Wrong Ways to Worship – Part 2

The Most Important Thing Any Person Do

John 4:20-24

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I.         Introduction (Rev 4:11)


A.      There are said to be a million ways to worship God

B.       Most, however, are the wrong ways

C.       People have a funny innate desire to worship – it is built-in


1.        Everyone worships some-thing or some-one!

2.        But so few truly worship

3.        I’m no judge – God is the One that draws the line in the sand and says people are doing it the wrong way

4.        It would benefit us all to know what is true worship, and what is a waste of our time!


D.      The chief purpose of man is to worship God (Rev 4:11) – we were created not to live and die ignorant of our purpose, and be only pawns in the hand of the devil – we were created by Almighty God, to live and walk with God in a spirit of worship

E.       The worship of God, when it is real, and active, is the most fulfilling and powerful of experiences in this life! But so few ever experience it

F.       Too many today are settling for either a dead worship of God, or a false worship of God.

G.       Throughout the Bible, you have the record of people worshipping God


1.        Abel with his lambs

2.        Abraham on Mount Moriah with Issac

3.        David in every Psalm

4.        The disciples, as they followed Jesus


H.      What is worship? True worship, real devotion does not consist in the performance of certain religious duties at set times, but in the spirit in which the Ordinary duties of common life are performed.  William Law

I.         This is a multi part message where I am exploring True Worship, and True Worshippers


1.        The Wrong Ways to Worship

2.        The Right Ways to Worship


II.       Preview – Wrong Ways to Worship (John 4:20-24)


A.      Geographically

B.       Ignorantly

C.       Paganly

D.      Stubbornly

E.       Religiously

F.       Selfishly - Only for looks

G.       Apathetically – with no passion, heart, or zeal

H.      Without the New Birth


III.     Message – Wrong Ways to Worship – Part 2


A.      Stubbornly (John 4:22) – Unwilling to worship God the way HE said to.


1.        How do people normally worship God? As easily, and painlessly as possible!


a.        On their own terms

b.       When it fits their schedule – too busy to worship

c.        As long as they don’t have to change

d.       As long as they don’t have to think

e.        As long as they get something out of it – got to be entertaining, and modern and politically correct, etc.

f.         Isn’t that the spirit of this age?

g.       The truth is, Most religions today worship God stubbornly – with themselves at the forefront, always claiming the blessings of God, and believing that they are in the true church, thinking only of themselves and what THEY can get out of the relationship instead of just worshipping God!


2.        How does God demand that we worship Him? One word - Humbly


a.        None of us like to be humbled, and to take last place, but that is just what God commands us to do if we are going to worship Him.

b.       To watch modern religious people, you would think you were watching a zoo of peacocks – showing off, full of themselves, proud to be Irish, thinking God is impressed with their success and their money


3.        Stubborn worship started way back just outside the garden of Eden with the worship method of Cain (Gen 4:3-12)


a.        Abel’s worship was right (behind the blood of innocent lambs) and Cain’s was wrong (showing off his best efforts – his own righteousness)

b.       But when God told him he was wrong, Cain would not change – would not do things God’s way! Stubborn!

c.        Ends up murdering his brother over religion – continues to this day

d.       Stubbornness blocks our worship of God


4.        Back to John 4. Here is the truth: Salvation and worship is defined by the Jews! Not by England, not by America, not by Hollywood, not by popular opinion


a.        If you want to worship God your way, go right ahead and skip over the place of the Jews thinking you are just as good, and just as qualified to be first in line in God’s plan – but you are NOT!

b.       According to Jesus, unless we yield our place and take second place to the Jews, then we will miss out on worshipping God the right way

c.        This is where so much confusion has taken over theology


1)       You have to know the God of the Jews – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! He has a HEBREW name - Jehovah

2)       You have to believe on a Jewish Messiah – Jesus was a Jew

3)       You have to get a Jewish Bible – not an English Bible, or American – it is JEWISH, written by Jewish authors!

4)       You have to honour the Jew’s Place in God’s Plan (Rom 9:1-5) – they still are God’s people, and that Land in Palestine belongs to them.

5)       The Bible still says that the Gospel is to be presented always to the Jew FIRST (Rom 1:16), and then to us Gentiles.


d.       We Gentiles have a way of thinking that God is all through with the Jews – but He isn’t. They are His people, and so many Jews have been wrongly slaughtered by both catholics and protestants throughout history that it is a holocaust just as tragic as Germany’s was!

e.        We are Gentiles, and God shows us the Jew, and we storm ahead and try to worship God our own way, when it has to be the Bible’s way, as shown first to the Jews, and now to the whole world!


