangelicals seem to conveniently overlook these things and insist that we are living in “the age of the church” and still waiting for the end times to begin. Not only have they invented a new age in which the Bible does not even countenance, but they have also ignored the clear teaching of the New Testament, which forcefully disproves their assumption. Perhaps most shocking is how they arrogantly dismiss Jesus’ own words that the Kingdom arrived in His incarnation (Luke 17:21) and would be entrusted to His people, the Church, to bear its Kingdom fruit (Matthew 21:43). They ignore the prophecies of Zechariah how this coming Prophet, Priest, and King will establish God’s Kingdom on earth (Zechariah 1-7), which began when He rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey and set up His empire (Zechariah 9:9). They’ve become deaf to the words of Christ, who said that the Kingdom was near to the first century people listening to Him (Mark 1:15), that it was already at hand two thousand years ago (Matthew 4:17), and was being inaugurated as Christ ascended to the ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13-14) and sat upon His rightful throne to reign (Matthew 28:18) with all authority (Matthew 28:18). The clarity in all of this is astounding and even more astounding at how readily it is ignored.
These blind guides not only fail to see this generally, but they fail to see this, particularly in the book of Acts, which screams that a new era of history, the last days (or end times), has already begun! For instance, according to the apostle Peter in Acts chapter 2, the last days began at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh. As the crowds watched the rushing wind of the Spirit descend upon the early Church, Peter reminded them that all of this was prophesied in the book of Joel, who not only prophesied this event would occur but said it would mark the arrival of God’s end-time Kingdom! (Acts 2:17-21). So, just in case you missed that, according to Peter and Joel, the pouring out of the Spirit is the definitive evidence that the end times have already begun.
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What Do You Love More? The Law of God and Second Commandment Violations

To attempt to capture the essence of the immortal, divine Christ in a mere physical image is to engage in the most extreme folly. Jesus was not like other men. He is the God-man! In Him, all of the fullness of God dwells in human form. To make an image of Him is to create an image of God! Paul says that He existed in the very form of God before taking on a servant’s form. In human form, He remained truly God and truly man.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. – Exodus 20:4-6

The Gravity of Image- Making
After the Lord gave us the most foundational commandment to have no other gods before Him, He forbade us from the abominable practice of lessening and cheapening His matchless glory by trying to cast it in a limited frame. This is clearly a consequence of God being the one and only God, maximal in all attributes, infinite in all His knowledge, power, being, glory, existence, and attributes. If God is limitless in all these things, and He is, then these flimsy, shallow, and hollow images cannot constrain him. Trying to cast an infinite god in any finite frame is not only an offense to Him but infuriates His holy and righteous wrath. It is to lie about who He is. It is to say to Him that you have commanded me not to do this, but because I am a visual learner, I do not care about your commandments and will make you into whatever image and likeness I want. At the core of it, it is to say that I am God. I choose how God will be revealed to me instead of allowing God to make that choice for you!
And this kind of behavior manifests itself in a variety of ways. In ancient Israel, they did the unthinkable by trying to limit the infinite God, casting Him in the image of a golden calf. They took the one who has no end to His power, majesty, and glory, and they cast Him as an animal that stands in its own feces, which is a disgusting, deplorable, and abominable action. God was gracious not to smite them all where they stood and instead made them drink their idol once it was crushed into powder and added to their water supply. As it ripped open their bowels, they were to learn that idolatry is not only an offense to God but tears us apart as well.
You think about the golden calf on Wall Street, the image of the American God of wealth and gluttony. You think about the morbidly obese Buddha with that silly smile on his face as a picture of what men and women in the Orient believe about God. You think about the depictions of Jesus as a white European with long flowing hair, which is a statement about what men and women in the Renaissance believed about God. You think about the campaigns to depict Jesus as a woman, as a black or oriental man. You think about shows like The Chosen, who cast the most holy face of Jesus Christ, the one who said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father, the one who who now sits upon the throne of heaven, with the face of a human sinner, I believe the Lord is righteously indignant about that.
And maybe you are saying, Kendall, do not be a killjoy… I like The Chosen. I like the Passion of the Christ. I like my Jesus picture on my wall.
What Do You Love More?
But, I would ask you, do you love your images more than the commands of God?
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Leaning, Idolatry, and Trusting Christ

