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Attitudes Toward Worship - John 4:20-24

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Purpose: Examine several attitudes that people take toward worship and what our attitude should be.



I. Read John 4:20-24 and give the background.

II. Jesus emphasized twice that those who worship God must do so in spirit and in truth.

III. The word "truth" in this context refers to the right actions and doctrine for worship.

IV. I want to focus this morning on what it means to worship God in spirit.

V. Worshiping in spirit refers to worshiping with the right attitude.

VI. We simply must come to worship God in the right frame of mind and for the right reasons.

VII. This morning we will notice:

A. Four wrong attitudes to have toward worship.

1. The attitude of "punching one's ticket" for the week.

2. The attitude of attending worship for one's own physical gain.

3. The attitude of attending worship in order to be entertained.

4. The attitude of attending because one's family attends.

B. The right attitude to have when worshiping God.



I.   Wrong Attitudes to have Toward Worship

A.   Attending in order to "punch one's ticket."

1.   There are many who believe that as long as they show up on Sunday mornings they are faithful Christians.

2.   To these people, religion is a one-day-a-week think.

3.   Some simply come to take communion; not realizing that communion is no more important than any of the other acts of worship.

4.   They forget that Christianity is a way of life.

a.   Acts 1:1   Jesus both did and taught.

b.   Psalm 119:11,97.

c.   Acts.

5.   A person could attend every single service of the Lord's church and still not go to heaven if he were not faithful for the rest of the week.

6.   If we come to worship just to punch our ticket; we come for the wrong reason.

B.   Attending worship for one's own personal gain.

1.   There is a dangerous doctrine being taught by the denominations which has carried over into our thinking.

2.   This doctrine says that if you worship God you will be blessed with great physical wealth.

3.   As the basis for their beliefs they use passages like:

a.   Mark.

b.   3 John 2.

4.   This is also the same attitude that Job's friends had (Job 11:13-20).

5.   Is this the right reason to worship God?

6.   We should love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

7.   If all saints are supposed to be wealthy then what about:

a.   Jesus (Matthew).

b.   The Apostles (Acts).

8.   If we come to worship to obtain physical wealth, we come for the wrong reason.

C.   There are those who attend services in order to be entertained.

1.   In today's world people are use to being entertained; they've come to expect to be entertained.

2.   Many congregations have given in to gimmickry in order to bring in visitors.

3.   Should this be the reason that we come to worship God?

a.   Should the preacher try to entertain us?

(1)  The men present on the day of Pentecost were not entertained but pricked to the heart (Acts).

(2)  The word of God is called a two-edged sword (Hebrews).

b.   Should the singing entertain us?

(1)  We should sing for the purpose of praising God (Ephesians).

(2)  We should sing for the purpose of teaching and admonishing each other (Colossians 3:16).

4.   Christ should be what draws us to worship (John).

5.   If we come to worship to be entertained, we come for the wrong reason.

D.   Some attend services simply because their family has always attended.

1.   They don't love God, want to study his word, or worship him.

2.   They've simply taken on their family's religion.

3.   Your family is not going to get you to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10).

4.   Salvation is an individual thing (Mark).

5.   Refute Acts 16:31 with Acts.

6. If we attend simply because our family has always attended, we are not attending for the right reason.


II.  The Right Attitude to have Toward Worship

A. Reverence.

1. Ecclesiastes 12:13.

2. 1 Peter 2:17.

3. Job 38:4    Respect him because of his awesome power.

4.If we respect God we will:

a. Not fall asleep during the service.

b. Not talk or otherwise cause disruptions.

B. Humility.

1. God despises show-offs in his church.

2. The Bible tells us that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord.

a. James 4:10.

b. We should strive to be like the publican and unlike the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14).

C. In Remembrance.

1. In a sense, worship is like a funeral.

2. We come together to remember Christ and all he did for us (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

3. We remember his death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

D. In Obedience.

1. We must worship him according to his divine instructions in order to please him.

a. If we do not, we are not showing him respect.

b. We are saying that we know better than him how we should serve him.

c. This is one of the hardest ideas for the denominational world to understand.

2. Man-made worship is described as vain (Matthew).

3. 1 John 5:3; John.

E. In Faith.

1. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews).

2. Hope is our anchor, and faith is the cable that holds us to that anchor (Hebrews).

F. We must attend worship because we love God and want to please him.

1. Not because our family attends.

2. Not because we want to be entertained.

3. Not because we want material gain.

4. And not because we feel we must "punch our ticket".



I. Let it be known that we must attend worship (Hebrews).

II. However, if your coming for the wrong reason; you might as well stay home.

III. We simply must worship God in spirit and in truth.

IV. Are you here for the right reason today?

V. Offer invitation.  See Plan of Salvation.


Are You Saved?


-- Ralph Price, February 2000 --


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