Deep within human nature is the hedonist; being devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. When hedonism becomes the guiding belief which determines all other beliefs and behaviour, there can only be one outcome – idolatry. Why idolatry you ask? Because; to the hedonist “self” must dominate God. Therefore, everything and everyone is to be manipulated and sacrificed in the pursuit of personal pleasure. When the hedonist attitude gets into the church, conflict with God is certain.
Hedonism wrapped in Christian belief is not only a lethal weapon against the Church but a self-destructive disease. A spiritual condition which lures people onto a path in life which is “the highway to hell (which) is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way” (Matthew 7:13 NLT). It’s a popular road walked by the majority. Everything is evaluated by emotion; mocking God as being irrelevant and not fit for the purpose of pleasure.
Now, realise that God is not a kill-joy! “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Peter 3:10). A God honouring life desires to love life and to develop that love for life through integrity and not selfishness or sin. If you cannot imagine joy without sin being involved, then you don’t need a new god, you need a Saviour.
Mankind was created in the image of God, therefore God is the ultimate reason and purpose for mankind’s existence (Genesis 1:26). Ultimate pleasure, fulfilment, and security is only found in a surrendered life under the leadership of our loving Heavenly Father. Just as “there is one God, there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus Christ is the only way to enter into a satisfying relationship with God. For the Christian, God is the greatest reason and meaning for life. When self steps up to the leadership role, God steps back, and you have idolatry.
It remains God’s constant desire for everyone to come to Him through repentance of sin and dependant faith. For mankind this is a problem. Why you may ask? Because sinful people want God to accept them on their terms without any change. They expect God to engage with them without having to deal with the sin that separates them from Him.
However, through Jesus alone “forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38), and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved…” (Romans 10:9-10).
I encourage you to love life, love Christ, and resist hedonism. Follow Christ’s instruction to; “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27).