Like Peter, our gaze shifts from Christ to focus on the storm, looking to temporal things for rescue instead of our faithful Lord. This unbelief assaults God’s glory, arrogantly dismissing His all-sufficiency as if He were not enough. It must be confessed and repented of. But thank God He has not left us alone in our idolatry and need! In His rich mercy, He has provided the way for us to batach in Him through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

In this series, I take our law homily from our church gathering each week (The law homily is where we read from the law of God and let His law examine our hearts so that we can be a tender-hearted and repenting people), and I post them here for your edification. Here is this week’s law homily on the prohibition against mental idolatry. 
“Batach:” A Call to Radical Dependence
In the opening words of the Ten Commandments, God issues a clear directive: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). This command strikes at the heart of what it means to truly trust God – to give Him our undivided loyalty and devotion. The Hebrew word translated as “trust” is batach, which vividly portrays leaning one’s whole weight onto something, relying upon it entirely.
To batach, to genuinely trust and lean wholly on God, requires letting go of all other supports. It means making Him alone the unrivaled object of our faith, confidence, and reliance. The Hebrew conveys the precise image of shifting our total weight onto the Lord’s sure and sturdy foundation.
Imagine a hiker navigating a treacherous mountain pass. The path is narrow and unstable, and hazards loom. Each step poses the real peril of slipping into the abyss below. But this hiker has something to batach in—a sturdy walking stick to lean on, to transfer their total weight to, providing confidence amid the dangers. Without that trusty stick, every stride would be reckless and could prove catastrophic. With it, the hiker can journey safely by bataching, leaning on its unwavering strength.
Such radical dependence is the picture of truly bataching, of genuinely trusting in God. This life is treacherous; the way is strewn with difficulties and unsettling circumstances. To attempt walking it alone, self-reliant, and grasping at flimsy, false supports is to court disaster. But when we batach in the Lord and deliberately transfer all our weight onto His strength, wisdom, and promises, we can journey confidently, no matter the rocky terrain or hazards we face. Our feet remain firmly planted by wholly relying on the immovable foundation of God’s faithfulness.
The heroes of Scripture model this kind of reckless trust for us. The Israelites batached in God as they walked through the parted Red Sea on dry ground. David batached as he faced the giant Goliath, declaring his confidence was in the Lord’s deliverance. The prophet Habakkuk resolved to rejoice in God’s salvation no matter what calamity befell, saying, “Yet I will batach in the God of my salvation.” These examples reveal that bataching is more than intellectual assent; it is the deliberate, continual transfer of one’s whole situation and weight onto the Lord.
Forsaking Flimsy Idols
In stark contrast, we often lean on the flimsy reeds of wealth, power, status, or human relationships for security.
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The War for the Soul of the World

The torch now passes to us, the revived company of Christ’s End Times army. Having been lavished with incomparable blessings and equipped with Heaven’s full authority, it is our charge to carry His unstoppable advance into every sphere of society. Through the weapons of the Church, the means of grace, faithful evangelism, and multiplying discipleship, we push forward Christ’s Kingdom invasion into territories still held captive. Brothers and sisters, the war for the world’s soul rages on! Will you take your place among the ranks of this fearless battalion? The Commander calls us to urgent duty—to see every enemy of God rendered helpless at the throne of Christ as the knowledge of His glory overspreads the Earth like waters covering the sea.

