December 13, 2015

Now this morning I’d like to preach on the subject of worship. That’s a term that we’ve all heard many times, but sometimes the words that we hear the most we don’t stop to think about what they really mean and what they entail. Go back if you would to the Book of Genesis. In the Book of Genesis we can find one of the main definitions of worship in the bible. In fact, 3 out of 4 times that the bible uses the word worship in Genesis this is what it means, to basically bow down before someone.

Now if you would go back to Genesis 24 and I’ll show you that beginning in verse number 26 there. The bible reads in Genesis 24:26, “And the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord.” Go to verse 48 of the same chapter. “And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.” Look at verse 52, “And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.”

Now this is one of the main definitions of worship in the bible, bowing down. Now a lot of people have questioned, “Why do we bow our heads when we pray unto the Lord?” I’ve even heard some people criticize bowing your head when you pray to the Lord. But actually nothing could be more biblical. Over and over again the bible gives us examples of not only bowing our heads but also getting down on our faces before the Lord to worship him. You don’t have to turn to these. If you would flip over to 2nd Chronicles chapter 29. While you do that I’ll read for you some of these other verses that are along the same lines.

Exodus 4:31, “And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.” Notice worshiping and bowing down are used over and over again together. Exodus 12:27, “That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshiped.” Exodus 34:8, “Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.”

Joshua 5:14, “And he said, ‘Nay; but as the captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, ‘What saith my lord unto his servant?’” In 2nd Chronicles 20 it said, “Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.” Look down at verse 29 where you are there in chapter 29, “And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshiped. Moreover, Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.”

Flip over to Psalm 99. While you're turning there I’ll read for you Nehemiah 8:6, “And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” “Job,” in chapter 1 verse 20, “arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped.” Look down at your bible there in Psalm 99 verse 5, “Exalt ye.” This is a command. “Exalt ye, the Lord, our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.” Notice, we are being commanded to worship at his footstool which implies again kneeling, bowing down, getting on our faces. It says, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”

This is something that should be a part of our lives. We’re commanded in the bible to worship the Lord, and part of our worship for the Lord should be bowing down, kneeling before him, prostrating ourselves on our face. Now again, a big part of this is in private. See a lot of people, they only want to do things publically to be seen of man. The bible talked about the Pharisees. They would love to pray publically and make long prayers. I just preached about this on Wednesday night. If you were here on Wednesday night, you know what I’m talking about, because we talked about Zachariah chapter 7 and the fasting where they would fast in order to be seen of man.

It’s so funny because there is a Muslim guy who for some bizarre reason listens to all of my sermons even though he’s a devout Muslim. He’s always commenting on YouTube about how Islam is the only true religion, all this nonsense. But he leaves a comment on the Zachariah chapter 7 sermon that said, “You know, this just shows how Islam is the true religion because we fast more than anyone.” I’m thinking to myself, “Wow this sermon just went over your head.” The whole sermon was about all the scriptures that talk about how people who fast are often being a hypocrite and they want everybody to know about it. God said, “When you fast you should not appear on demand to fast and you should hide that and do that between you and the Lord and so forth.”

The Muslims are also hypocrites about this where they’ll just kneel in the middle of the sidewalk. They’ll just drop to their faces on the middle of the sidewalk or just publicly 5 times a day, just an outward show. You know what? You can sit there and bow your head to the ground 5 times a day for the rest of your life. You're going to split hell wide open if you don’t believe that Jesus is the son of God.

Congregation: Amen. Amen.

Pastor: It’s not enough to say, “Oh Jesus is a prophet.” No he’s the prophet. He’s the son of God. Muhammad is nothing before him.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: So this dropping to your face publically, I've heard some people say, “Well, don’t bow down when you pray because that’s Muslim to do that.” But it’s not. No, it’s only Muslim to do it if you're a hypocrite that wants everybody to see you doing it. But in the privacy of our homes, in the privacy of the prayer closet we should get down on our knees and pray the Lord. Bow down to the Lord on our faces. I’m not saying it’d be wrong to kneel with others too in public, but remember, according to the bible most of our prayer should be done in private. Public prayers should be short and sweet. The prayers that we do in private is the major praying that we do to our father in secret. But we should be on our knees.

Let me ask you this. It’s a rhetorical question. When was the last time you got on your knees to pray? When was the last time you got on your face? When was the last time you bowed down to pray? This is a biblical practice. It shows humility. Often the posture of our body will affect how we feel in our heart. When we get down on our knees, when we get down on our faces before God, that does something for us spiritually because it puts us in a humble position before God.

Again, not to put on a show, “Hey everybody, look how humble I am.” That’s kind of the opposite of what you're accomplishing when you're trying to bow down, get on your face, prostrate yourself before the Lord. When God’s telling us over and over again to worship him, worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, part of that involves getting on our knees, bowing down. That’s a big part of worship, isn’t it? Look at all these verses that we’re seeing.

Flip over to chapter 132 there in Psalms. Psalm 132 verse 7. While you're turning there I’ll read for you a verse from the New Testament. This is from the New Testament, 1st Corinthians 14 verse 25, “And thus the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” Now look at Psalm 132 verse 7, “We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.”

Now let’s look at Jesus being worshiped in the New Testament. Go to Matthew chapter 2. Matthew chapter 2, the New Testament of course places great emphasis on the Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says that he has been given a name, God has given him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father.

Now there are false teachers out there that teach that Jesus is not God, that Jesus is not divine, that he’s basically just a human being who was the son of God but that he is not God in the flesh, he is not divine. They don’t believe in the deity of Christ. Now that’s a false doctrine. Over and over again the bible teaches it. We just saw it in Hebrews 1:8 when the bible said, “But unto the Son he saith, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.’” A couple of chapters later in Hebrews chapter 3 the bible says of Jesus, “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” He says right there Jesus is to Moses as the guy who built the houses to the house. Jesus is the creator.

