The worship service of our Holy God is not meant to be a place where sinners feel welcome in the church. I know, that seems harsh and I am a bad person for saying something like that out loud. Yet, worship is where in unity, we all praise the Lord and give Him glory as the Light within us bears our faith within our actions of love. For what fellowship can Light have with darkness? Are we to be yoked with evil as we stand in the presence of the Lord? What sales pitch are we advertising about the Kingdom of God as we allow the sinner and the saint to stand yoked together at the feet of the cross?
Many forget that the Church has gotten lazy over the past decades and has merged many aspects of the Church’s mission into one small period of time on Sunday morning. The worship service was never meant to cater to those in need of evangelism. For that would be as ludicrous as asking democrats to attend the republican caucuses and spending our energy always trying to change the oppositions minds rather than empowering the party members to the fullest. What benefit (to those who believe) is it to water down the Gospel in such a way that it is palatable to retain the lost each week or keep them entertained?
Consequently, the Church has fallen for the same concept in our schools called “No child left behind”. Rather than helping the faithful become stronger disciples of Christ, our focus remains on converting those who are never really challenged to choose Christ or outright reject Him and leave the body of believers. Today’s worship services seem only to dispense a lifelong supply of milk to reach the lost instead of offering the full banquet of God’s wisdom, Light, and Love to those who are all in for Christ and His holiness.
In Jesus own words we begin to see the folly of allowing the lost worship to worship weekly with those who believe. He reveals, 11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” Mat. 22:11-14
I would argue that we are reaping what has been sown in America because the Church has become ashamed of the Gospel and its power to transform the heart. It edifies and invites lukewarmness even though Jesus so strongly taught against it. The world has a formula to gather large groups of people together and call themselves the church, yet the formula given to us by Christ has been thrown aside as it isn’t about numbers or effective business and leadership practices, it is about the holiness and righteousness of the hearts of those fully surrendered to a Holy God. And those unwilling to put on the clothes of righteousness are not permitted to worship our Lord. Therefore, if we knowingly allow such things to take place in our worship, how can God bless us?
A true Christian is not offended by the Word of God as it shares what is sinful and outside of God’s holiness. Rather, someone truly seeking Christ is willing to sacrifice everything and anything in their life to get closer and build their relationship to the one who is Salvation.
There is no perfect church. There is no one who is without sin. But we have forgotten that we can fellowship together in blamelessness and in righteousness at the feet of Jesus and worship Him in Spirit and Truth as we glorify God. And sure, we don’t have to be in a church building or be meeting on a Sunday morning for that to happen. However, revival is coming as there is a growing hunger for spirit-filled preaching and unadulterated worship as we begin to separate evangelism from corporate worship. There is a desire to dive deeper into the scriptures and for the hard questions to be addressed and not pushed aside because of a church’s history or fear of losing numbers.
The purpose driven, seeker sensitive, and entertainment driven ministries that cover the world will continue to grow as they babysit the lost and worship God with evil men who love Him not, and we will see more and more small and intimate fellowships begin to take root as those who seek Him will start finding others who are done playing church and want to walk in the Way. Jesus is the way. And only those who love and obey His commands will be indwelled by Him and His Holy nature.
Does that mean we stop evangelizing to a lost and broken world? By no means. It only means that corporate worship is meant to be a place of God’s peace, piety, and power. And when we can worship in unity of Spirit, we will not only be able to feel the presence and power of God in our times of worship, we will be empowered to better reach others as we are sent out from corporate worship to continue in a lifestyle of worship.
And yes, every church needs to provide opportunities for the lost to interact with the fellowship, but every church needs a safe place where we can be ourselves and not have to worry about offending the lost or being too offensive in what is taught. Therefore, let us do the work and separate evangelism and corporate worship, and let us see what fruit comes from it. What do we have to lose? Yes, it will take more energy to do both correctly. However, since nothing else can be more important to a Christian than serving others, we should have no problem taking the extra time and energy to do things the way they have been revealed to us in the Word of God.