In the old testament, God presented the ten commandments to Moses: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make unto yourselves any graven image…. You shall not bow down yourselves to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” (Ex. 20:36). The same writer continues: “For you shall worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Ex. 34:14). Yes, in days of old, God was a jealous God, and I am here to tell you that God is still a jealous God today and forever. Under the old covenant those who engaged in idol worship were cut down, and paid for their terrible mistake. Under the New Testament law the Lord would have us to understand that he is to be first, or not at all. As far as those who bow down to the other things of this life, they will have to suffer the consequences for the same, especially in the world to come.
God’s Jealousy For His Word
God is a jealous God when it comes to his word. He deplores the sight of those who would turn his will aside for the manuals, disciplines, and creed books of men. He despises every man made book that would suggest a plan of salvation different to his own. He hates the many opinions, conceptions, doctrines, commandments, dogmas, etc., which have been substituted for his word. Thus John penned: “For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18, 19). You cannot alter the word of God and get by with it. The Bible is not the author of the many doctrines that are being propagated; they are penned by the imagination of man and kept alive by his own folly. Many will have to answer to God one day for the way they have dealt with the word of truth. God is a jealous God and consequently would have all to recognize his word, and believe it with all of one’s heart. After all, it is the truth and the truth only that can make one free. (Jn 8:32).
God is a jealous God in relation to the gospel. He would have all to accept and believe the plan which has been revealed. However, what about those who refuse to obey the gospel? The apostle Paul answers that question: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thess. 1:7-9). Hence, those who obey the gospel of God are blessed, but those who reject it will be punished for the same. To those who obey the gospel, the Lord would have these people to carry the truth to those who are around about them. He would have them teach the plan of redemption just as it is revealed in the Bible.
There are counterfeit gospels, man-made gospels, false gospels, or perverted gospels, but if one is to please God, he must preach the gospel that has been revealed through the divine plan. Paul recognized this fact, and thus wrote: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:6-9). So it is a serious matter to deal with the gospel of Christ. Paul says that the gospel of God must be preached, and woe be unto the soul that preaches it otherwise. Yes, one may preach and obey a false gospel if he chooses, but don’t forget he’ll have hell to pay for doing so. God is a jealous God with respect to the gospel. He wants all to obey the truth as revealed, and he wants that same word preached in its purity and simplicity. Again, woe unto the soul who fails to abide by the gospel.
God’s Jealousy For The Church
God is a jealous God pertaining to the church. God sent his Son unto the world for the purpose of establishing the church, and yet there are those who are so bright and scholarly that they claim the church is of no importance. Where did such a doctrine come from? Not from God; not from Christ; not from his word; but rather from the devil. The church is important. The very fact that Christ established it makes it important. (Matt. 16:18 f; Acts 2). Moreover, since Christ shed his blood for it, that makes it important; yes, it is as precious to God as the blood of Christ is. (Acts 20:28). It is important inasmuch as Christ is the Savior and the head of the church (Eph. 6:23). Now in the light of all of this, consider the Lord’s statement: “But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all of these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33). Yes, the kingdom or the church of God, is so important and so essential when it comes to the salvation of the soul, that the Lord explains that we are to put it first in our lives. God is a jealous God. He is not pleased with anyone who says that the church is not important. He is not pleased with the belief that one church is as good as another. He is not pleased that there are many churches and one may join the church of his choice. No, God is not pleased with such. There is only one true church and one must be a member of it to be saved. (Eph. 4:4 ff, 1 Cor. 12:13, and Acts 2:47).
God is a jealous God with respect to worship. It is said that one may worship with the church of his choice. Furthermore, it is propagated that one may worship as he pleases just so long as he is honest and sincere, but don’t deceive yourselves and neither allow anyone else to deceive you. The scriptures reveal: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Jn 4:24). Hence, worship, in order to be acceptable worship, must be according to the Lord’s pattern, not man’s. What about all of this other worship? It is in vain, so says Matt. 15:7-9. God wants us to worship him as he has stated within his word. He will not accept any other kind of worship.
Conclusion: Yes, God is a jealous God. We must make a choice between God or Satan as to whom we shall serve (Josh 24:15). Keep in mind, if you choose God, he demands faithfulness unto death. (Rev. 2:10). Nothing more or nothing less will do.