Introduction
From the most humble of beginnings, Jesus launched an unstoppable invasion of Satan’s realm that would shake the foundations of the world and wrestle back control from the prince and power of the air. With just twelve unlikely men, this peasant Rabbi from Nazareth set in motion a spiritual tsunami sweeping over Jerusalem, flooding through Judea and Samaria, and eventually inundating the entire Roman empire – toppling history’s greatest superpower from within.
What started as a fringe rabble of outcasts and nobodies exploded into a global force that now totals over 2.5 billion worshipers, with no signs of slowing. This was no accident in human history. This is not the story of a band of losers who bumble along in a world getting rotten until their Savior tractor beams them back home to the mothership. This was always the Creator’s intent – that His image-bearing people would multiply and fill the Earth with true worshipers who willingly obey His reign (Genesis 1:28). Though sin brought devastation and ruin, Jesus, the greater Adam, has restored humanity to her purpose. He has forgiven us of our sins and re-invested us with our original Adamic authority to advance God’s Kingdom to all peoples and places, leading the Church to bring God’s blessings to every family and ethnicity on Earth (Genesis 12:1-3). Just as Jacob prophesied, the nations will one day rally under Judah’s scepter of righteousness, rendering complete allegiance to Shiloh, who is Christ the King (Genesis 49:10). From that tiniest mustard seed, a revolution was unleashed that cannot be stopped until it has brought the entire world under the shade of its branches. This is the kind of unstoppable Kingdom that Jesus is building.
Beyond the book of Genesis, we looked at how the Exodus and the story of Israel prove the doctrine of Postmillennialism. We saw how the era of the kings collapsed in fantastic failure but looked forward to a true and better King who would make good on all of these promises. We saw how God gave the people of Israel Postmillennial anthems to sing in the book of Psalms. And how He gave them postmillennial hopes and promises throughout the prophets. Last week, we examined how the Gospel of Matthew proves a postmillennial eschatology, where Christ’s Kingdom progressively grows and expands, filling the entire Earth before His return. Through Jesus’ parables, teachings, proclamations, and the Lord’s Prayer itself, Matthew paints a stunning portrait of how this Kingdom will take over the world like Georgia Kudzu.
And that is what we are going to be talking about today. We will show how the Kingdom landed on the shores of Earth like the Americans upon the beaches of Normandy. We will show how Jesus eradicated the fiercest enemy of His Kingdom, which is the devil and His demons, along with the unlikely loyalists who aligned themselves with His vision. In conclusion, from the Gospels, we will see how this Kingdom that put down its enemies in the first century will build and grow throughout all centuries until there is nothing left for it to conquer.
Phase 1: The Arrival of the Kingdom
For centuries, the prophets strained to glimpse through the veil, longing for the day when Heaven’s invading force would storm the sin-stained beaches of this embattled world. Isaiah foretold a light shattering the darkness (Isaiah 9:2), a Son given who would bear endless peace upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7). The Prophet Malachi proclaimed the Lord was coming, but who could endure the day of His arrival (Malachi 3:1-2)?
At last, with the coming of Christ, the longships of God’s Kingdom were sighted on the horizon. As the prophesied Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78), Jesus marched through the dusty paths of Palestine, sounding the trumpet blasts that the long-awaited invasion was now imminent – “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Mark 1:15) John the Baptist’s voice echoed from the wilderness – prepare, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near (Matthew 3:2)!
This was no temporary skirmish but the beginning of an unstoppable, eternal occupation. As the angel decreed, Christ’s Kingdom would know no end, unlike the fragile, fading dynasties of mere earthly kings (Luke 1:33). The joyous shouts of the people greeted the Messiah’s advent into Jerusalem – “Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David!” (Mark 11:10) They recognized in this humble rabbi the Conquering King who would reestablish David’s throne forever.
Jesus was the D-Day of the ages, the point-man of Heaven’s liberating army who had burst upon the world’s beaches to re-subjugate the planet to its rightful Ruler. His very presence revealed that the ancient prophecies had found their fulfillment – the Kingdom Moses foretold was no longer a vision but a tangible reality unfolding before their eyes (Luke 10:9). This was no political coup achieved through human strength, but an unstoppable invasion from the realm of untainted holiness and omnipotent authority (John 18:36).
As Christ’s feet hit the embattled shores, every ritual, tradition, and earthly pretension was exposed as a hollow symbol that must now submit before the unveiled reality. He was the true Temple, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, the Feast of Heaven’s own deliverance. The old order lay obsolete before this invading Sovereign who had come to pitch His beachhead into the human heart and raise His flag of willing allegiance over all people and nations.
This spearheaded an advancing occupation – not to timidly coexist alongside the capitals of sin and death but to utterly displace them. What began as a small force would grow into an ever-increasing onslaught until the entirety of enemy territory was liberated and reclaimed for God’s eternal dominion (Mark 4:30-32). This mustard seed of a regiment would become an overwhelming surge, unfurling its banner of freedom outward until filling the whole Earth.
Satan’s blitzkrieg of deception and oppression had now met its match in the infinite reserves of the invading Kingdom. The beachhead had been secured. The Kingdom had landed on Earth’s bloodied shores. From its foothold in the Galilean hills, this invasion force would now relentlessly push its liberating march into every sphere of human existence until the entire global theater fell in resignation before the undisputed reign of God. The remaining resistance pockets of darkness could either concede and be emancipated into restoration or face the decisive overthrow the prophets foretold. This invading Kingdom would not cease its march until all enemies, foreign and domestic, were expelled and the Earth was filled with the glory of Christ the King.
