Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Is All Worship Acceptable To God?

     One of the most frequently heard statements is, "It doesn't matter how a person
worships God as long as they worship." So, it is appropriate to ask, is all worship
acceptable to God? The answer is a simple but thunderous "no" according to the
sacred scriptures!

     Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, "God is spirit, and those who worship
him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24) According to the Lord, it is
necessary to worship God "in spirit and truth."  If  worshiping  God in spirit
and truth is necessary , then worship  that  is  not  in  spirit  and  truth is not
acceptable.  Therefore, all worship is not acceptable to God.

     Paul told the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers of Athens, Greece that he
"observed the objects" of their worship, and found an altar with this inscription,
'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim
to you. " (Acts 17:23)  According to the implications of Paul's speech delivered
in the midst of the Areopagus, ignorantly worshiping "the unknown god" is
unacceptable. Since this is true, then not all worship is acceptable to God.

     Paul also warned the brothers and sisters in Colossae against "self-imposed
worship." This "self-imposed" worship was religious devotion that was mixed
with  elements  of  asceticism.  (Colossians 2:23)  Paul,  the   Lord's   apostle,
condemned self-imposed worship. Therefore, not all worship is acceptable
to God.

     It does matter how one worships. First, the worship we offer to God must
be authorized. If God does not allow it, we should not participate in it. The
things we practice religiously, "in word or deed" must be done "in the name
of the Lord Jesus." (Colossians 3:17) Second, we must worship God with
Jesus being "heart and center" of it all. He  has  supremacy  in  all  things.
(Colossians 1:18) Third, we must worship God both emotionally and
intellectually. We must use our minds and hearts. We should think about
what we are doing when we worship, and we should pour our very heart and
soul into our worship.

     Humanly  devised  acts such  as  the  use  of  mechanical instruments of
music in worship are unacceptable to God. He has specifically told us to
"sing and make melody with the heart." (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)
Humanly devised schemes such as incorporating choruses and choirs to
sing for the congregation are unacceptable to God. He has commanded all
the assembled believers to sing. The text says, "addressing one another;"
"teaching and admonishing one another." All worship is not acceptable to
God. God's way is not merely the best way, it is the only right way!

                                                                                                     R. Daly
Copyright 2015