5.        Humbling isn’t it? Good! That will be the best way to approach God – as a nothing, clinging only to Jesus, knowing that you don’t even deserve crumbs from the table!!!


B.       Religiously – according to traditions instead of according only to the word of God (Matthew 15:7-9) – no matter how magnificent those traditions may be, they have no effect on God! Only our heart moves the heart of God!


1.        To worship only religiously means


a.        Having a form of worship - “a form of godliness” – praying just so, and talking using religious sounding words and phrases

b.       Acting like you are worshipping, but only acting!

c.        Going through all the motions of worship, but the heart is still far from God


2.        Religion is a work of man to try and impress God – wasted effort!

3.        Worship is a work of the heart to try and love God

4.        To waste time worshipping God religiously means to do everything you can “for” God, but without having true love for God

5.        Examine your heart! Worship is not a Sunday Thing – it is a spiritual thing that you do on Sunday, AND Monday, AND Tuesday, etc!

6.        What you do is not worship – what spirit and what attitude you have while you do what you do is worship!


a.        Ponder THAT for a minute!

b.       Ask yourself in your next argument, who are you worshipping when you fight and argue and devour one another?


C.       Selfishly – Worshipping only for looks (1Sam 15:25-30) and for personal gain - worshipping God carnally, interested in physical things only


1.        How much time do you pray for THINGS and improvements in your welfare instead of for improvements in your attitudes, and for others?

2.        Selfish worship is what drove a wedge between Lucifer and the Lord in heaven at first


a.        Lucifer thought of his lack, and turned against God

b.       Later, Satan taught Eve to believe SHE too was lacking and to think of HERSELF for once!


3.        Self worship is shown by the amount of time you spend in front of a mirror, or how much money you spend on clothes, and fashion, and how much time you spend worrying about what others think of you instead of God!

4.        If you are worshipping, you have no time to worry! But if you are worrying, you will have no time to worship!!!

5.        So many people only “worship” a good, giving God that gives them what they want, when they want it – But if God is not meeting their needs at the moment, they quickly dump Him. That’s why people aren’t here this morning… they are not wanting to worship the God of heaven – they only worship the Genie behind their successes! Sad!

6.        Selfish worship is modern worship – period! God deliver us from our pre-occupation with self instead of with the God who died for us!


D.      Apathetically – with no passion, no heart, nor zeal (John 5:40) – no real need in your mind. You just do things because it is expected of you? Apathetic worship is bored worship – indifference towards the things of God. Apathetic worship is when we just don’t take God seriously


1.        So, no prayer life – just a few prayers here and there – if any!

2.        No serious study of the word of God – to you it is just a Book that you have, but that does not have you!

3.        No burden to win souls – you are really a Calvinist at heart – or a fatalist – if they WANT to get saved, they will do it themselves!!!

4.        No commitment to a local Bible believing Church – just attend it whenever it is possible, but definitely NOT on Sunday evening, and DEFINITELY NOT on Wednesday evening! No real need to join the Church and get really involved in soul-winning and building this body of believers like we are commanded to! Apathetic!

5.        No thought about sin in your life – it hasn’t killed me yet, so why worry about it? Apathetic


a.        Most people won’t even THINK of getting rid of the cigarettes until the doctor says, you have 6months if you don’t stop smoking

b.       Most people wouldn’t dream of cutting out the drink unless their doctor says, your liver is ruined and you will die if you take another drink

c.        Funny isn’t it? People live knowing the Bible says you will reap what you sow, but you don’t CARE!!!


6.        No worry about the judgment of God – doesn’t change the fact of a devil’s hell! The goodness of God waits for you to repent, but we all take it the wrong way – as a licence to sin!!! Wicked!

7.        The opposite of apathy is energy! Energetic kind of worship! Active, lively, passionate love for God, no matter what is going on in life!

8.        Wouldn’t it be nice to conquer our apathy?

9.        Victory over apathy is found in the cross (Col 2:8-15)


IV.    Conclusion (2Cor 11:3)


A.      There are a million ways to worship God

B.       Most are the wrong ways


1.        Geographically

2.        Ignorantly

3.        Paganly

4.        Without the New Birth

5.        Stubbornly

6.        Religiously

7.        Selfishly - Only for looks

8.        Apathetically – with no passion, heart, or zeal


C.       The worst of all is to try to do it ignorantly, without the new birth! Otherwise you are wasting your time and effort.

D.      Here is how to get born again!


Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Ireland