This week I had a casual conversation with a guy. We visited for quite a while, and as I usually try to do when I meet a new friend, I invited him to come and worship with us.
That opened a new line of conversation, this time with a Bible emphasis. As the conversation proceeded, he made a common comment that I have heard many times before. It can take many forms but usually goes something like this - "After all we're all striving to go to the same place."
I know it's not the first time that I have heard someone say something similar to this, but this time it got me to thinking and pondering. You know there are always two sides to everything, so let's take a moment and look at the flip side.
If I understand what folks are saying when they use this phraseology, they are saying it doesn't matter where or how you worship God.
When asked, most everyone will agree that the Bible is our guide book for life and religious instruction. If that is the case and I believe that it is, we should look to the Bible for the answer to the question. Let's take a look at what the Bible says.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23)
Now if I understand this passage correctly, not everyone, even if they are striving to do good, are going to make it to heaven. Isn't that the way you read it?
So, in the same line of thinking, does it matter how we worship God? I have heard some say that they worship God in their own way and in their own time. Still others go to different "church" services because it is what they like and what makes them feel good.
What does the Bible say about the kind of worship God wants?
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be His worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23,24)
Hmmm! From this portion of scripture is it teaching that we can worship God any way we please? It seems to me that we must worship Him in the truth. That is the true way that He has prescribed for us to do so.
It all boils down to this, I believe. The way man is to get to heaven, or the way that man is to worship God, must be on God's terms and not man's way. For man's way is full of whim and laziness.
For God is the creator and we are His creation. Therefore, let us remember our place and strive to worship Him and get to heaven His way.