INDIFFERENCE TOWARD WORSHIP
1 Cor 11:20
INTRO: I have always loved to read and to appreciate Rev 1:10 ... I was in the Spirit on the Lords day ... Although a political exile on the island of Patmos and perhaps not in the most comfortable of situations, the Lords day and worship on that day were not neglected by the apostle John. By contrast the Corinthian brethren had so neglected and abused the Lords day that Paul wrote that their reason for assembling was not to eat the Lords supper. Which of the two illustrations best describes us?
I. WORSHIP IS A SERIOUS, IMPORTANT EVENT
A. It is to God
1. 1 Chron 16:29 ... and come before him ...
2. Jno 4:23,24 ... to worship him ...
3. Eph 5:19 ... to the Lord
4. does this not humble us? are we even aware, as we assemble, that we are coming before God?
B. It must be in the proper spirit
1. Micah 6:1-3 something was very wrong
2. they apparently brought sacrifices and such - but they only went through the motions - boring! (v.3)
3. and from v.8 we discover that their lives were not consistent with the claim of their worship
4. Jno 4:24 clearly teaches that worship comes from within as it joins with the action in worship
C. And, yes, it must be offered as God reveals
1. the Mosaic age noted numerous departures - both in attitude and action
2. and God was never pleased - always refused it
3. if we can learn nothing else from the ancient Jews, we should learn this
4. so, 1 Cor 11:23 ... revealed worship!
II. HOW MAY WE BECOME INDIFFERENT?
A. By being careless about attendance
1. worship is not just another event in a busy life
2. worship should be the event in a busy life
3. it seems that some treat it as an option
4. the well known passage: Heb 10:25 ... but note the assumption of Acts 20:7 - they came together
5. surely, attending should be a given - a matter of priority - a matter of desire (Ps 122:1)
6. (what about Bible classes? What about Sunday nights? Wednesday nights? are these important? does whether or not we attend them speak of attitude toward spiritual life and things?)
B. By being careless about participation
1. each New Testament act of worship is designed for participation!
2. note, for example, 1 Cor 11:28!
3. yes, there may be distractions; we may be tired; we may be anxious; etc.
4. we need to concentrate, to consider, to participate
5. 1 Cor 14:17b being edified is possible only with participation
6. can 2 Cor 9:7 suggest careful participation?
C. By being satisfied with the vague
1. feel good worship is in these days
2. but if we talk of God, or repentance, of holy living, of sin, of judgment, we must think, or shrink! and such effort and subjects are not always feel good
3. to focus on the Supper: its meaning, its message, its relevance to me takes real mental effort and demands humility ... etc.
CLOSE: Old and New Testaments tell us of Gods people who became indifferent toward worship. And this indifference is truly the manifestation of deeper spiritual problems. May I call all of us to examine ourselves ... and to worship God in the beauty of holiness.
Cecil A. Hutson
06 February 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)