Biblical Worship

It seems to me that many professing Christian worshippers are more interested in entertainment for themselves rather than worshipping the Lord God almighty.  People love to worship according to their feelings.  We live in an age when true worship has been replaced by entertainment of every sort.  The application of managerial theory and the psychobabble theories are the great enemies of true biblical worship.  Today the focus is on the worshipper rather than the object of worship, the true and living God.  Idolatry in the modern evangelical church is rampant.  The building where the church meets for worship is a popular object of worship, especially the multi-million dollar buildings.  Music, drama presentations, and other performances have become objects of worship.  Pastors, denominations, and church dogma are a few of the many idols found in the modern church.  Restoring biblical worship ought to be the primary objective of every Christian.

True worship offered to God is either worthy worship or un-worthy worship.  Un-worthy worship may mean the object of worship is wrong or may be the wrong attitude toward the object of worship.  Worthy worship comes from a true believer.  The true object of adoration, praise and worship is the one true and living God.  Worthy worship is that worship that God prescribes in His Word.  Worthy worship is called Theocentric (God at the center) worship.  Christian worship or if you prefer the term biblical worship ought to be offered to God, not to men, women or children.  True biblical worship is not meeting someone’s need.  True biblical worship does not minister to the needs of people.  True worship is not people oriented; it is God oriented.

Since worship expresses the worthiness of God, the glory of God is the end of all true Christian worship.  If man institutes and regulates worship by the commandments of men, will God take pleasure in the worship?  Contrary to popular opinion, God has commanded Christians to worship Him according to His commandments.  In an effort to appease God’s wrath, false worshippers bring their man-made offerings and forms of worship to their own shame.  God hates sin and He hates sinful worship.  The Word of God reveals how God despises worship that He has not commanded.  The notion that God prescribes certain practices to be part of public collective worship and frowns on other practices is found in the normative history recorded in Leviticus chapter ten.  Scripture explains how Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, “offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.”  “He” in this text is God and God said, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.”  It is dangerous to offer worship to God that God has not prescribed and His prescription for worship is found in God’s Word, not in the mind of sinful man.  (See Leviticus 10:1-3).

There is another biblical reference to this principle in Jeremiah.  God warned the Old Testament church with these words.  “I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands” (Jeremiah 1:16).  The Lord spoke to the prophet Isaiah and said “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men” (Isaiah 29:13).  Worship is either by the commandment of man, the commandment of God, or a mixture of both.  The commandment of man is idolatry and false worship.  A mixture of both, man’s commandments and God’s commandments is syncretism.  Solomon is an example of mixing true worship with false worship.  (See 1 Kings 11).  The people were offering false worship and God said, “I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination to cause Judah to sin” (Jeremiah 32:35).  There are many practical and seemingly spiritual offerings according to the mind of man, but it is false worship unless it is according to the mind of God.

If the marquee outside of a building commonly referred to as the church features:

Traditional Worship  8:30 am (or whatever time they choose)

Contemporary Worship 9:30 am

Blended Worship 10:30 am

Collide Worship 11:30 am

Or any combination of those captions, false worship is probably inside the building.

If a worship service is designed to please the audience, it is probably false worship. Worship according to the Word of God will please God.  Some congregations call their worship “contemporary” and others “traditional.”  The worship service ought to follow the teaching of Scripture.  The Puritans called it the regulative principle of worship.  All worship is contemporary in the sense that it takes place at the present time.  No worship is acceptable merely because of tradition.  Since all individual believers constitute the church, it is impossible for the church to go to church.  The church may gather or assemble for a variety of reasons including Bible study, fellowship, prayer, or collective worship.  Christians do not and cannot go to church.  The church can and should go to worship.

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