Summary: First, the worship services were boring; second, the sermons were irrelevant. Now, I do recognize that it’s quite possible for a pastor to make the greatest story ever told - the most gripping and significant message ever proclaimed - seem dull and routin
THE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP
Back in my hometown of Chicago I have a friend by the name of Pastor Flozell Porter the pastor of the Burnside Missionary Baptist Church now we would sit and talk about different topics the music ministry,outreach ministry etc.but Pastor Porter had a great concern why had the membership fell off and he wanted to find out first hand, he first went door to door with a survey, asking people who had left the church why they no longer attended. Know what the top two answers were? First, the worship services were boring; second, the sermons were irrelevant. Now, I do recognize that it’s quite possible for a pastor to make the greatest story ever told - the most gripping and significant message ever proclaimed - seem dull and routine, but hey: if you can find the Gospel of Jesus Christ irrelevant, and the worship of almighty God boring, I have to ask, what could possibly be more engaging than your Creator? What could possibly be more enthralling and exciting than the salvation of your eternal soul? . . . And what were you expecting when you walked through that door? What were you looking for instead of God?
Minister Flemings lead us in bible study with Scripture from Revelation chapter 7. Turn there please if you have not torn it out. . . . Have you ever thought, Why would I want to spend an eternity in heaven worshiping God? Singing, and praising God? "Serving Him", verse 15, "day and night in His temple?" How will that be heaven? Won’t that get boring after awhile? . . . If this is how we feel about the prospect of worshiping eternally in heaven, then it’s quite possible that we’ve never experienced true worship, that we have never truly understood the worship of God here on earth. And if that’s the case, then we need to ask ourselves the question, What were we expecting when we walked through that door? What were we looking for when we came to worship? What attitude do we need to bring with us instead? And what is the essence - the irreducible, indispensable heart - of true worship?
Revelation 7 is a picture of the saints - the redeemed and glorified church - worshiping God in heaven. Because of verse 14, “these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation”, some would say that Revelation 7 represents only the saints who someday will go through a great tribulation at the end of the age; while others would say that it represents all Christians who have endured - and who will endure - through the great tribulations of this present age. I think it’s instructive to remember that Revelation 7 was written to 1st century Christians, and was meant to be a comfort to them, many of whom were already suffering greatly, whose tribulation in some cases could not have been any greater.
Look at verse 9, Revelation 7:9: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ’Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ " . . . That’s the saints of God, worshiping Him, standing before Him, crying out how?, half-heartedly? mechanically? indifferently? Was their worship lukewarm or perfunctory or unemotional? No, says John, they cried out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!