Compromising Our Worship
Do you believe there is a devil? I’m not trying to be naïve, funny or cute, but I simply just want to get you to evaluate what you say you believe about the devil. We live in a day when some 70% of professing Christianity (anybody who considers themselves Christians) in America does not believe in the literal, personal, enemy of God, named the devil. Now, that’s funny, to believe there is a God but not believe there is a devil! That’s like saying you believe your battery has a positive post but not a negative post! That’s like saying you believe that there is such a time as day and yet not to believe there is such a time as night! That’s like saying there is only good out there in the world and no evil! That’s being naïve! That’s funny!
One of the greatest achievements of the devil has been to convince mankind that he simply does not exist!
For some Satan is just a myth, a personification of all that is evil in the world, a theory that preachers invented to scare people and keep them in church. Ask a dozen different people and you will get a dozen different answers. Satan has done his work so well, that it is like pulling teeth just to get professing Christianity to believe there is a devil! Can I say for starters that among the 2263 verses that relate to Satan in some way, that you ought to believe there is a devil for at least two reasons.
Jesus believed there is a devil! Did you know that out of all the recorded sermons our lord; he preached more about Hell, and Satan than any other subject! I guess Jesus preached on these subjects because he believed them to be true and didn’t want anybody going to Hell and to the devil. You simply ought to believe in Satan because Jesus believed that he was real and was his enemy. Secondly, you ought to believe there is a devil because Paul believed there was a devil. Everywhere Paul went with the gospel, there was Satan also trying to destroy and hinder what Paul was trying to do for God.
There in Acts 19; Paul had been preaching for some two years in Ephesus and there were some Jews that became envious of Paul thinking they could cast out the devil like Paul could, so they tried it and failed. But then the most surprising thing happened; the devil talked back! “And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” What a testimony Paul had! Even the devil had to stand up and take notice of Paul’s life and work! Here was a guy that wasn’t playing games, wasn’t pretending, but who was serious about his walk with God!
I wonder what the devil would say of us this morning. I wonder if the devil considers you a real threat to his plans. I wonder what the devil thinks of us as a church; whether he thinks that we are just here to play games and amuse people or we are here to worship and to know more about God, so we can live for him better.
The devil is real! The devil is mad at you this morning for having Jesus as your savior. Those who are lost are being sweetly rocked to sleep this morning; the devil has them right where he wants them; feeling safe in their religion, safe in their works, safe in their good deeds, safe in their sacraments and works of self righteousness. Safe enough in the things of the world that they feel like they don’t need God! That’s where every lost person is this morning! And if someone doesn’t confront them with the gospel they will remain and die in that state and end up in Hell.
The devil has the advantage over the lost, doesn’t he? But as we read 2 Cor. 2:11, Satan can gain the advantage over the saved as well. I’m not taking about losing our salvation, that’s impossible, once your in, your always in, not even the devil can pry you out of God’s hands! It’s not our salvation as Christians, that’s up for grabs; but it our influence as Christians which we can lose to the devil!
That’s idea that Paul is implying here; that the devil desires to have the advantage over you and I, so as to lose our influence in this world. Paul believed that the devil desired to have the advantage over him and his ministries; so Paul always kept his eyes opened to what he called his (Satan’s) devices. The way the devil gains the advantage over us, is when we give in or sub come to one of his devices! The first device that the devil uses on Christians is compromise! The devil will throw you all the compromises you want if it keeps you and your influence for God in the non active status. Could you point out a compromise of the devil if one was put before you?
With that in mind, let’s turn in our bibles to Exodus 8 and see how Moses rejected the compromises that were thrown his way. And by them, we will see how the devil tries to make us sub come to his device of compromise.
Turn to Exodus 8; 20-25
You will remember the story of Moses. God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and so found out that Pharaoh wasn’t going to comply. Pharaoh made the mistake, of saying Exodus 5:2 “ Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” From that time on God was going to show pharaoh exactly who he was! Every plague that God brought down upon Egypt was a slam to some Egyptian god! The flies, lice, frogs, sun, Nile River all were worshiped by the Egyptians, all were used to be a plague to the Egyptians.
In the bible Egypt is a type, or picture of the world. Just as the Jews would leave Egypt forever in Exodus 12 under the blood of the lamb; so have we! All this in Exodus is a picture of our salvation! The Blood of the lamb was sprinkled upon the door posts which kept away the judgment of God, that was a type of the blood of Christ, the lamb of God that was shed for the sins of the world, if you are under the blood of Christ then the judgment of your sins is passed, settled on the cross of Calvary! Just as the Jews were saved by the blood of the lamb and had to leave Egypt to worship God we must also leave our Egypt, the world. The first compromise that was given was:
I. Worshiping God the World’s Way. Ex. 8; 20-25
It was after the fifth plague that Pharaoh began to work up a compromise with Moses, 25a. Notice the compromise here, go serve your God, sacrifice, do whatever you must, but do it “in the land” i.e. in the land of Egypt. So here it is, “Go, serve God, but don’t leave Egypt to do so.” Worship your God in the Land, don’t leave Egypt. That sounds real convenient doesn’t it? That sounds like Pharaoh is thinking about their wellbeing; of not marching three days out into the wilderness? But the truth is, Pharaoh doesn’t have any of these things on his mind; in fact he suggests this compromise only to keep control on them. The compromise was to worship God in the land, the world’s way, Egypt’s way. Moses refused to do so, knowing that only exact obedience to God would be what the Lord wanted.
