beware of watered-down worship!
Beware of watered-down worship as it has its origin in Satan himself and should be avoided at all costs! As Christian believers we all know this internally, but do we really practice it or give it very much thought.
When it comes to finding a great church or a valid place of worship that is truly Christ-centered, many of us fall by the wayside on this particular subject. I have been guilty of this in my life before as well. However, my own spiritual life suffered for it too.
Beware of things going on within your favorite church. Perhaps they have a great choir, or wonderful programs for your kids to participate in, or your family, friends, or co-workers attend there and so, of course you want to frequent a church where there are people you know and where there is familiarity present. That's only natural. And yet, as a follower of Christ, you may walk away feeling somewhat empty, realizing that much of what you need to know, grow, and develop as a Christian is lacking in the places you congregate to worship the Lord.
beware of false teachers/ leaders within the church
As you look for a church, whether it be in a church building, a schoolhouse, or a home church, you want to know that wherever you and your family attend will be receiving the true gospel of Christ, giving you foundationally-sound doctrine within the message or sermon preached.
In your daily walk with Christ, you will want to follow Him as He desires of you to do. Make sure you are taking out time everyday with Him in the study of His Word, in prayer, in witnessing to others, and also in your worship of Him in a place that is "rightly-diving the Word of truth." Just as little babies need the nourishing milk from their mothers, so we too need spiritual milk from God's Word. It tells us so in 1Peter 2:2-3 where it states, "As newborn babes, desire the milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
In the New Testament, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the false teachers and false prophets of that day, telling them to beware, and gave clear warning and instruction on what they were to do and how they were to react upon this troubling issue that was going on during early church history. We are to heed His teachings, instructions, and warnings as they apply to us as His followers today as well. Here are a few passages of scripture that that tells us to beware, and how Jesus demonstrated His concern as He saw how Satan worked evil among His people through these false prophets/teachers:
- Matthew 24:4-5 says, "And Jesus answered and said unto them,'Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, 'I am Christ'; and shall deceive many.'"
- 2 Peter 2:1-3 gives severe warnings as well as it states, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
- Galatians 1:6-9, Paul warned the church, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, 'If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Lastly,
- Ephesians 5:6 instructs us, " Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
beware of deceptive and hidden agendas within your place of worship
Sometimes it is hard to believe that there are actually demons, devils, and messengers of Satan we must beware of, who are working feverishly inside the church to sway and mislead us into believing falsehoods about God's Word, of His promises to us, and above all, His sovereignty! But it is happening more and more now as time grows nearer to our Lord's coming. Satan knows his time is coming due and he will fight and scheme with all his might to persuade people to doubt God and not put their faith and trust in Him.
Here's what the Bible teaches regarding these types of deceptions and hidden agendas that we are to beware of, and which can threaten our faith and belief in God, and that hinder us in our worship to Him:
- Matthew 24:24 warns, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
- 1 Timothy 4:1-3 tells us, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscious seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry; and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
- 2 John 1:7 says, "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
- Genesis 3:1 reminds us of how cunning Satan really is. It says," Now the serpent was more suptile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, 'Yea, hath God said, 'Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'"
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 tells us, " Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."
- Jeremiah 23:16 says, "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, 'Hearken not unto the words of the prophets which prophecy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord." And lastly,
- 1 John 2:26-27 tells us, "These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him."
Beware of Satan's tactics. You and I must open our hearts and minds to all that is going on around and about us, especially when it comes to worshiping our Lord in spirit and in truth. We must first examine our own lives to see where we have been at fault in our worship to Him, repent and ask God for forgiveness, and then pray for continued guidance and instruction for His leading in everything of life.