Phase 2: The Battle Between Heaven and Hell
As Jesus landed upon the shores of this fallen world, being born of a virgin, He was not greeted with celebratory fanfare. In His earliest years, Satan tried to kill him through the mentally depraved puppet king named Herod, and this was just the beginning of the war efforts from hell that would be leveled on Christ. Satan and his demonic forces recognized the dire threat Jesus posed. They knew Jesus had not come to Earth to affirm their right to rule. He had come to dispel the spiritual squatters who had been living in God’s world, ruining His good Earth for far too long, which means His arrival signaled their demise. This is why Satan and the demons come out in a full-on military assault on Jesus all throughout the Gospels. This was their last stand before surrendering the world back into the hands of Christ (Matthew 28:18).
From the wilderness, where the serpent once slithered into the garden and brought deception to the line of men, Satan comes out to meet his Creator in the earliest part of Jesus’ ministry. After baptism and 40 days of fasting, Jesus was in a state of profound physical vulnerability when the enemy struck like the Luftwaffe over Poland. Wielding his age-old weapons of temptation and lies, Satan hurled his fiery darts upon our Lord, hoping to corrupt Him in the same way he had corrupted Adam. Yet, as we know, Christ deflected every assault and succeeded where Adam had failed.
With each repelled advance, the path was cleared for Jesus to launch an overwhelming counteroffensive on the powers of hell. Armed not with swords but with the word of God as His blade, the Lord engaged hellish minions all throughout Judea and Galilee.
Like surgical drone strikes levied against strategic targets, Christ precisely aimed His ministry at the forces of hell to liberate those held captive by unclean spirits. In the Capernaum synagogue, a man possessed by a demon cried out at the sight of Jesus, sensing his doom had arrived. With a single authoritative command from the Lord’s lips, the evil Spirit was silenced and expelled, powerless to disobey. Later in the Gerasene region, Jesus encountered a man invaded by a horde of demonic spirits who called themselves “Legion.” These foul entities pleaded not to be cast into the abyss. Yet with a single word from Christ, they were driven howling from their human host into a herd of pigs that then drowned themselves in the sea.
So thorough was this rout of demonic forces that the war-torn people of Galilee flooded to Jesus, bringing “all who were oppressed by the devil” to be liberated by Him. Like napalm torching an enemy-infested forest, the Lord’s commands incinerated the stranglehold the enemy had on the region, restoring those in captivity to freedom. Even the disciples were trained by Jesus to make war with the devils, exercising them and bringing deliverance to the captives, which became a hallmark sign that Jesus had shared His authority with them.
The final conquest, however, was reserved for Jesus alone. He dealt the crippling blow to Satan’s operations by binding “the strong man” through His sacrificial death. Rising triumphant over sin and death’s tyranny, Christ forever stripped the dark powers of their weapons, parading them as spoils of war in His wake as the conquering King.
The aftermath of this Heaven-sent D-Day left liberated multitudes in its wake, stunned casualties of divine grace, who encountered a love much more potent than any of their chains of oppression. In those days, Jesus launched much more than a few pop shots and guerilla skirmishes, but a full-on invasion. He came to the capital of Satanic oppression, where the enemy had centralized His power, and He threw down their strongholds and stranglehold over the people of God once and for all. That work began in Judah and Galilee; hell’s gates are still falling down as we faithful advance His Kingdom today.
Phase 3: Judgment Poured Out on Wicked Judah
While Jesus was engaged in warfare against the spiritual forces of wickedness, it became increasingly clear that the first-century Jewish people were not allies of God’s Kingdom. At every turn, they opposed Jesus, leading the Savior to expose them bluntly, declaring that they were not true descendants of Abraham but rather children of Satan who loved darkness and whose deeds were evil (John 8:44, John 3:19). This opposition is why Jesus also trained His sights on them in the spiritual battle.
In the incarnation, the long-awaited invasion force of God’s Kingdom was sighted on the horizon, and the powers of hell were not its only target. As the Lord Himself marched through the dusty paths of Palestine, entering town after town like Joshua conquering Canaan, He sounded the trumpet blast that the long-prophesied Kingdom of God had finally arrived, proclaiming, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” (Mark 1:15). For those willing to repent and turn to Jesus, this was glorious news of liberation. But for those who remained stubbornly opposed to Him and His Kingdom, they would be overwhelmed by the fury of its triumphant advance.
This was not merely a peaceful Kingdom endeavor but the outbreak of a spiritual war. For centuries, Israel had been God’s strategic outpost on Earth, the staging ground where His Kingdom forces could grow strong to eventually push outward in all directions. However, due to repeated disobedience, they allowed foreign oppression and influence to overrun the holy land. By the New Testament era, malign spiritual forces had been welcomed in through disobedience, revealing the destructive spiritual landscape the Jewish leaders had created. Their calling was to be a conduit of God’s blessing to all peoples, yet they had summoned His curses by breaking the covenant with Him.
In their blindness, the Jewish people obstructed and rejected their only hope of rescue, continually working to subvert Jesus’ mission at every turn. As His Kingdom invasion advanced, Jesus encountered the fiercest resistance from His own covenant people. The religious leaders arose as hostile insurgents – a militia in the service of hell itself – implacably opposing the Messiah. Like the Nazis seeking to exterminate God’s purposes in the 20th century, these hardened Jewish sects became entrenched pockets of opposition dedicated to destroying the Deliverer they should have embraced.
Despite witnessing Christ’s miraculous credentials and supernatural wisdom, they stubbornly rejected His rightful authority to rule. Their rejection metastasized into treacherous plots to murder the Prince of Peace Himself.
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Idolatry and the Fear of the Lord

