“Come on in Folks, Nothing Required of You Here, Just Watch the Show”
There will be many people getting ready to attend church this morning. For some lots of preparation – pretty clothes, hair, etc. For others, just to get there on time is a chore. So you get in the door, are greeted and then sit for the “show”. Now, please let me assure you this is not the case for every church or every churchgoer but for many Sunday is the day and ritual is the practice. Ready to engage in pseudo-worship; that is, daydream and think about what you will be doing with friends or family afterwards?
Ah but for some, sports is their God as they live for the games, the eats, the stats, the players. They know them like the back of their hand and can tell you this and that and even more about every player. But … do they know how many books of the Bible there are? Or the time span in which it was written? Or can they easily find the Book of Haggai? Many Christians do not take the time to seriously read their Bible and get to know God Almighty? Very, very few!
This is what the worship of God has become, at least, in America: …dry, lethargic, sleepy, with minimal focus or concentration, lack of attention, just going through the motions. Is it any wonder then why America is so messed up and collapsing in almost every area of life? And many if not most Christians seldom, if any, seek God and pray sincerely. For a real, professing Christian this is an integral part of worshiping Him. But today, I digress, people go to church to hear the entertaining elegance and flair from the pulpit where there are few words of truth about knowing or fearing God and, might I add, a fake sense of sorrow. Coupled with lots of jokes and resembles a comedy routine, we have a real show taking place.
Bottom line: if we don’t fear God and tremble at His word, then friends, we don’t know Him! (Isa 66:2; Phil 2:12). Period!
Now let’s turn the clock back some 2400 years (~340 BCE) to the time of the Ezra, a Jewish priest and scribe (in particular in Ezra 9 and 10). He was instrumental in leading the people back from Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem. He was assigned the task of getting the Temple rebuilt. God was with Ezra and blessed him.
Today, I want to talk about what happened when the people realized their sin. Their sin of intermarriage with the foreign people of the land and what they did about it. See Ezra chapter 9 for their sin and then read chapter 10 for what they did and how they repented. Notice in Ezra 10:9 …
“Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain.” -Ezra 10:9 (ESV)
They were told about their sin and they decided to take action to amend their ways. Now this is huge – a huge u-turn in their lives but why did they do it? Because they knew God said not to do this and they were told by their [pastor] priest that they had broken faith with God because of it. You see they were confronted with their sin head-on realized it and then confessed and stood in the heavy rain and cold for 3 days trembling because of the matter. How many of us would stand in heavy cold rain for 3 minutes in trembling before God for our sin?
“And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel.” -Ezra 10:10 (ESV)
WOW! You ever hear these things in your church? Do we go to church to know about our sin? If not, why not? (What are we offering God when we attend church? This is a whole other topic talked about in Mal 1.)
If you are a pastor and reading this and do not teach about sin and repentance, then, my friend, you ARE NOT a pastor, a real shepherd of your flock; but you are therefore a hireling!!!
They were told about their sin and their falling out with God. Listen up – worshiping God can be empty lacking sincerity, real or not real or just plain fake. If you just sing songs, feel like dancing in the isles, produce tears that don’t reflect your standing and position before God, or raise your hands without a sincere heart of worship it’s all empty and fake!! And He knows it.
We must, absolutely and unequivocally pray, seek His face and confess and repent of our sin with a right and true heart. This is true worship. Too many of us go to church and do nothing! We have become passive and are spiritually “dead” (Sardis church – Rev 3:1-6). Little singing, and no worship but we excel at looking good, smiling nice and oh so saying all the non-offensive things. Going through the motions of worship but in reality our worship is empty and vain, sick and weak.
Our worship should be about our relationship with the Lord God Almighty and not about fancy clothes, fancy worship teams, loud blasting [rockish] music, elaborate and nicely robed choirs, euphonious music and all the other outwardly pretty things that go on on Sunday mornings.
Get serious with God people!
He is Almighty God not some “homey”, “joe”, or cloud-floating, cosmic genie, approving-anything granddaddy. He’s Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of you and me!!
Pastors and priests tell your flock about sin and how it affects their relationship with God. Tell them about what it means to fear God and what the trembling before Him means. (YOU will be held accountable for these things – James 3:1). For only then will you have powerful and meaningful worship times and then God will be pleased.
Most churches make a good show of things but their worship of God is empty and full of pretty words, with pastors that don’t weep before the Lord for their own sin, their nation and people’s sin. Look at what Ezra did…
“Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.” -Ezra 10:6 (KJV)
Ezra was a true man of God and sincere in his ways and actions. He cared and went the full mile with the Lord for his people. He led the people in real worship, not something empty, fake, false, improper or ritualistic.
When we meet together we are the body of Christ and we must be sincere about our worship before a Holy, Righteous and Living God. When we worship it must come from our heart and soul, not just our mind.
Don’t get caught up in the glamor, glitter and entertainment of most churches today. You must worship God and fear Him for God is a consuming fire, therefore we must put away the pretty things of contemporary worship and worship the one true Holy, Righteous and Mighty God sincerely and with all of our hearts.
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” -Heb 12:28-29 (KJV)
Fear God and shun evil! Now is the time and where you are is the place!
-BPWatcher, Internet Preacher and Bible Prophecy Watchman
WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH!