Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Cause and Effects of Contemporary Worship

Temple Baptist Church - 6-7-2015
1 Chronicles 13:1-8


A.  Over the past several decades, we have seen the rise of contemporary music which has been the “springboard” for the rise of contemporary worship. 

1.  Along with this move has come a sweeping lack of holiness in these churches.  We have fought to keep these things out of the house of the Lord and the battle has been long and hard.

2.  That same battle has been lost by most denominations and local churches!  The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians is in full swing!  They are falling, the Lord is coming, and we are leaving.

B.  I want to look at this Old Testament example because of its spiritual relevance to our day.

1.  The Ark of the Covenant (sometimes called the Ark of God’s Presence) was the most holy article found in the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  It was so holy that only one man could go to the Ark that was within the veil once a year and then only with the offering of blood.  No other was to see the Ark, much less handle it. 

2.  For several hundred years, the Ark was an object of great reverence.  As the holiness of the priesthood began to decline, we find that the reverence for the Ark of God’s Presence also declined sharply.

C.  I want to give a little biblical history leading up to the story that we just read that will some light on the spiritual lapse by a man after God’s own heart.  The same things that led up to David’s debacle or worship have brought us to our place of contemporary worship.

1.  In 1 Samuel, we find Eli as the high priest in Israel.  1 Samuel 3:1  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.  (God’s Word was “precious” or “scarace” in those days.  In other words, God’s people rarely heard from God in spoken words. God’s Word is precious or scarce in our day also.  With the popularity of the perverted versions of the Bible on the market to the lack of men who are willing to preach without compromise.)

2.  The priesthood was corrupted by wicked men who knew not the Lord.  1 Samuel 2:12  Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.  (I fear that many preachers across this land have never been saved.  Why do I believe this?  Because God’s men do not “fall away” or go into apostasy.  God’s men believe God’s Word and hold to its tenets!)

3.  In 1 Samuel 5, Israel took the Ark of the Covenant to the battle front where it was captured by the Philistines.  The ark remained in the country of the Philistines for 7 months (1 Samuel 6:1).  God plagued the Philistines and they returned the Ark to Israel on a cart drawn by two cows.  The Ark was placed in Kirjath-jearim and remained there for twenty years (1 Samuel 7:2).  (Israel did not care that the Ark of God’s Presence was not in its right place.  In our day, spiritual things and a walking relationship with the Lord are not wanted.  People like to have their religion and continue in their old lifestyle.)

4.  God raised up Samuel to lead Israel.  In his older days, Samuel made his sons—who did not agree with him—judges over Israel.  1 Samuel 8:1  And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.  (We live in a generation when the younger generation have turned from the God of their fathers and have turned from the traditions of the fathers.) 

5.  Israel desired a worldly king like the nations that surrounded them.  Israel had always been a Theocracy where God ruled but Israel rejected both Samuel and the Lord by desiring a king. 1 Samuel 8:6  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.  (People, in our day, desire to be led by men instead of led by the Word of God and God’s men.)

6.  Israel’s king offered sacrifice in the stead of the prophet of God. 1 Samuel 13:9  And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.  (Today’s worship is “will worship” as men now lay aside biblical worship for worship that appeals to their flesh instead of their spirit.)

7.  David, a man after God’s own heart, is caught up in “will worship.”  1 Chronicles 13:3  And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.  (People no longer want the right Bible nor right preaching.)

D.  How do you get from the holiness of biblical worship to the worldliness of contemporary worship?  We just described it through the history of Israel from Eli to Saul!  That is how worldly contemporary worship has risen to its popularity among Christianity today.  Now, I want to look at our text for a few minutes:

1.  They failed to seek God’s will in their worship.  “We enquired not” was not only the fault of Saul but also of David and the people.  You cannot worship God in spirit without truth!  John 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  (Their worship rejected the tradition of the fathers.  Those traditions were biblical ones!  Church has sure changed over the past several decades.  They had handled the Presence of God in a manner inconsistent with God’s commandments concerning the movement of the Ark.  The Ark was not to be touched or seen!)

2.  David knew better!  Many modern day, contemporary worshippers have been raised better!  They have sat in good churches, under sound doctrine, and have experienced biblical worship but now reject these things. 1 Chronicles 15:2  Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.  (There was a time when God’s house was held in high esteem; God’s Word held in high esteem; God’s man held in high esteem.  Times have changed!  Churches have become casual and non-convicting.  Come as you are, worship as you like, leave as you came, and never experience the joy of the holiness of change of life.)

3.  They were indifferent and careless concerning God’s presence among them.  1 Chronicles 13:7  And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.  (I have no doubt that the “new cart” looked good to them.   They thought that they were doing right because of their lack of biblical perspective.  God is still a holy God!  He is to be treated with that respect!) 

4.  Their flesh was stirred though out of the will of God.  Dancing, shouting, and singing do not represent biblical worship unless they are done in a right way.  1 Chronicles 13:8  And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.  (Contemporary music has led to contemporary worship which has led to contemporary people.  This new worship produces a new salvation which produces a new “Christian” which is like the world and not like Christ.)

5.  Their method of worship “stumbled.”  People are being led wrong.  1 Chronicles 13:9  And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. (When the method is wrong, the result will also be wrong.  The product is not one of holiness, separation, and sanctification.  By their fruits ye shall know them.  Modern worship is producing worldliness instead of godliness.)

6.  They used a “new cart” for transportation.  This may have sounded both good and religious to the King and his people, but this mishandling of the Ark brought about the displeasure and chastening of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 13:10  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.  (In simple laymen’s terms, THEY HAD GOTTEN CASUAL WITH GOD!  They had gotten accustomed to God.  Casualness with a thrice holy God brings about the judgment of God, not the blessing.  God is not pleased with the contemporary worship of our day as it reflects the will of the world instead of the Word of God.)

7.  They got angry at God!  1 Chronicles 13:11  And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.  (They call us legalistic, narrow minded, etc. because we still hold to the old Bible, the Old Paths, and reject their music and methods.)

Conclusion:  David was a saved man and understood right from wrong but, too often, good people get caught up in wrong things spiritually and pray a price for it.  David turn to the Lord.  1 Chronicles 13:12  And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me? (He reflected on what he had done and brought the Ark of God’s Presence home when he returned to Due Order.)

1 Chronicles 15:12-13  And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.  (13)  For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.

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