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ISAIAH 46:1-4 "SUPPORTING GOD OR A SUPPORTING GOD" Intro: Picture was familiar scene in that day. On special days, the idols of the peoples' gods drawn through the streets on carts being pulled by oxen who were straining. I. MANY WORSHIP GODS THEY MUST SUPPORT. A. Let it first be established that every man with the exception of an idiot has a god. 1. God is not a name but a title. 2. It is the guiding principle or master passion behind a man's life. 3. Some acclaim to be atheists. a. This just isn't so. b. They are driven by some master passion. c. What they mean is they do not believe in the true and living God who is the eternal creator. d. Madaline Murray O'Hare is driven by her hatred for Christians to try to stop the Christian witness. 1. I believe she is not an atheist, but a polytheist. She worships her. a. Intellect -Baal. b. She advocates hedonism - Molech. c. She seems mastered by hatred. 4. Three most popular gods in Old Testament times; Baal, Molech, Mammon, who were the deification of intellect, pleasure and power. a. They had great idols to represent these gods. 1. Sometimes they would carry them on their shoulders. 2. Sometimes pulled in carts by oxen. b. These same gods worshipped today only in a more sophisticated way. B. "Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth." With this picture, Isaiah points to basic truth. 1. False gods must be carried, they cannot carry themselves. 2. Rather than removing burdens, they become burdens. C. "They could not deliver, but have gone into captivity." 1. How false gods captivate a person's life. a. He who worships pleasure becomes captivated by lust. b. He who worships power becomes captivated by greed. c. He who worships his intellect becomes captivated by pride. II. THE TRUE AND LIVING ETERNAL GOD SUPPORTS MAN. A. God declares that He carried them from birth to death. 1. "He made them." a. This is in contrast to men making gods. 2. He will bear. a. Rather than having to be borne. b. God wants to carry you through your trials. 1. "Cast all your cares on Him." 3. He will deliver. a. Rather than bring you into captivity. b. Jesus Christ will set you free from those blighting, damning forces that are destroying your life. B. Contrast Christianity with religions. 1. Religion is man reaching for God. 2. Religion is man creating his own god. 3. Religion is trying by your best efforts to be accepted by God. 4. Religion will weigh you down. a. Jesus will lift you up. 5. Religion will captivate you. a. Jesus will free you. C. Men have sought to make Christianity a religion.