Yet there are others today that are trying to worship God the world’s way, and it doesn’t work. You naturally think that as God would not just like us pick our own way to be saved; that we would not try to pick the way we want God worshiped? Listen, God has thought this thing throw, he has a way for folks to be saved that honors him in the process and believe it or not, God tells us the way he wants to be worshiped. We don’t have to guess, or hope this is right, or learn from trail and error, No! God has a way that he wants to be worshiped, and it doesn’t has anything to do with Egypt, i.e. the world. The bible says that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God; if the world’s wisdom is foolishness with God, I wonder just how much more foolish is the worship of the world to God?
We live in an age where if you don’t like the way a church worships, or the preacher preaches you can just keep looking, and you will eventually find a church and a pastor that is willingly to please you instead of pleasing God with its worship. Churches that are different are not the same!
Why, did Moses refuse this compromise? Because he knew that if they were really going to be the Lord’s people they were going to have to be separate from the rest of the lost world! Separate from the world, not because I say so, but separate because of what Jesus said as he prayed in John 17, John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
We are in the world, but not of the world! There’s no problem when the boat is in the water, but the problems start when the water comes into the boat! We are to be separate from the ideas and philosophies of the world when it comes to worship!
A. We should be separate in our music for worship!
There’s a good reason why we mostly use the hymn book and spiritual songs here. It is because we believe the music for the church of God should be that which best honors God. I don’t mean its my personal opinion verses your opinion either. I’m talking about using discernment that we gain from the word of God to tell the difference. There is music that carter to the flesh of the individual instead of the individual’s spirit! The bible says, Eph 5:19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”& Col 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”
I.e. the music you listen to should build you up, bring you closer to God, minister to your spirit rather than your flesh.
And can I say, for my own self that some sanctified common sense doesn’t hurt either. I was saved when I was 17, and just like the average lost 17 year old I had been to my fare share of concerts. Those concerts were wild, out of control, confusing, dangerous, and down right wicked. Though I stopped going to concerts after I was saved, I can say that there has been some churches that have reminded of a concert! The same spirit of wildness, confusion, being out of control of the concert can be seen in a lot of churches! I not trying to mean, but when I was newly saved I didn’t know much about the things of God; but I sure knew much about the things of the world! I had enough sense to know that, that wasn’t the way that God is worshiped! I got save out of that type of life style; and I will be horsewhipped before I‘ll jump right back in it!
Read your bible, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is temperance---i.e. self control not the lack of self control! That’s what you have when you try to worship God the world’s way!
B. We should be separate in the bible we use.
Just as there is a true, pure word of God, there is also a corrupt, humanized bible that the world uses for worship.
1. The world’s bible is a bloodless bible! They take out or reword dozens of scriptures referring to the blood of Christ! Why? Because it is only by the shedding of blood is the forgiveness of sins. Not by baptism, not by the sacraments, not by any good work we could do; but by the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ!
2. The world’s bible humanized bible! The events and happenings where the mighty power of God came down and did something out of the world, something beyond our reasoning and understanding, they cut it out. Thomas Jefferson, was such a man like this, he cut out every reference to the virgin birth, Calvary, the resurrection, the miracles and the return of Christ from his bible! He did have much of a bible left! The world has done the same!
3. The world’s bible is a worthless bible! Another thing that makes our bible (KJV) worthy other than God’s authorship, is that countless of Christians have died defending it, printing it, spreading it around the world. It has out lasted dictators, empires, and world war wars; it will even outlast this earth! This bible is worthy of your attention!
III. We should be separate in the purpose of our worship.
What is the purpose of us gathering together this morning? Just to have fellowship? Just to be assumed? Just to pray or take up the offering? All these things are apart of a greater purpose which is to worship God! We have come to meet with God! We have come to hear from God and to talk with God. We have come to give and also to receive from God. The world has the wrong purpose which is entertainment, amusement, and showmanship! We have come to worship God, whatever he wants to say, however long it takes him to say it, no problems we are here for him. I don’t go to church just to see how fast I can get out either!
Worship includes giving, going, and growing in the knowledge and image of Him!
Moses refused this compromise from Pharaoh because he knew what the lord wanted from him. So there were no chances of compromising with the world.
You shouldn’t have to compromise your worship, because God sure doesn’t want you too.
Compromise is one of devil’s devices which lead him gaining the advantage over you and over your worship.