“I don’t need to go to church. It’s full of hypocrites. You can’t trust anyone. I’m fine with my own personal relationship with God.”
I can’t tell you how many times in the last 11 years of ministry I have heard that statement. It’s been said in many different forms and in my different ways. The truth still remains. Church is full of hypocrites. How could any church be as pure as the God they worship?
Those “hypocrites” who go to church feel the same way. They wonder how in the world will God love, forgive, or even hear their worship when they just went off on their family this week.
Yes. The church is full of hypocrites. It’s been proven by the accusers and those who attend a worship service. Everyone feels like they don’t measure up or the preacher is forced to say things like, “God loves you anyway.” We don’t really believe that because of how inconsistent we are.
How can a room full of hypocrites worship a Holy God and not be struck down Old Testament style?
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
_ Isaiah 6:5-8
Isaiah feels like most Christians on any given weekend in any given worship service. When we hear about how big, good, holy, and mighty God is . . . who are we? If God holds all things together, why doesn’t He crush us for our wicked inconsistencies?
The beauty of the answer is in vs 7. This angel places a live coal on his hand. This coal came from the altar. What’s the purpose of an alter? It’s to make sacrifice for forgiveness of sin.
How does this relate to Christians today?
When Jesus sheds his blood on the cross it’s as if that blood is touching our lips while we are moving our mouth in worship. Even though we have hypocritical, stubborn, wicked hearts – the lyrics are being purified from our heart to God’s ear. God doesn’t hear any static, lost connection, or white noise. He hears our words through his filter of love and holiness | Justice and Grace.
How then should hypocrites worship?
1. You are always a theologian
There is never a time in your life where you are not doing theology. When you sing, you are doing part of the preaching. I bet you never thought of yourself as a preacher during worship. Even if you’re not sure if you believe what you’re singing, sing. Even if you feel like you are one major life change away from leaving the church, sing. Even if you have experienced the closeness of God and are more alive than ever, sing. Sing.
2. Sing loud your theology
Every time you sing, you are making a statement about who Jesus is. The fact that you are opening your mouth and words are coming out is a statement you are making about the person and work of Christ. Pitch and tone are not the measures. In the same way knowing Greek or Hebrew are not the measures to actually sitting down to read God’s word.
3. Drink your theology
Every time your church celebrates communion, know that the grape juice that washes over your lips represents the blood that has washed away your sin. Before Jesus tells you what to do He reminds you of who you are – HOLY.