With everything that is going on in our world today, with Supreme Court Decisions that are ungodly and unconstitutional, with threats being made to the tax-exempt status of the church, with the pressure of people from inside the church and outside to accept and condone sinful behavior, how is the church supposed to respond? Factor into this equation the signs of the times. What do I mean by this? At no time in the history of the world have more biblical prophecies started lining up for fulfillment than today. Mark Biltz and Jonathan Cahn make a powerful argument that something disastrous and yet amazing is about to happen in our world based on the biblical calendar and God’s creation. Never before have I felt such a sense of urgency to get the message out to the world: time is short; the day of salvation is today; your only hope is Jesus. So in the face of all this, how should the church, the true Bride of Christ, respond? The way that we should have been responding for 2,000 years. The church must be the church.
What follows is part of my message from last Sunday morning at Southside Baptist Church. Please note that I have taken the point of personal privilege in which I have editorialized somewhat.
So here is how I hope that we are going to respond. Southside Baptist Church is going to: Seek God through worship. Why? Because it is through worship that we learn God’s Word. It is through worship that we come to understand God’s heart. It is through worship that we come to realize His divine revelation for our lives. God reveals Himself to us in worship. As we sing the songs of Zion, as we pour out our hearts of praise to Him, as we look into His Word, as we pray – all of those elements of worship come together to reveal to those who are listening, Who God is.
But worship also reveals who we are. You see, when God starts working in a setting like this, when we come together to worship and to praise our Holy God, understand, He begins to show us who we are. Suddenly, we recognize the truth that we are sinful human beings. He is Awesome, He is Glorious, He is Holy, and He is Majestic. Like Isaiah, when he entered the temple to pray and encountered the Mighty Presence of God, Isaiah said, “I am doomed for I am a sinful man dwelling in the midst of a sinful people.” In other words, “I’m a sinner, and I’m in a heap of trouble.” That’s what should happen in our lives when we come into God’s presence in worship.
You know, lots of people say, “Well, we should allow lost people to come into our worship services.” Absolutely, we should. “We should allow homosexuals to come into our worship service.” You are exactly right. But folks, I want to tell you something. If God is present in this place, when we come together to worship, when His Spirit descends on this place, there is not one of us who has unconfessed sin in our lives that should not fall on our faces before Holy God and cry out to Him saying, “I am unclean, and I am in the middle of a bunch of unclean people.” That is what the presence and the power of God does in our lives. It is worship through which God begins to reveal our own hearts. It’s through worship that God begins this transformational process that changes our lives.
When worship is no longer a priority to us, when we are no longer concerned about entering into the presence of Holy God, when we find ourselves coming to the worship service because it is something that we are supposed to do, when we come to worship for any other reason than encountering the presence and the power of God, we find ourselves drifting spiritually, morally, ethically, and physically. That’s why it is imperative that we allow nothing to keep us from seeking God through worship.