Summary: This is a sermon on how to both worship and fear God as He desires us to rather that simply going through the "form" of religion only.
“All Worship is Not Acceptable”
Introduction: Assyria conquered Israel and most were deported from Samaria to Assyria. Assyria replaced the deported Israelites with captives of other countries to live in Samaria. This is where our text will pick up.
#1) What has been imported into our way of worship?
A) 2 Kings 17:24-41 We see that God describes in detail the religion of those imported into Samaria.
- There are some characteristics of their religion we must beware of.
- We need to do a comparison of how our worship would compare to that of the Samaritans in our text.
- For some of us the comparison may be a little to close for comfort.
B) Fear has a great deal to do with the worship of God and we see that these people feared God.
- V32 “So they feared the Lord…”
- V33 “They feared the Lord, yet served other gods…”
- V41 “So these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images…”
- They had the wrong kind of fear.
- V34 “…they do not fear the Lord…”
- This is not a contradiction, these people did fear and they did not fear.
C) WE MUST HAVE THE PROPER TYPE OF FEAR.
- Jesus taught his disciples whom to fear.
- Matthew 10:28 Jesus made it very clear we should fear God and no one else.
- King Solomon the world’s wisest man gave instruction on fear in relation to God.
- Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 Solomon said “it shall be well with them that fear God”
- For those who don’t fear God it will not be well.
D) So what kind of fear is it that we are to have?
- The fear of God we are to have is a reverential fear.
- A fear that motivates us to turn away from sin and serve God faithfully at all times.
- The ‘FEAR OF THE LORD” is not the kind that never thinks of God WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL.
- THE SAMARATANS HAD THE WRONG KIND OF FEAR.
- 2 Kings 17:25-26 These people would have never thought of God had it not been for the lions.
- When they did think of God, it was only to tremble before Him because of the lions.
- This is exactly like so many people today.
- They only think of God when they are ill.
- They only think of God during the calamities and not the good times.
- If we turn to God only when things go wrong, then our religion is no different than the Samaritans.
- With a proper kind of fear a real “REVERENCE” for God we will draw close to God through obedience.
- When we do we will understand His great love for us and we will serve because of that love.
#2) A “FORM” of religion.
A) These Samaritans had only a form of religion.
- These people had no heart to serve the Lord.
- Verse 33 says that they “feared the Lord, and served their own gods”.
- The small service they did render to God had only “FORM” yet no “SUBSTANCE”.
- These people appeared to be religious, they appeared to be worshipping, they had a “FORM” but God requires more.
B) We possess both a physical and spiritual nature in which we MUST WORSHIP GOD.
- We must worship God both physically and spiritually.
- Today we are to observe The Lords Supper, which is both physical and spiritual.
- Praying----Giving----Singing----each of these have a form.
- But to go through the “FORM” without having substance which is a right spiritual attitude is hypocritical.
- Matthew 15:7-8 This attitude has always existed but this doesn’t mean it should exist.
- David said over and over that He would praise God continually, as long as He had breath.
C) Form means absolutely nothing without a right heart.
- We need to ask ourselves a very serious question.
- Is our “religion” one of simply going through the steps?
- Are we just a form?
- If that’s all we are then we are no more pleasing to God than the Samaritans.
- Luke 19:37-40 We are created by God to praise Him, this is how we are to WORSHIP God.
#3) A Religion of “COMPROMISE”
A) For the Samaritans religion was one of COMPOMISE as with many today.
- 2 Kings 17:41 These people had “GOD” and they had “gods”, they preferred the latter of the two best.
- They gave God lip service but they gave their “gods” their true service.
B) This same thing is prevalent today in the lives of many Christians.
- When we seek to serve God while also trying to serve the world.
- If you try to serve both the world will always win.