Summary: Message # 2 in this sermon series helping us discover how we have a place and a purpose in God's HIStory as recorded throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Today is our 2nd Sunday in our new summer worship emphasis both in worship and in our small group SS classes called, “A place in HIStory!” What we are learning together this summer is how each of us directly and intentionally fit into God’s entire story as recorded in the Bible! Each of us will learn how we are not here by accident, how we have a place and purpose in this world, and the kind of people we are to be for the Lord in this world and in this church.
Today with that in mind I want to talk to you about being Godless in God’s House. Now I realize that sounds like an oxymoron, but let me tell you what I mean. What I want you to understand is that you can be in church…involved in God’s house every week and be Godless. In fact, Godlessness is easier than you may think. It does not require that you murder someone, steal, lie, curse, or even stay out of church. The truth is that you can come to church 80% of the time, give an offering, hold a position, sing in the choir, be on stage, serve on a committee, engage in a ministry, sing worship songs, and maintain a wonderful “Christian” reputation among every and at the same time you can be living a life completely devoid of the influence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me make it easier…To live a Godless life, all you have to do is leave God out of the picture. Just don’t bring the Lord into your day to day living, thinking, decision making, or life and….POOF…you have Godlessness in God’s House!
The truth is that it is easy to lead the Godless lifestyle in church. You do not have to do anything overtly evil. Even while being Godless you can raise a good family, build a successful career, be considered an exemplary employee or student, be recognized for doing good deeds, and fill your life with church activities. In fact, you can have an very outgoing personality, be skilled and knowledgeable in certain areas, appear to be trustworthy or a good leader, and you can be GODLESS and still be in a committee at the church, hold a position of leadership, and even lead a group in the church.
The only drawback is, of course, you are doing it all without God…His power…His strength…His vision…or His purpose. You are doing it all empty on the inside of your spiritual life and Godless. If you do not believe me, listen first of all to Jesus in Matthew 7:19-22: 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Look also at our scripture this morning as we look at the life of Cain. Here we see an example of a man who knew the Lord in his head, but not in his heart. He served God out of duty and not out of devotion. He was Godless in God’s world.
When we read this story today and look at Cain, I do not want you to compare yourself to him and say, “Well I have never murdered my brother.” If you do that then you miss the point. I want you to see the mind set and the attitude of Cain that led to that event. For you the event is probably not going to be murder, but something else. Let’s look at some characteristics of those who are Godless in God’s House and ask, “Am I guilty?”
I. THE GODLESS NURTURE A FALSE FRONT
On the surface Cain appeared to be religious, God-fearing, and a servant of God. Anyone who would have seen him going to worship that day carrying his offering would’ve thought him to be a man of faith…a pillar church member…a leader in the community. But what we know is that once the offering is offered to God, Cain is revealed as being a man who is Godless. It was all a charade. It was a false front. It was nothing more than pretend. He was posing as a worshipper and follower of the Lord, when in his heart he was not.
Look at the offerings…giving this to God was an act of worship. It is not a issue of amount, but an issue of attitude toward God. On the surface there seems to be no real difference in the actual offerings. Both gave from what they produced. However, when God looked at their worship…looked past the exterior…looked past the false front everyone else would have seen and looked at Cain’s heart, there was a vast difference. He was a spiritual poser….a faker…He was Godless in God’s house!