Take heart in your battle against the idols of this age. Your Savior has fought and won the most terrifying war against idolatrous unbelief through His perfect fearing of the Father unto death. Now, through His Spirit, you too can experience and exult in God as your eternal, all-glorious treasure, undaunted by the trivialities that seek to lure your heart away.

The Creator’s Cosmic Command

You shall have no other gods before Me. – Exodus 20:3

These solemn words from the mouth of God cut through the chaos of our idolatrous hearts. In a world overflowing with temptations to chase after false saviors, the first commandment calls us back to the fear of the Lord as our fundamental allegiance and devotion.
What is this “fear of the Lord” that the Scripture incessantly commands? It is no antiquated relic but the bedrock reality that shapes and upholds all of life. The fear of the Lord is a posture of awestruck reverence before the supreme majesty, holiness, and glory of our sovereign Creator and Judge.
As the prophet Isaiah thundered, “All the nations are as nothing before Him…To whom then will you liken God?” (Isaiah 40:17-18) The fear of the Lord recognizes our infinite worth-giver and the awesome One before whom we will give an ultimate account (Hebrews 10:31). It is a sacred dread of offending the Lord of matchless beauty and purity before whom the highest heavens are unclean.
When the fear of the Lord lies firm in our hearts, it fortifies us against the ever-encroaching idolatries that war against our souls. We hate evil and sin, which dishonors God’s holiness (Proverbs 8:13). Obedience to Him becomes our consummate joy as we live with a dread of grieving His Spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1, Acts 9:31). Our hearts swell with reverence and gladness in God alone as our all-satisfying treasure (Psalm 2:11).
Curbing Our Chronic Cravings
And yet, how easily does this precious fear erode as we casually sideline God’s glory? Our sin does not grieve us as it should before the terrifying reality of Christ’s judgment seat. We carelessly rationalize evil desires and skirt around His commandments as if He were small and His Word insignificant. A nonchalant familiarity with Infinity creeps in, forgetting the cosmic chasm between the Creator and the created.
Perhaps most perilously, we sacrifice this fear by covertly pursuing idols of the heart—making spouses, careers, comfort, and reputations into functional saviors. Our gaze drifts from beholding the awesome worth-ship of God over all things as we chase after petty and fleeting shadows.
Like the Israelites trembling before mere men at Kadesh Barnea (Numbers 14:9), we offer up our highest reverence to the paltry fears and piddling desires of this fading world.
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