Have you ever heard someone say, “I can worship God anyway and anywhere I want?” Perhaps you’ve said or thought this. I know it is a convenient thought, but convenience is rarely the path we should take. When it comes to worshipping God, we have to do as He commands. We don’t get to pick and choose.
Many people get upset with me when I tell them this, but at least they haven’t wanted to kill me. Do you realize that the first murder ever committed by man was rooted in God’s rejection of man’s self-determined worship style? Have you ever heard of Cain?
“And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4:3-5)
At this point in the biblical account, Cain’s anger has not stirred up enough to conspire to kill his brother Abel. That comes after his encounter with God. In verse 6 of Genesis 4, God asks Cain why he is so angry and why his countenance has fallen. Then God asks Cain a question we should all apply to our lives:
“If you do well, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:7a)
God has ordained church as a gathering place for the followers of His Son, Jesus Christ, to corporately worship. God did not make going to church optional. In fact, through the writer of Hebrews, God forbids not going to church. He commands us not to do so:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
God considers it a selfish act if we do not go to church. Why? It is because we go to church not for ourselves, but for other believers. We are to think of others before ourselves. We go to church to encourage and love one another. We are to do so more today than ever because of the times in which we live.
We also make ourselves susceptible to sin when we decide we can worship God the way we see fit. First, it it because we are rebelling against God. Second, it is because we our no longer strengthened by one another:
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Perhaps you’re thinking I’m overreacting to a person not going to church. You may be thinking I’m taking this sin thing a bit too far. Surely God doesn’t consider me a sinner because I’m not going to church. God not only considers you a sinner for not going to church, but He also warns us that we will be susceptible to sin if we do not worship as He commands:
“And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7b)
Imagine getting such a warning from God. How would you react? Would you bow your knee in repentance and resolve to do well, or would you rebel even more? The latter is what Cain did as he not only conspired to kill his brother out of jealousy, but also went through with his crime. This led to God cursing Cain, to where he would no longer be a successful farmer and would now be a man on the run.
Beloved, when we decide that God’s commands our too burdensome or inconvenient, we invite sin to lie at our door. We try to rule over it, but in our own strength we are usually overcome by sin.
Why not surrender to Jesus Christ and worship Him as the Bible declares?
Stop having your worship rejected by God.
Start by attending church this Sunday.
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Copyright © 2015 David Jeffers