Colossians chapter 1 spells out that by him all things were created. Jesus is the creator. Without him was not made anything that was made the bible says. Jesus is God. There are many scriptures that tell us for example 1st Timothy 3:16, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.” That’s Jesus that did all those things. It says, “God was manifest in the flesh.” “In the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The bible says, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. Evidence of that is that Jesus is worshiped throughout the New Testament. He’s frequently worshiped. Now remember what Jesus told Satan, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve,” and is quoting the Old Testament there, is quoting Deuteronomy.

Look what the bible says in Matthew chapter 2. You don’t have to get very far in the New Testament before Jesus starts being worshiped in the New Testament. You’ll notice that he never corrects anyone for worshiping him. He always accepts and receives their worship because he is worthy of worship.

In fact, by the way, do you know where the word worship comes from? It actually comes from worth, worth ship, being worthy. Worthy is the lamb to receive glory and honor and power. The bible says that he is worthy and he receives worship gladly in the New Testament. He never corrects anyone. In fact, sometimes people even try to get him to correct people. For example, the Pharisees said, “You need to tell these people to stop praising you like this.” He said, “If they would stop then the rocks would cry out.”

Look what it says in Matthew 2:1, not very far into the New Testament, are we? He’s a baby and he’s being worshiped. “Now when Jesus was born,” verse 1, “in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.’” I mean he’s just been born and they say, “Let’s go worship him.” I mean this is how the New Testament begins.

Flip over to chapter 4. Again we see this scripture in verse 8. By the way, while you're turning there I forgot to show you in verse 11 of chapter 2 when the wise men get there it says, “When they were coming to the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him.”

But look at Matthew 4. It says in verse 8, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, ‘All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.’” Again, notice bowing down is associated with worship. “Then saith Jesus unto him, ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’”

[inaudible 00:12:57] If him only shall we serve why do we see so many people worshiping Jesus even in the book of Matthew alone? Because he is God in the flesh. Look at chapter 8 verse 2. You got to turn quickly on these. Matthew 8:2, “And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be thou clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Chapter 9 verse 18, “While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him, saying, ‘My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.’” Look at chapter 14. Chapter 14 verse 33, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, ‘Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’”

You can look up all these passages you’ll never find Jesus correcting these people and saying, “Only worship God. Hey, get the hints. ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’” You just see him just accepting the worship. In fact, he’s pleased with the worship. Why? Because he’s worthy.

Look at chapter 15 verse 22, “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him,” this just in the book of Matthew alone, “cried unto him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, ‘Send her away; for she crieth after us.’ But he answered and said, ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Then came she and worshiped him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ But he answered and said, ‘It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.’ And she said, ‘Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.’ Then Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘O woman, great is thy faith: be it even unto thee as thou wilt.’ And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

Now look, Jesus praising this woman and saying that she has great faith. One of the things that she did was worship him and he never says don’t worship me. Look at chapter 20 verse 20. Remember, this is the verse that … This is the book of the bible that told us that we should only worship God and then he is being worshiped in every other chapter. Look at verse 20 of chapter 20. “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.” Then chapter 28 is the last place, Matthew 28. Isn’t there just a mountain of evidence here?

Congregation: That’s right.

Pastor: It’s everywhere. Matthew 28 verse 9, “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘All hail.’ And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him.”

Now again, if you're holding him by the feet while you worship him where are you? You're down on your face, you're down on the ground, you're kneeling, you're bowing. They’re bowing to Jesus. They’re holding him by the feet. The only problem was that some doubted. Look at verse 17, “And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted.” Worship was appropriate for Jesus. You’ll find the same thing in Mark, you'll find the same thing in Luke, other scriptures about Jesus being worshiped. In the Book of John Jesus is worshiped. Over and over again we see these things.

Then if you would go to John chapter 20 to show you one last thing here, John chapter 20. While you're turning to John 20 I’ll read for you from John 9 where when Jesus had heard that they’d cast out this man who was healed, “When he had found him, he said unto him, ‘Dost thou believe on the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped him.”

Look at John chapter 20 verse 27. “Then saith he to Thomas,” This is Jesus speaking. “‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said unto him, ‘My Lord and my God.’”

Now I’ve heard people just try to grasp at straws when they’re in a cult like the Jehovah Witnesses where they don’t believe that Jesus is God. I mean, what do you do with this verse? Here’s Thomas saying, “My Lord and my God.” Then what is Jesus’s answer? Jesus saith to him, “Thomas, because thou has seen me thou has believed.” What’s the evidence that he believed? That he’s calling him Lord and God. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet believe.

You know what I’ve heard some people say from the Jehovah false witnesses? Because they don’t know what to do with this verse. So they said, “Oh, he’s just taking God’s name in vain there.” You know people would take God’s name in vain where they’d just say like, “Oh my God.” Like he’s just using God’s name as an expletive there, just, “Oh my God, my Lord.” I mean isn’t that just ridic- That’s the kind of ridiculous things people come up with when they don’t want to give Jesus the glory that he deserves. Blessed was Thomas for realizing that he was the Lord and that he was God in the flesh. But I’ve heard them say that he’s just blurting that out. I mean what kind of nonsense. Anyway.

Go if you would to Acts chapter 10. I’ll read for you again Hebrews 1 where we started. It says this. Listen to this verse as you're turning. “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, ‘And let all the angels of God worship him.’” It’s not that Jesus was just worshiped by human beings where maybe the Jehovah’s false witnesses would just say, “Oh well these people are just getting too excited and they’re going overboard.” Even though he never corrects them, even though it’s every chapter almost. They’ll say, “Oh, they’re going overboard.” Yeah, but when Jesus came into the world the Father said, “Let all the angles of God worship him, let all the angels of God worship Jesus.” That’s coming from the mouth of the Father himself.

Now let’s contrast that with preachers in the bible. Preachers, apostles, did they allow people to worship them?

Congregation: No.

Pastor: Look at Acts chapter 10 verse 25. “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. But Peter took him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I myself also am a man.’”

Now look there’s a guy going around, wearing a dress, he calls himself father but he dresses like he’s mother and people worship this guy, and his name is the pope. You say, “Well, they're not worshiping him.” Okay, were you not here for the last 20 minutes of the sermon? Welcome to church this morning because we just looked at how many verses that define worship as what?

Congregation: Bowing down.

Pastor: Bowing down, kneeling, getting on your face, prostrating yourself. What happened when somebody tried that with Peter? Oh, oh. And what did he do? He grabbed them and he picked them up. Who’s ever seen the pope grab somebody and pick them up when they bow down? No, people worship the pope. You can call it whatever you want, but if we use a biblical definition, if we study what the bible is showing here, he is worshiped, he stands there and just kind of takes it all in as people bow down.

Look, he demanded in the Middle Ages that people would kiss his toe. They would literally because back in the Middle Ages one way to show respect unto someone was to kiss the hand. That kind of carried over even into modern times where men would sometimes kiss the hand of a lady. But kings and rulers and officials often they would have their hand kissed as a form of submission. But the pope would literally take it a step further and have his foot kissed. Can you imagine getting on your knees and kissing the foot of another man and saying, “Oh, I’m not worshiping him.” It’s nonsense. Isn’t it just ridiculous? But this is what they're doing.

Now go to Revelation 19. By the way, isn’t it interesting that they claim that Peter was the first pope. He’s a little different than the current pope, isn’t he?

Congregation: Yeah.

Pastor: Humble, meek, picking people up and saying, “No, I’m a man like you are, don’t worship me, get off your knees.” But yet, Roman Catholicism will teach the worship of the pope. You can play word games with me. “Well, that’s not worship.” Well, you know, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s a duck. When you're putting up a picture of the guy, when you're lighting a candle, when you have a literal statue or graven image or molten image of the guy, and you're bowing down and lighting that candle and touching his feet and kissing his feet, and crying and weeping and wailing before him, you know what, you're worshiping him. Don’t be in denial.

What does it say in Revelation chapter 19 verse 10? “And I fell at his feet to worship him.” This is not Jesus. “And he said unto me, ‘See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’” Look at chapter 22 verse 8, “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, ‘See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets.’” See he’s saying look, I’m just a fellow preacher, don’t bow down to me. He said, “And of thy brethren the prophets and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” Look, don’t worship me, worship God. That’s what they're saying. Don’t bow down to me. Don’t worship me.

Now here’s a couple of verses that can be misunderstood on worship. Go back to 1st Chronicles 29:20. The reason I want to show you these is because I know that sometimes when I read these verses I was confused at a time but then later I understood what the verses meant. I figure if they confused me they might have confused someone else in their bible reading. These are some verses that could be misunderstood. I’ve actually seen someone also misconstrue these verses. Let’s look at these verses and answer the objections here.

1st Chronicles chapter 29 verse 20 says this, “And David said to all the congregation, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord, and the king.”

Now a lot of people have misread this. I know that sometimes when I was listening to this on an audio bible sometimes the way that it was read on the audio book would sometimes be almost misleading a little bit, because they would read it like they worshiped God and they worshiped the Lord and the king like they’re worshiping both God and king David. Because people were pretty excited about David. But actually notice the comma there. Do you see that comma? It’s saying they worshiped the Lord, and the kind.

What that means is that the king also worshiped the Lord. Because he’s basically telling them, “Hey, look everybody, you guys need to all worship the Lord,” and then he also worships the Lord along with them. Let’s read it again. It says, “David said to all the congregation, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped the Lord, and the king.” That’s why because if you took out the comma then it would be like they worshiped the Lord and the king, but what is saying is they worshiped the Lord and the kind also worshiped the Lord along with them.

Go to Psalm 45. You see first of all it was never God’s will that there’d be an earthy king anyway besides Jesus, because when God set up the nation of Israel he ordained that they’d be ruled over by judges. The judges were not these type of men that would be bowed down to and worshiped and revered and exulted too much. It was never God’s will to have a king in the first place, because if you give somebody that much power and that much praise it can go to their head and they can become in their mind lifted up and exulted to the point where they would even be willing to receive worship. But I don’t believe that that’s true about David because of the fact that that comma is there.

Now if you would look at Psalm 45. This is another verse that could be misunderstood or misconstrued. It says in verse 11 here, “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” This is another verse that would be about king David in this sense because of the fact that he is the king of Israel at the time. Look at verse 1. It says, “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

Now this scripture is a bit of a love story in a sense because it basically and for sake of time I’ll just kind of explain to you, you can study the Psalm more on your own, but it’s talking about basically the king taking a queen, and it’s talking about how she’s basically coming from another country. Sort of like Song of Solomon. It’s this kind of love song between the king and the bride.

But there’s a symbolism also that has to do with Christ and the church, husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church for example. There is a deeper meaning here in this passage. But it’s telling her, “Hey, forget the country that you came from. Instead of thy father shall be thy children, and you're going to come here and you're going to be happy and the king is going exult you, it’s going to be great.”

Obviously there’s a lot of symbolism that goes deeper that’s referring to Jesus and the church. Here’s some evidence for that. Look at verse number 6. What does the verse say in number 6? “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” Sound familiar? “The scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest inequity or wickedness.” I’m quoting Hebrews. It says, “hatest wickidness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

Now this exact quote is found in Hebrews 1:8 and 9. About who? It’s referred to Jesus. We have concrete proof that Psalm 45 is directing us toward Jesus. Often scriptures in the Old Testament will have a double meaning. They’ll have a literal meaning to the people that we’re talking to right then and there. But then they have a double meaning that applies to Jesus. Why? Because the whole bible is about Jesus. The bible says, “To him give all the prophets witness that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” That’s what all the prophets are preaching about. There’s often a secondary meaning that points us to Jesus. This one is crystal clear because it’s a direct quote in Hebrews about Jesus.

But if we look at the verse in question itself it says in Psalm 45:11, “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty.” Now this would imply a literal interpretation because of the fact that we’re talking about a man and a woman. Obviously a husband should greatly desire his wife’s beauty. In a healthy marriage relationship, the husband should look upon his wife with great desire, and the wife should look upon her husband with great desire. We should not look on someone else’s wife with desire, but we should look upon our own wife and our own husband respectively with desire. That would imply a literal interpretation when it says, “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord and worship thou him.”

You say, “Pastor Anderson, is this teaching worship of man, worship of the king, worship of king David, worship of human being?” No, because number one, first of all, there’s a prophetic meaning here in the passage about Jesus being worshiped, number one, and that is pictured in the husband wife relationship because husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, the wife is to submit to her husband as the church is subject unto Christ and all things. Therefore, in the husband wife relationship the husband does represent the lord. That’s why Sarah even called her husband lord because he’s in authority, he’s the head. The relationship between husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.

Here’s the thing. A husband has more authority over his wife and is to reverence her husband, right? But hold on a second. Outside of the marriage that would be totally inappropriate. For example, the bible says, “See that the wife reverences her husband and she calls him lord and everything else.” But hold on a second. Would it be appropriate to call the pastor of the church lord?

Congregation: No.

Pastor: Would it be appropriate to even call him reverend? I don’t even … I’m not against people who use the term reverend. I don’t get mad at people if they say reverend. But honestly I prefer not to use the term reverend because I feel that it’s too strong of a term to use for a pastor. I believe in respecting the pastor and honoring the man of God. He’s kind of worthy of double honor the bible says, but you don’t want it to go over the top, do you? Now who’s the guy that takes it way over the top? The pope.

Congregation: Yeah, a little bit.

Pastor: I mean where people are making graven images of him, they’re bowing down to him, they’re kissing his feet. But here’s the thing. We need to make sure that we don’t take even a Baptist pastor that we should look up to. Great, you want to follow him as he follows Christ and you want to give him honor and respect. But wait a minute, you don’t want to go over the top. You don’t want to make a statue of him. You don’t need to have a picture of him in a shrine in your home with a little candle in front of it or something. Whoa, that’s crazy. You don’t want to go over that.

I feel like titles like reverend are over the … Because God doesn’t want us to call the pastor master, should we call the pastor master? No. Rabbi? No. Father? No. Well, what should we call him? Pastor. Or brother. Brother Anderson. Brother Anderson, pastor Anderson, but don’t call me father Anderson. I don’t want to be called reverend Anderson. Don’t call me master or lord. Don’t bow to me. Don’t kiss my hand for crying out loud. And definitely don’t kiss my feet. The bottom line is that we don’t want to go overboard in exulting man, do we? We don’t want to go overboard and exult man. We want to worship God only. We want to worship Jesus.

Now the closest thing to that in this life is the reverence that a wife should have for a husband. It goes beyond what a church member has for their pastor. It goes beyond what a child has for their parent. It’s short of what God gets. God gets the supreme worship along with Jesus. Of course these 3 are one.

Anyway I just wanted to point out those scriptures that could be misconstrued. I know that when I read Psalm 45 and when I read 1st Chronicles I asked myself, “You know, are the worshiping David or are they worshiping the king?” But honestly it’s not the case. The worship goes to the Lord. A man should not bow down before another man and worship him.

Also we see the whole book of Esther where the whole controversy is about the fact that Mordecai doesn’t want to bow down to Haman, because he doesn’t want to bow down to worship somebody. What about the 3 children, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? They don’t want to bow down before the graven image that had been set up.

With that let’s talk about worshiping graven images. Go to Exodus chapter 20. Just while you're turning to Exodus 20 I’ll just give you a quick review here. In the bible the thing that is most associated with the word worship, the thing that is tied in the closest is bowing down, getting on your knees, or being on your face. That is worship. We saw that we should worship the Lord. We’re commanded to worship the Lord. This should be a part of our lives to get on our knees before the Lord and bow to him. We also saw that Jesus is worthy of that same worship. No question about that. Plenty of scripture on that.

But then we saw some people that are not worthy of that kind of worship. That would be religious leaders, pastors, priests, the pope are not worthy to be worshiped. They should rebuke anyone who tries to worship them and they should follow Peter’s example in doing that.

Now let me show you that another thing that we should not bow down and worship besides worshiping religious leaders or political leaders, another thing that we should not do is we should not bow down ourselves before any image. Now look what the bible says in Exodus chapter 20 verse 4. This the 10 commandments. This is the second commandment. It says this in verse 4, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” We should not make a statue is what it’s saying of any animal, male or female, or of any human being, male or female.

It says, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” This thing of, “Oh, well, you know, when I bow down to this statue of saint so and so I’m not really worshiping.” Well what does the bible say? It just says don’t bow down. Don’t make a graven image, number one, and down bow down a graven image or serve it. Whether you want to delude yourself and say, “Well, I’m not really worshiping saint so and so, or I’m to really worshiping Mary,” look, if you're bowing down to a statue of Mary you are in violation of this scripture.

If you're bowing down before a statue of the saint or a statue of a long haired pothead that you call Jesus, because Jesus is not a long haired pothead sissy weirdo. But that’s who they make images of, this blond haired blue-eyed hippy. This long haired hippy. The bible says it’s shame for a man to have a long hair, but they have this guy that was literally invented literally about 1500 years after Jesus walked the earth, about 1500 years later.

I mean those pictures weren’t painted around the time of Christ. Those pictures were painted in the Renaissance. We’re talking 15th, 16th century when we start seeing the current image of Jesus. He’s painted by white Europeans so they paint him snow white. It’s painted by sodomite homos so they paint him like a homo. That’s why he looks like a Gurley man. Gurley man. It’s true.

Why? Because people when they make an idol they like to make God in their image. See God created man in his own image. Man likes to turn that around and say, “I’m going to create God in my image.” This is why we’re not supposed to make any graven image, we’re not supposed to bow down before images. Look, God said when you went to Mount Sinai and you got the 10 commandments from the mouth of God you saw no similitude, you saw no image Moses. Don’t make an image. My word is my image. You know, that what’s we should think of as the Lord. His word is where we get a picture, the picture of faith.

Now one day we will see him and physically lay eyes on him. What a day that will be. But until then we’re not to make any images or likenesses on this earth of Jesus. Did you notice that the bible never gives a physical description? It never tells us he’s thin, he’s stout, he’s athletic, he’s tall, he’s short, he’s brown haired, blond. It doesn’t give us any physical description. Until he’s glorified and then he transcends human description where he’s just white and eyes like fire. Nothing like a human being would naturally look. He’s just glowing and so forth.

Now Jesus if he … By the way, if you go to black church they’ll paint a black Jesus. You go to a Chinese church and it’s a Chinese Jesus. I’ve seen it. There’s the Indian Jesus. If you go to India they’ve got the Indian Jesus. We have the white Jesus. You say, “Well, which one is it?” People literally get in arguments like, “Jesus was white.” “No, he’s black.” “No, he’s brown.” “No, he’s Asian.” I mean I had somebody tell me that Jesus was a Hungarian. I’m like, “Come on. What in the world …” You're taking your national pride a little far there buddy. That’s probably the last theory I’m going to believe that he was a Hungarian. But there are people out there Hung- Guess what? They’re Hungarians that said that. Does that shock you? That it was a Hungarian who said Jesus is a Hungarian.

Why? Because people just want to make this image that conforms to what they want them to be. They’re a little queer little sissy then that’s what they make a picture of. If you doubt that Michelangelo and Leonardo and the rest of the ninja turtles … No, I’m just kidding. But if you think that these painters from the Renaissance were straight …

Congregation: Yeah, wrong.

Pastor: Yeah, you're pretty gullible. They weren’t. I mean that’s a whole sermon on those guys, those freaks. But the point is we should not bow down. It’s really clear, isn’t it? Don’t make a graven image, don’t make a molten image, and then he says, verse 5 there, look down at your bible, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the 3rd and 4th generation of them that hate me.”

Now you say, “Well, what do Catholics do with this, with all their graven images and molten images and bowing down into them? What’s the deal?” Well, here’s what they do. They’ve modified the 10 commandments. What they’ll do, believe it or not, they’ll absorb this commandment into the 1st commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” If you look at a Catholic list of the 10 commandments it won’t include the graven image commandment, because they’ll just absorb it as part B of the no other gods before me. Then what they’ll say is, “Well, no, no, this is only applying to other gods,” because they merge them.

Here’s the problem with that. Did you know that God is the one who told us that it’s 10? We didn’t just count and, “Oh 10.” No, no. God called it in Deuteronomy 10:4. It’s easy to remember it because it’s like, “10:4 over.” That’s how I remember it. Deuteronomy 10:4 he said, “These 10 commandments.” He calls it the 10 commandments in the bible in Deuteronomy 10:4. The Catholics are kind of in a bad place here because they’re left with 9 because they absorbed it into one.

They said, “Okay, what are we going to do to fix this? They’re going to have to cut another commandment in half in order to kind of … It’s sort of like when you take a piece of pizza when you weren’t supposed to and there’s like a missing piece of pizza, and then you're kind of like, “Okay,” take the biggest piece, cut it in half and then kind of shift everything around so that every piece has just a little … That’s kind of what the Catholics are trying to pull out, like a corrupt pizza delivery driver is what they’re doing, who’s taken a little off the top as it were.

Here’s what they do. They take the 10th commandment and cut it in half. But they weren’t as smooth as that pizza guy because look at verse 17. It says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.” You say, okay, let’s isolate out of this the big one, coveting your neighbor’s wife, and let’s make that its own commandment. But what’s dumb is that if you make that the 9th commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife,” then basically the 10 commandments is basically surrounding it.

Do you see that? Because look at verse 17, wife is not the first thing. It’s like, “Okay, commandment 8, and then it’s like okay commandment 10, ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.’ Okay, wait, back up, commandment 9, ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.’ Okay 10 b, ‘Nor his maidservant.’” I mean these are the kind of acrobatics that they have to … “Okay, we’re going to go commandment 8 and then 10 and then 9 and then 10.”

It’s just like why? Just because we just love statues. We just love making sculptures and bowing down to saints and Mary. We just love idolatry so much that we have to find a way to make it justified. I mean, isn’t that just an acrobatics that they’re doing there? But see the New Testament quotes the list of the later 5 commandments and it just shortens it to “Thou shalt not covet.” God’s just listing examples we’re not supposed to covet. That’s how it’s quoted in Romans 13 and elsewhere.

Now I got to hurry. I’m almost out of time but let’s talk briefly about how else do we worship the Lord besides bowing down, because so far we’ve shown just a multitude of scriptures where the main form of worship is bowing, kneeling. What does that mean? We’re being humble, we’re showing reverence, respect, and so forth.

But what’s another way that we could worship the Lord besides that? Go if you would to Psalm 66. Psalm 66. I’ll show you another way to worship the Lord besides bowing down. Because we’re commanded to worship the Lord. We should desire to worship him. We must worship him in spirit and in truth. So how do we do that? How do we fulfil this commandment in our lives? We don’t want to do it wrong or we don’t want to just not do it. We need to worship him. It’s a command. It’s imperative. Worship the Lord it says over and over again.