Your worship is so important to the Lord, but you are to see clearly and have the utmost discernment in this area of worship, as well as within the very church you attend, and of the preachers/leaders/teacher within your church. Here are ways in which you can become a more discerning Christian:
- Beware of preachers/teachers/leaders in your church or area of worship, who turn Biblical scripture around to suite their message or agenda. Yes, indeed there are some ministers out there who twist words of scripture, leave out, or add to God's Word that should not be there. Perhaps they even add their own opinions as to what they believe scripture has to say. Be very selective of various biblical commentaries that claim to interpret what God has said on certain subjects. Always compare it to scripture to see if it actually lines up to what God meant for it to say. This is referred to us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as it says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." In addition, Revelation 22:18-19 gives harsh repercussions if this warning is not heeded among His people, as it says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Lastly, in Matthew 5:18 Jesus reminds us, "For verily I say unto you, 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
- Beware of Satanic elements that come into your sanctuary of worship. These can all present themselves in some of our contemporary Christian music, so-called Christian Rock, Christian Rap, some of the Southern gospel music, as well as some Black gospel music. Yes, I am mentioning them all. Hey, we may think these are all "ok" if they just have the words "Jesus Christ, Lord, God, Holy Spirit, love", and any other religious words or phrases in them, but listen carefully to the lyrics of the songs being sung in our worship services, bands and praise teams of today. Some of them refer to the flesh and how we feel about God and many appeal to our emotions mostly. Watch and beware of what your kids are listening to from these forms of contemporary gospel music. Another popular thing I see in many churches today are more social gatherings going on rather than Bible study groups, prayer meetings, or forming teams to go out together to witness in the community. Instead, I see martial arts, ceramic arts classes, fitness classes, self-defense classes, cooking classes, and so forth. I could name off hundreds of different types of social events that are offered in churches, especially in the mega churches. Beware of all this entertainment that goes on in many of our churches nowadays. Another popular thing going on in Christian churches, schools, and universities are the yoga groups and classes they offer young adults and children alike. These are all from the pits of Hell! The reason I say this is that yoga is not at all a Christ-like practice. A lot of Christians don't know this truth. Well, according to Wikipedia, " yoga is a group of mental, physical, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Its origin it mostly credited to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism religions." Yes, I know you've probably heard all about its benefits for people who have various illnesses, and that it can clear up acne, depression, and so forth, but within these practices and positions of yoga, one is actually worshiping other gods. These too are doctrines of demons. Let these practices not be named among you! (Ephesians 5:3) So who would have thought to incorporate these practices and studies of yoga within the Christian church? None other than Satan himself, that's who! This is another reason why the Christian believer must be discerning, so careful and beware of these evil elements surrounding him/her within the church.
- Beware of "Christian" literature and materials other than what is biblical to read, watch, or listen to. Even Sunday school literature can come into question here. I've examined this a few times while being in Sunday school or teaching it in a class from time to time, and have noticed contexual discrepancies and biblical errors inside Sunday school literature made from those who perhaps do not understand biblical truths or have not taken the time to study it properly and reverently. So be mindful if you are a teacher who is responsible in teaching your class of adults, young people, or children. Always beware of what you are teaching, listening, or applying to see if is truly God's word from the literature presented and that the context is of sound doctrine from these materials. This would also include VBS (Vacation Bible School) materials. I hate trying to teach little children true stories of the Bible when the VBS materials given to me are from a so-called reputable, Christian publishing company, comprised of puppets, videos of cartoon characters with spiritual songs, or scary monster books to color and draw on! Beware of these kinds of things, which are not at all what our children need to hear. They see these things everyday. We are responsible for their souls and what we tell them about the Bible. God holds us accountable to live according to His Holy standard. There is no compromise in this. This includes what we allow into our minds, what we hear, what we read--everything! It tells us so in these passages of 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 where it says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Also it reminds us again in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." And lastly,
- Beware of bad fruit within the church. Watch what some of these powerful and influential preachers/leaders/teachers do in your church. Look at their actions, their speech, their habits, and how they behave around other people. Are they seductive and flirtatious, use profanity, aggressive, dishonest, shifty-eyed people, or have other traits that are not at all Christ-like? We see here what the Bible says about this kind of bad fruit in Matthew 7:15-20, which warns us, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Furthermore, Ephesians 5:8-11 tells us, "For ye were sometimes darkness; but now ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; but rather reprove them." And finally in John 15:1-6,16 Jesus explains it clearer, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine; ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you."
In conclusion, you can see how important it is in the life of the believer to always be on the lookout, to beware constantly of the evil that's around you, especially when you are in prayer, praise, and worship to the Heavenly Father. Watered-down worship should never be entertained.
Beware of these evil elements that are lurking in your personal Christian life, within your family at home, where you work, or at school. Satan does not stop his tactics and he wants to knock you down as best he can, however he can. When you keep your mind, heart, body, and soul focused on the Lord and in all situations, God will honor you with His presence and His grace, giving you the strength and endurance to worship Him in the right way, in spirit and in truth, giving Him the glory and praise He so rightly deserves.
Abiding In The Love Of Christ
Barriers In Christian Living
Halloween Fun: Or Is It?
Christian Church For The Believer
Fruit Of The Spirit: The Character Of Christ
Persecution Of The Christian: On The Rise And Closer Than You Think!
Preaching And Teaching The Gospel
Salvation: The Foundation Of The Gospel Message
Sunday School Teachers As Ambassadors For Christ
Witness Effectively For The Kingdom Of God
True Worship Of God
Top Of Page