Beware the Road to Empty Worship!

Jul 3, 2005
Pastor Wayne C Eichstadt
Topic(s): Evangelism
Hymns: 2, 285, 755/305, 53
Pre-Service Prayer:

Heavenly Father, it is easy to fall into the sin of going through outward motions when worshipping You. When that happens forgive me. Let my desire always be to hear Your Word, follow Your will, and not let my ideas and habits become more important than Your truth. As I look for ways to share Your Word with others, let my chief interest always be the welfare of souls. I ask this as I pray for Your blessing on our worship today. Amen.

Pre-Service Devotion: 

Psalm 119:89-104

First Reading: 

Jeremiah 23:16-32

God speaks strongly against those who pretend to be preaching His Word, but are really preaching their own visions, ideas, and goals. How presumptuous to set forth human words and conclusions as if they were from God! God’s judgment against such false preaching also serves as a warning to those who may hear the false words.

Second Reading: 

Revelation 2:1-7

The Old Testament nation of Israel fell into the trap of external worship while their hearts were far from the true God. The Pharisees of Jesus’ time fell into the same trap (cf. sermon text). The congregation in Ephesus was in grave danger of the same. Jesus speaks to the Ephesians commending them for their faithful activities, but also rebuking them for leaving their first love. The “doing” in their actions had overshadowed the “loving” of Christ in their hearts.