Another way that we worship the Lord besides bowing down is through singing according to the bible. It says in Psalms 66:4, “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.” 2nd Chronicles 29. You don’t have to turn to that. You turn to Ephesians 5. You turn to Ephesians 5. 2nd Chronicles 29:28 says, “And all the congregation worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.”

There is another place where worshiping is tied in with singing. Praises unto the Lord. Of course we could go all through the book of Psalms, all the places that talk about praising the Lord, worshiping the Lord, and singing unto him in the same breath. But here’s a good New Testament passage to apply this to our lives. It says in verse 18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” and don’t miss this last part, “singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Now I think a lot of people come to church and they sing the hymns or even come to church and play a piano or play a guitar, a trumpet or some other instrument, and maybe sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that they’re supposed to be singing unto the Lord in their heart. We’re supposed to be doing it under the Lord, not just going through the motions, not just entertainment, not just cheer and fun and, “Oh, I like this song,” but actually to be singing under the Lord. It’s supposed to be something that’s honoring unto the Lord. The bible says, “Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Obviously this is not limited to the church. The bible does say, “In the midst of the church I will sing praise unto the,” but even in our daily lives one way that we could worship the Lord is by singing praises to his name. He’s glorified when we give him worship in that way. It says, “Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

I wonder if someone is singing to the Lord when they're like (singing) or somebody is on a piano and is just kind of … I mean is that, are you really doing your best? Are you really singing to the Lord? Can you honestly say that when we say, “Hey, turn in the hymnal of this song,” that you're really singing your best, that you're really singing out from the heart, and that you're really making melody in your heart to the Lord? You say, “Well, I’m just doing it in my heart only. That’s why you don’t hear me.”

But here’s the thing, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, not just making melody. Sing, the bible says, to lift up our voice and praise the Lord. The bible says that the musicians should play skillfully with a loud noise. The bible says that we are to make a joyful noise, to lift up our voices and praise the Lord and sing unto him, from the heart, not a going through of the motions. It’s a form of worship. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he’s saying as we sing. We find virtually the same thing in Colossians 3:16 where it says, “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Now what is a spiritual song? A spiritual song would be opposed to a fleshly song, a carnal song, a worldly song. Now God is not glorified when we sing songs that have nothing to do with Jesus. I don’t care how good you sing. I don’t care how good you play that instrument. Unless the song is about the word of God or Jesus, he’s not being worshiped, he’s not being praised.

Now sometimes people might learn other songs as a learning tool. As a way to get better at their instrument they might learn other songs just to practice. They might start with Row Your Boat or Three Blind Mice or whatever and sometimes people might branch out. But hold on a second though. Every song, and I want you to listen carefully, anybody that’s involved in any kind of music, every song that is not a spiritual song is wood, hay, and stubble before the Lord. It’s not gold, silver, and precious stones. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that it has no eternal value. It’s wood, hay, and stubble.

Now there are many things that we do in our lives that have no eternal value. But don’t think that you're worshiping the Lord, because you're not. Also we need to examine ourselves and wonder how much of our lives we spend on that which is vain and worthless in the sight of God. Versus how much time we spend on that which has eternal value. I believe that there’s value in worshiping the Lord. I believe it’s beneficial, it helps us be filled with the spirit. But I don’t see the value and just constant practicing songs that don’t matter. I’ve seen so many people. They learn piano and they spend so much time learning how to play classical music on the piano. I just have to ask myself what is the point in the end. Because you know what?

Here’s the thing. Think about all the kids that are in high school band practice and they’re learning their wind instruments. They play all the different songs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the public school system it’s probably not a lot of hymns that you're playing.

Congregation: Not at all.

Pastor: What types of songs are you playing? You guys were in band, right?

Congregation: The marches.

Pastor: Marches. (singing) Okay, but you know what you’ll notice about a lot of those kids that go to that band practice in school. Guess what happens when they’re an adult? They totally quit playing because that music has no purpose in their lives. I mean how many people. I bet this auditory … Who was in band class as a kid? Put up your hand. How many of you were in band class and you don’t play it regularly? You don’t play it anymore regularly? Yes, several hands are still up. Why? Because it has no point, there’s no purpose anymore. You're not just playing that trombone just around your house just (singing). But then a lot of those same people though, then when given an opportunity to play in church all of a sudden they’re like, “Oh yeah, let’s do it.” Because why? Now there’s a point. Now there’s a purpose. Now there’s meaning behind it.

Now that’s what we should think about in our lives before you just spend hundreds of hours working on something that doesn’t profit, when you know that learning the hymns is going to be profitable. You know you can use that to be a blessing. You can go into a nursing home and play hymns for people and then give them the gospel. You can go publically and play hymns and then give people the gospel. You can do that in church where you can glorify God playing the hymns and helping God’s people as they sing and worship the Lord and making a joyful noise unto him. These things please God. These things have value. These things are spiritual in nature. Whereas that which is worldly and fleshly and carnal will pass away with the less thereof.

Now this is an important point to bring up in a sermon about worship because when we think of those who are worldly and ungodly, they have objects of worship. It’s just not Jesus. You know who the world worships? Worldly musicians. I mean, if you have ever been to a rock concert, if you’ve ever been to a concert of this type of music you’ll see that the fans literally worship at the feet of those musicians. I mean literally, they’re up on stage and down at the front people are literally just … trying to touch the hem of the garment. True or false?

Congregation: True.

Pastor: They’ll toss their drumstick and everybody will just go … Right? They toss out some … They take off a jacket and throw it. It’s like … You see people crying and hugging jackets of musicians and smelling it and hugging it and crying. Just at the feet, just trying to touch the hem of the garment of these musicians. They worship them.

