One trip to the grocery store and you’ll see so many people are so scared right now. They don’t know who to trust, but they’re looking for hope as the world deals with disease, natural and man-made disasters, economic collapse, and so many other fearful things.
During these times, many people offer prayers to God for help, even though it might not be something they usually do. According to the Washington Post, more than half of Americans have prayed for the end of coronavirus.
Recent studies of individuals between 18 and 35 indicate that those who profess to be Christians attend church services only sporadically during the month, and attending has become less frequent, especially these days.
Before physical distancing, one study found that 54% of those surveyed attend church services at least once a month. Only 33% are in the pews once a week or more. 30% attend even less frequently. A small group of professing Christians (10%) say they used to go to church services, but no longer do.
But is this time of uncertainty the perfect opportunity to return to God and seek Him earnestly?
What I’ve Learned About True Worship and Why It’s Important
When I was younger, and not a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo or the Church Of Christ, I used to think that God hears all prayers, but worshiping Him was far from my mind. I wasn’t exactly religious. I had moved to Canada from England and drifted from my religious roots. Even though my mom kept trying to convince me, I wondered, “Should I attend church services?”
It was only years later that I learned about God, our Creator, Who wants to help those whom He created. So, during this pandemic—a time when people are feeling lost and looking for a source of comfort—worshiping God is what gives His children assurance.
“The one thing that keeps me going is when my parents and I are together for our worship services. I just know that God’s always by my side and He’ll never forsake me.” – Yllana Antenor, a NICU nurse from Manila, Philippines.
“The worship service is what’s really helping me to feel some sort of peace, to ease my anxieties and to remain connected to God during this time.” – Xandria Cortez, a nurse from Melbourne, Australia.
“Every time we hear the words of God, it just strengthens us. We can only rely on God.” – Taritz Sto. Domingo, a nurse from Toronto, Canada.
Members of the Church Of Christ, like Yllana, Xandria, and Taritz, knew that this pandemic is not a time to give in to feelings of helplessness and despair. Instead, this is the time to lean on God and devote ourselves in worshiping Him.
1. God Hears and Saves True Worshipers
Even now, when worship buildings around the world are closed to the public, when fear and uncertainty battle against hope and faith on a minute-by-minute basis, now is the perfect time to show God how important worshiping Him is to you, even if it is through video conferencing.
The Bible even gives an assurance to those who pray to God at that time and place:
“If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.” – II Chronicles 20:9 NIV
So, what exactly is the true worship? The Bible says that the best place to seek help from God is in the Temple, or the place of worship, during our worship services.
2. God Blesses Those Who Worship Him
Sadly, some people have a negative outlook when it comes to worship: “Why should I attend worship service?
Or, perhaps they are thinking, “Maybe God just wants us to be better people, we don’t actually have to worship Him.” Or “Judgment Day is just a myth, and these scary things are happening because nature is just resetting the earth.”
But such people are making a huge and grave mistake, because there is so much that can be derived from worshiping God: joining fellow believers in hymn-singing, joining in congregational prayer as well as offering a personal prayer to God, gaining spiritual strength for our inner being, and enjoying the fellowship of the others after the worship service.
It’s natural for a person to experience burn-out, due to work, and for others, family. But the worship service is in many ways therapeutic. A worshiper is placing his future, his life, in the hands of his Creator. There is no one and nothing we can compare to Him.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah.” – Psalm 84:1-2 & 4 ESV
What does the Bible say about true worship? It is good to worship God. Those who do so consistently will be blessed perpetually. And there is no doubt, all of us need such blessings in our life.
3. God’s True Worshipers are in the Church Of Christ
Back when I was younger, as much as my mom reminded me to go to our chapel, I didn’t find it important. I was in with the wrong crowd experimenting with all kinds of pleasures. But after learning from the Bible that God has true worshipers (Jn. 4:23), and that worship based on the teachings of man and not the teachings of God is in vain (Matt. 15:9), then it became clear to me that such was not the case.
Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly describes not only the kind of worship that God seeks, but also whom God is seeking to worship Him:
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” – John 4:23 NKJV
God wants to be worshiped in spirit and in truth. And the only ones who can do so are the true worshipers. Sadly, man lost that right to worship God because of sin (Rom. 3:23, Isa. 59:2). But those who have been forgiven of their sins (and thus have been reconciled to God) through the blood of Christ have regained that right to worship God, and the assured hope of salvation:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” – Romans 5:8-9 NIV
Such people can be found in the Church built and redeemed or purchased by Christ with His blood. That Church bears His name—the Church Of Christ:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” – Acts 20:28 Lamsa
Members of the true Church Of Christ are being sought by God to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
4. Worship Service in the Church Of Christ
Before joining the Church, there was always a void within me that could not be filled with any amount of carousing and inebriation. After each moment of elation, I had to return to the reality of my life, and that was one of mediocrity and dissatisfaction.
Eventually, I realized I had to make a change. And it was then that I yearned to have God in my life. It took some time and some soul-searching. Baby steps at first, giving up one vice after another. My dear mother took me to some of her church services, but I just didn’t feel anything there.
It was only when I began to attend the worship services of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ that I truly felt spiritually uplifted. That was over 35 years ago. And I’m still here.
What is true worship? It is the worship being rendered by the members of the Church Of Christ. The members of the first-century Church Of Christ held their worship services in this manner:
“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. … What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. … Let all things be done decently and in order.” – I Corinthians 14:26, 15, 40 NKJV
The worship service of the first century Christians was not chaotic, but rather decent and orderly. There was hymn-singing, the preaching of God’s words, with explanation and interpretation if spoken in a foreign language, and prayer. This program of the worship service was intended to edify the worshipers, and always to render glory to God.
If you’re still wondering if there is a right way to worship God, or if you want to find the true place to worship Him, set up some time to talk with a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ.