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Reversed Evangelism: When Evangelism, Worship & Idolatry Make Nice

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Call To Worship

Hebrews 12:1 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Sermon Scripture

Deuteronomy 12:28 ESV
Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.


Deuteronomy 12:28 ESV
Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.
When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess
The nations
The nations are pagan idolatorous nations.
They are worshiping nations - but worshiping of false gods
Their manner or practice of worship is an abomination to the LORD
God will cut them off
Their alotted time of dwelling will be brought to an end by God.
Israel will go in to dispossess
Dispossess is a verb meaning to put out of possession.
Israel by God’s power and authority will possess the nations previously possessed by an idolatorous people.
Take care
That is take heed, as a watchman, be on guard
That you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you,
To be ensnared is to be impelled, to be struck.
Curiosity is a strange trap. How often can we and do we wonder what great truths we might learn from another, what practices might boost our pleasure, what secrets to life may be held in a culture, in a religious platform previously unknown to us.
This is the warning…to be ensnared to follow them is to be impelled by curiosity to study after their ways…to study after the very ways which have been destroyed before you.
And that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?-that I also may do the same.’
How often do we think ourselves wise by opening up the door to how idolotorous people worship a false god. We do so under the cause of evangelism, for the proclaimed cause of seeking of peace and understanding, for education, for seeking a deeper or new form of worship ourselves that we can adopt.
This isn’t saying that one is seeking to worship false god’s but rather “christianize” idolatourous practices of worship…such as “Christian Yoga, or what we so often do with Holidays or what I have so often run into in Christian schools studying false religions for the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding from it…a form of “religious universalism”…a be open to all things, take the good and leave the bad so to speak. God warned don’t say, “how did they serve their gods?-that I also may do the same.’…why?
You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
First - the command, don’t study it because God has already said that you shall not worship Him in that way and thus whatever they did for worship is useless to you.
Second - the description, their manner of worship is abominable…it is what the LORD hates. Man cannot come up with how to worship God. God establishes how he is to be worshiped. There is no deeper form of worship, no better way of getting to God except that which God Himself has put in place.
Third - your preservation, Mans way of worship both offends God and destroys man…it matures the outworking of human depravity. (they even burn their sons and daughters)
Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.
Obedience to God is proper manner and form of worship
mans worship goes after what man reasons and what man feels. Christian worship follows what God has ordained.
You obey everything commanded by God and in seeking to worship God that alone is what you stick to. You don’t get bored with obedience and try to find a high energy compulsive replacement. You don’t replace praying to God with drinking herbal tea, or reading the Bible with seeking your inner self or forsake the gathering of the brethren or the sacraments or the coming together under the order that God has established for coffee time with friends or for a encouraging tv or youtube message. We strive in every way to obey by the grace of Christ as demonstrative of our love for Him and we strive to be purist as it relates to the Word of God, believing that it is enough to give and sustain the Christian life ordained by God.
We do not need to add our own sacraments
We do not need to add our own counsel groups
We do not need to add our own programs
We do not need to add our own buisness structure
We do not need to add our own educational structure
We do not need to add our own cultural sensitivites
We do not need to encourperate our own strategies or visions
We do need to obey and obey fully…meaning set nothing aside as less than…and add nothing to.
If we tell our child to go to their room and clean it and they go to their room an play - thats not obedience, it not honoring, and its not pleasing.
First they did not do all of what they were told and instead they did what they were not told which actually directly contradicts what they were instructed to do.
How often do we do this with God’s instruction. We take one part, dismiss another and add in something totally different and we call it worship?
Romans 12:1–3 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Giving ourselves as obedient to God is our “spiritual worship”.
Cults have much more mystical forms of worship than Christianity. Our worship is simply obedience…entire, whole hearted obedience.
The church is warned in the same manner as OT Israel, not to be conformed or entangled by this world…by those things which previously occupied us that the blood of Christ and the Spirit of God has dissposessed within us.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
There is a spiritual work, a supernatural transformation that is done within us when this happens.
One of the most amazing works done within a person is that, that path (the will of God) that looked so imperfect before they stepped out in faith is by the walk of faith brought into perfect clarity and proven joyous.
2 Corinthians 4:1–6 ESV
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When I say purist practice of handling God’s word, I am saying what 2 Corinthians directs us in. We do not become weary or loose heart in the pure desire for the Word of God…thus we do not practice cunning or tamper with God’s word.
The word cunning is saying that we don’t practice a “knowledge of all”…just as said we don’t think of ourselves as higher than we ought. The word used here is always used in a bad sense, relating to cunning craftiness. One who seems to know a way around everything. Think of a modern lawyer who will argue any case wether it is right or wrong he/she will argue from a stance of cunning(knowing the law) craftiness(creating new intent in the law) in order to win rather than from a moral, heart of the law stance.
What we do is, “state the truth”. This is a lesson in the gospel. A cunning or crafty argument of appoligetics is not appoligtics at all…true appoligetics is being able to state the truth, plainly and clearly. We don’t cunningly work ourselves out of obedience and we don’t through craftiness bring another to faith in Christ.
If the gospel stated in plain truth is veild to another…it’s not because of a lack of craftiness by the one sharing the gospel but is rather because the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers.
Simply put…we don’t proclaim ourselves.
There is a popular thought today in the church that learning other cultures and other religions can help to unveil the gospel. I fear (and I believe a quick observation of the church justifies this fear) that the church rather than “winning the world through crafty/cunning evangelism has entangled herself in things that she ought not be entangled in. I fear that her worship has been affected. Rather than simple obedience, she has become and emotional show, a creative justifier of spritual obomination spreading rapidly giving false security, and practicing pagan worship without even recognizing it as such.
Right now we have a battle between the cunning and the obedient. A battle between the “know it alls” and the “truth tellers”. The know it all use truth to craft it as they see it while the truth tellers speak truth and obey truth. One holds strategy has map while the other holds faith. One says let me show you how we will accomplish what is written while the other says God will accomplish what God will to accomplish as I obey.
Let me share with you in closing a Psalm which lays out a view of the world so clearly and how we as the church of Christ are to see things as it relates to being God’s possession within this land of great transgression:
Psalm 36:1–12 ESV
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil. Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.
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