As a result you will find that a lot of these worldly musicians are some of the most ungodly people in the world. The reason why is because when you're that popular and everybody is worshiping you, and they don’t get the hate mail very often. I mean it’s 99% positive for these people, because if people don’t like their music they probably just go to a different concert. I mean, these guys are just getting pure praise. They upload to YouTube. It’s going to be 90 some percent likes. Very few dislikes. You know what I mean? Because it’s just … They’re just lifted up and exulted so much and worshiped. Then it goes to their head and then they become these really prideful arrogant bad people. Then they get all the money. You know the bible says, “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” The bible says, “The fool has said in their heart there is no God.”

When you have a guy who’s an unsaved guy, doesn’t believe in the bible, or a woman like that, and then they just get all this fame and money and power and everybody is worshiping them and just telling them how great they are, literally even sometime saying that they’re god, literally putting the poster on the ceiling above their bed at night. Just like saying their night time prayers to these people. It’s true. Who knows what I’m talking about? It’s true, right? I mean it’s everywhere. They worship these people.

Now listen American Idol is called that for a reason. Notice idol sounds like idolatry because it’s worship. Now listen, this same mentality can sometimes creep into churches when they bring in professional musicians and have them perform in church. Or when they have soloist get up and wow us all with their singing, this mentality will creep in. You get an attitude where somebody gets up to sing, and it’s not under the Lord but they sing in a way that is self-glorifying, self-glorifying. Think about these rocks stars and everything how self-glorifying they are. How they just pose and they just love to just go out there and just … Right? They revel in it.

But think about this. Have you ever been in a church, and this will be different for everybody based on your experience, have you ever been in church and seen somebody get up and sing a solo, and they’re just basking in their own glory. You can see it from the time they walk up there to the time that they sit down that they’re not glorifying God, they’re up there to show off and glorify self.

Honestly there is a self-glorifying style of singing. When a woman is getting up there and seducing the microphone practically, you know what I’m talking about, and they put the microphone up real close to their voice. Why? Because they’re kind of getting what my former pastor would call the bedroom voice. That’s a good way to describe it. They get this bedroom voice and they need the microphone so that they can get really breathy with the microphone. When women do it it’s seductive. When men do it it’s faggot-y. You know what? Neither one has any place in God’s house.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: This whole just glorifying self, sensual kind of breathy bedroom voice kind of singing, not interested.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: Now I’ve heard other people get up and sing a solo and they weren’t like that, where they actually sang. You know how you can tell? They’re singing loud like the bible tells you to. They’re singing loud. It’s from the heart. They’re glorifying God. They’re singing the praise hymn and all the emphasis is on him. I mean some women sing Amazing Grace where you can’t even figure out what the song’s about anymore, because they’re so all over the place with it.

It just becomes this like athletics. It’s like musical athleticism where they get up it’s just like (singing). It’s like the church equivalent to Jimmy Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner. You can’t even tell it’s the Star-Spangle Banner anymore. It’s just (singing). You're just like trying to hold on through the rollercoaster. Why? Because it’s just look at me. I mean, why don’t you just get on stage and do some handsprings while you're at? Why don’t you do some cartwheels for us? Why don’t you do a juggling show while you're showing off your miraculous athleticism of your vocal cords?

You know what? There are churches that I’ve seen online where they’re … I believe it was New Spring, this church in South Carolina with pastor Perry Noble, where I saw people doing handsprings across the platform on a church service. Or where the worship leader, listen to this, the worship leader opened the church service when one of my relatives visited there, the worship leader opened the service by playing Guitar Hero on a big screen. The congregation is watching him play a videogame called Guitar Hero. That’s worship in the modern church today.

I mean you think that’s the worship that God’s looking for, doing handsprings, juggling, and doing all this stupid stuff, this stupid worldly carnal self-glorifying sensual junk that has nothing to do with worshiping the Lord? It’s an entertainment. It’s a side show. It’s a carnival show.

One of the reasons why that will never happen at our church is that we never have any special music and we never will. When I say special music what I mean by that is we don’t ever have people get up and perform ever, ever. Meaning that we don’t have a solo, we don’t have a duet, we don’t have a quartet, we don’t have a choir, and we never will. Why? Because of the fact that when you have congregational singing where everyone is singing and all of the musicians are playing, then guess who’s glorified then? God. You're not just glorifying one person.

Now look, I’m not saying that a church that has solos and duets is bad. Don’t misquote me and say that I’m saying hey that church is bad or a choir is bad. I’m not saying these things are bad or sinful. But what I’m saying is that I’m the pastor of this church, and as long as I’m standing here running the show we’re never going to have any performances at this church. And all God’s people said amen.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: Why? Because of the fact that if you never take the first step down that road you're never going to end up at that carnal destination.

I’ve seen way too many times where it’s a self-glorifying … I’ve even seen people that I knew well, good Christians, godly people who loved the Lord, who I stood next to in church and sang with them and they sang normal. Here’s a word for you, normal. They sang normal. Then they got up to do a solo and it was just like, they just get up and start doing that (singing) and the just switched into lounge singer mode. They just got all Las Vegas on you all the sudden. Not interested.

You know what? It’s a lot easier not to switch to becoming like star search Baptist church or American Idol Baptist church when just everybody participates. God wants to hear us all. God wants to hear you, not just a bunch of pros, not just the people who’re the best musicians and the best singers and the best players. No God wants to hear all of his people. Now he wants us to do our best with what we’ve got. But you know what though? He isn’t just looking for these polished pros.

By the way, our society has become a spectator society. I don’t want to be a spectator. I want to be a participant. Don’t come to church and just spectate. Participate. Just show up and sit back and watch the show. No you pick up a hymnal and you sing along and you turn to the scriptures in your bible and you read along and you participate.

I don’t know about you but when I go to these churches that have special music it bores my brains out. It’s boring. I mean, what’s more fun, to watch a basketball game or to play a basketball game?

Congregation: Playing.

Pastor: Well, I want to watch because I’m fat and lazy. But here’s the thing though. The point is though we ought to be participants and not just sit around. No, we need to worship the Lord, we need to sing out in the congregation. It says, “In the midst of the congregation I will sing praises unto the.” It doesn’t say in the midst of the congregation I’m going to a sit back and enjoy the show. When Jesus was with the 12 disciples and then Judas walks out, but when they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives. Notice it says, they sang a hymn. It doesn’t say Peter got up and crooned for a while. They all sang.

Look, I love congregational singing.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: I love it. Why? Because everybody can be involved. You know what I do sometimes if I go visit a church, and I have a big family so I have a lot of crowd. When I show up I’ve got minimum of 10 people with me. I got 10 people and then if I bring other people. But here’s what I do. If the special music is actually a hymn, I just start singing along from my chair. If it’s a real hymn. You know if choir is up there singing blessed the church I’m just like (singing).

I mean, I think people all over America should just start singing along with these specials. If they’re real hymns. “Whoa, what’s going on? What are you doing?” Hey, we just want to praise the Lord too. We’re tired of listening to all the fancy shmancy worship team. We’re all the worship team here. Everybody is involved.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: But half the time you can’t sing along anyway because it’s some song that nobody has ever heard of. It’s some song out of the Pentecostal movement or something that’s … Or it’s the latest from whatever the popstar that’s been sanitized for your protection. But honestly there’s a reason why we don’t … It’s not that we don’t have the talent or something. Although that’s also … No, I’m just kidding.

The bottom line is that we don’t want people to get up here and glorify themselves. I’m sure that some people could get up here and not glorify themselves. But you know 9 out of 10 people if they got up here and sang solos would glorify themselves because it’s human nature. That’s what I’ve noticed. Why? Think about how Satan was lifted up because of his great beauty. Sometimes people who have great talent it goes to their head and they rarely, they rarely use it for the Lord sadly.

Again, just to clarify my position in the closing moment, I’ll have to skip the last point of the sermon. But in the closing moments of sermon just to clarify my position on this, I’m not saying that it’s wrong or sinful for someone to get up and sing a choir or sing a special. I’m not adding to the word of God here. I’m not teaching for doctrines the commandments of man. But I’m telling you that 9 out of 10 times that I see special music performed I didn’t like it and I didn’t feel that it was very glorifying to God. I felt that it was just self-glorifying in a lot of ways, and so therefore my personal opinion is that I would rather just not have any special music than to go through all this kind of special music just to get to that one that we actually like.

I don’t want to perpetuate our society’s tendency toward being a spectator when I believe that we should all be a participant. What I see scripturally is many commands for all of God’s people to praise him, all of us to sing in the congregation, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. That’s why we’re going to take that path in this church.

I just want to be on the safe side. My dad always taught me when I was growing up. He had these little proverbs that he would give you. You laughed at them at the time, but then later you kind of realize like, “Wow, that was actually true, you know.” For example, he would say this, “Never go to the first Baptist church because it’s had time to become liberal.” It’s kind of a joke, he would be joking. But 99% of the time that’s actually true.

Now the exception proves the rule. Of course there are good first Baptist churches. Usually it’s because they got taken over by a new guy who changes everything. But he said, “Never go to the first Baptist church because it’s had time to become liberal.” He always said, “Be wary of the choir members. They’re always the most liberal church members,” are the members of the choir. So we just don’t have a choir. But anyway, a little wisdom from dad there.

But the bottom line is that we need to worship the Lord in our lives. What does that mean? That means that when we pray we get on our knees, we bow our heads, we get on our face. If that’s not something you're not used to doing, it’s something that you ought to start doing. It’s something that God likes. We get on our knees, we bow down, we worship him, and he’s the only one we should worship, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and no one else.

Another way that we worship him is through song. What does that mean? That means you should show up to church and sing it out and do your best.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: Do your best. If you play an instrument let’s say you play piano or guitar or some kind of a wind instrument, whatever the instrument you play why don’t you worship God with that instrument and quit playing a bunch of meaningless music and wasting so much time on that. Why don’t you actually get some spiritual songs in there and actually do something worthwhile with your life? Something that’s going to matter for eternity.

Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much Lord for all that you’ve done for us Lord, and we really should worship you and praise you because of all your wondrous acts. Lord, you are worthy to receive all of our worship and praise. Jesus is worthy. Lord, help us to praise him with all of our might as we come to church, and even in this holiday season Lord help us to focus on songs that exult Jesus and not to focus on all of this Rudolph, snow man, Santa Claus, just wood, hay and stubble Lord. Help us to focus on actual songs about you. In Jesus name we pray these things amen.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: All right, let’s sing one more song before we go. Let’s sing 293 as you're all on the altar. I’m not sure if everyone knows this song. We’ve only done this a couple of times, but if you know it take it out nice and loud.

By the way, let me say this also. There is a method to the madness here. There is a reason why we sing all the verses of every song. Have you ever noticed that?

Congregation: Yup.

Pastor: 99% of Baptist churches I’ve ever been to we only sang the first and the last or the first and the second. Why do we sing all 4 verses? I’ll tell you exactly why. Because of the fact that we want new people who come to the church or people that are newly saved or new to church who don’t know the song to be able to learn the song. So if you’ve never heard the song before on the first verse you're kind of lost, then the second verse you're just starting to get the hang of it, and then it’s like over. Right?

Well, by giving you 4 verses by the time you get to the 4th verse hopefully you're starting to pick up the tune and able to sing along. This is a good way to learn the songs by singing all 4 verses. That’s one of the reasons why we do it that way. Let’s sing it out on that 1st verse, 293 as you're all on the altar.