What good is it?

What good is it to call oneself a Christian and yet find reasons to not attend the service of the Lord’s church wherein saints gather together to worship the Lord? The many who identify themselves as Christians and fail in this area are Christian in name only, not in heart. They think they will be received by the Lord because of some semblance of attendance and some semblance of “the Lord knows my heart.” Surely, they think, “I am in better position than you might think I am.” Really?

Compare what you think with what the Lord said (as in the Charles B. Williams translation).

“Let us continue so to consider one another as to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Let us stop neglecting our meeting together, as some do, but let us continue to encourage one another, and all the more because you see that the great day is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Those who love the Lord consider one another in their attendance, desiring to stimulate others toward faithful service and good works, glorifying the Lord. Those who love the Lord do not neglect their attendance.

The word “neglect” is an interesting word. The dictionary defines it to mean to give little attention to, to give little respect, to leave undone or unattended. Those who fail to regularly attend the services of the Lord’s church are guilty of exactly this, the words of denial not withstanding!

What good is it to be called a Christian and fail to meet with the saints because the kids have activities “to which I have to get them!”? What good is it?

It is only good in one’s mind, but not certainly the Lord’s mind. Those who love the Lord memorialize Him in the life lived. RT

#attendance, #priorities, #worship

5-8-2017 Useless “Religion”

“Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you’” (Acts 17:22-23 NKJV). “Religion” literally means “fearing some deity,” in this case, idols. Some people are “very religious” about the “gods” of: power, sex, money, sports, themselves, or things. “Worship without knowing” the God of Heaven and Earth and the Bible is vain. “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#religion, #worship

VOTD: Deuteronomy 12.8-9 “What seems best”

“You must not do like we are doing here today, with everyone doing what seems best to him, for you have not yet come to the final stop and inheritance the Lord your God is giving you.”

Deuteronomy 12.8-9

Moses told Israel how to worship God once they arrived in the promised land.

What seems best to man is seldom if ever what God wants. Why is that?

#opinion, #votd, #worship

Faulty reasoning about worship

Faulty reasoning abounds about worship. This devotional thought centered on Psalm 149.2-3 from a denominational pastor is a prime example of it. This is the entire piece:

This is fascinating because the tambourine and harp were created by other cultures. From the beginning of worship music, the people of God took the instruments that were available in their day and used them for the glory of God. This means that the Biblical picture of praise is one that can incorporate the contributions of any culture, any style. Since that is the case, what do you have today in your culture that you could use to praise His name?

Men choose elements and features of worship thinking that God will like it. They justify it by twisted logic. Gone is any idea of God authorizing what can be done or under what covenant. Culture trumps covenant. Personal preference wins over worship given to God by faith—that faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Rom 10.17.

Man has often sought “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion” Col 2.23 ESV. And he even uses the Bible to do it. Continue reading

#biblical-authority, #new-covenant, #new-testament, #worship

Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath

Millions of people in Christendom are completely unaware of the fact that they are not amenable the 10 commandments. The lack of knowledge and understanding goes even to the extent that many of these individuals confuse the first of day of the week with the seventh day of the week by referring to it as the “Christian Sabbath.” But ignorance does not change reality, and reality says that the first day of the week is not referred to as the “Christian Sabbath” in any single verse of the New Testament.

The seventh day Sabbath had a purpose for the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 5: 2-4, 12, 15) and that purpose came to an end when the Law of Moses was replaced with the Law of Christ (Galatians 3:11, 24-25; Hebrews 8:6-7). The rest for God’s people under the New Covenant is not a single day of the week – it is the laborious induced hope of a continual reward of rest in the heavenly presence of God (Hebrews 4:8-11).

Go ahead and enjoy some physical rest. There is nothing wrong with resting in and of itself. But when it comes to resting (or worship) there is no need to confuse others when it comes to the relationship of the 10 commandments and the New Covenant by referring to the first day of the week as any sort of “Sabbath” other than a personal one that is not bound as a commandment upon the church as a whole by God (Romans 14:5-6).

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

#10-commandments, #first-day-of-the-week, #sabbath, #sunday, #worship

From bad to worse (1 Kings 16)

That might be an appropriate title for chapter 16 of 1 Kings: “From Bad to Worse.” Abandonment of the Lord produced debauchery, murder, division, idolatry. The chapter shows divine justice being carried out in the midst of a nation’s perfidy. Here are a few lessons from the chapter. Continue reading

#1-kings, #alcohol, #bible-lessons, #judgment, #worship

Singing

I suppose every Christian has memorized Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, right? We all know we are to sing as a past of the worship service, and to do so without the use of mechanical music. That is a given … I hope.

But, have you also memorized James 4:10 and I Peter 5:6? What do these two verses have to do with the first paragraph? Well, think about it. I have heard many say, “I don’t sing because my voice is bad,” or “I don’t sing because I can’t carry a tune,” or maybe even, “I don’t want to torture those in front of me.” Yes, I have actually heard all of these … excuses. They are excuses, not reasons.

Now look at I John 2:16. (I am not quoting these five verses because I want you to be sure I am using them correctly.) Pride is a common sin, also maybe known as “the pride of life.” I don’t think I know anyone who has never had pride as a sin. So think about it. God said sing. He never said you had to have a beautiful voice. He never said the song service had to sound like a professional choir. No! God said sing. Of course, we want to offer God our very best. No question there. But if my very best voice is a rough croak, and I am singing from the heart because I want to please God—not myself nor my fellow Christians—then my voice is pleasing to God. Isn’t that what really matters?

What say ye?

#singing, #worship