In doing research for my novel, Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century (Amazon Link), I had to study Roman Mythology. The Romans stole the gods from the Greeks. The objective of having so many gods was to explain natural phenomena.
There was a god for everything and a festival for every god.
Ironically, the day that Vesuvius erupted was the festival of Vulcanalia celebrating the god of fire, Vulcan. (No, Spock’s planet had nothing to do with it.). During this festival, participants would build large bon fires and throw fresh fish into it as a sacrifice to that god in gratitude for a season without crop-devastating wildfires and hoping for no fires in the next season. And they’d drink a lot of wine.
Pompeiians were probably wondering what they did wrong when Vesuvius erupted.
Didn’t they sacrifice enough of their fish to Vulcan? Didn’t they hold enough festivals?
All the Roman festivals reminded me of the festivals of the saints in Puerto Rico. Every town, city or municipality has a patron saint and once a year is their festival. They parade through the streets with a statue of the saint and burn candles and incense. Oh, and they party.
In Naples, Italy, every year they hold the festival of their patron saint who keeps Vesuvius from erupting. Right now, several million people live in the shadow of Vesuvius and though it is dormant, it may wake up and it’s due to wake up soon. The church of this saint has a “relic” vial of the “saint’s blood” and supposedly, because of the festival and “patronage” to this saint, that’s why Vesuvius hasn’t erupted since the 1940s. Right.
The Truth about Gods
All these “saints” are just gods – mere man-made pieces of clay.
Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,Psalms 115:4-7 NLT
shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak,
and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear,
and noses but cannot smell.
They have hands but cannot feel,
and feet but cannot walk,
and throats but cannot make a sound.
Oh, and the Virgin Mary falls into this category, too. There is only one TRUE God, the Triune God – the Father, Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
“How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
These prized objects are really worthless.
The people who worship idols don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
Who but a fool would make his own god—
an idol that cannot help him one bit?
All who worship idols will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can make a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame…
“The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.Isaiah 44:9-11, 20
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
‘Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?’”
Mary and the “saints” are dead. Only Jesus rose from the grave and is alive in heaven. He sent His Spirit to be with His believers and Jesus will come back for His believers in the Rapture.
Dead people can’t be intercessors between you and God. Only Jesus and the Holy Spirit can. Oh, and you really don’t need an intercessor, because you have a direct line to the Father 24/7.
Festivals of the saints are just reasons to party. They mean nothing and go against God’s commandments.
“You must not have any other god but me.The 2nd Commandment
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”Exodus 20: 4-6
In my blog and podcast, “Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?”, I quote several Bible passages that say that idol worshipers will not be allowed into Heaven.
From the Old Testament to the New, God commands us over and over again to NOT worship idols. Now, idols aren’t just statues of saints, Mary, or pagan gods. No, in today’s culture, they are celebrities, possessions, work/jobs, our phones, success, sex, money, lucky charms and anything else that satisfies the lusts of the flesh or superstitions.
Their land is full of idols;Isaiah 2:8-11
the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
So now they will be humbled,
and all will be brought low—do not forgive them.
Crawl into caves in the rocks.
Hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord and the glory of his majesty.
Human pride will be brought down,
and human arrogance will be humbled.
Only the Lord will be exalted on that day of judgment.
When you’re reading the Bible and you see something repeated more than once — dozens of times — that means that God wants to get your attention. It’s an important message that we, as God’s creation, need to understand.
In a prior podcast and blog article on Idolatry and Immorality, I quote from the Book of Revelation where Jesus talks to the churches. After each admonition, he says something like…
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.”Revelation 2:11
“The Second Death” — that’s what happens to people who don’t pass on the Judgement Day and are not forgiven, born-again believers.
Jesus is coming soon — any day now. Are you ready? Are you pure enough?
Celebrate Jesus every day with gratitude and prayer and remember that He was the ultimate sacrifice so we never have to sacrifice anything to appease a god or hope for a good harvest. God is in control. Trust in Him.
If you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I surrender my whole life to you and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Great apps to make reading and studying the Bible easy:
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!