The Last Minute Worshipers

By James F. Miller

It has been the observation of not only this writer but others within the Lord’s church that there are two kinds of last-minute worshipers. There are those who wait till the very last minute to show up for services and usually miss Bible study altogether; then they are usually the first to leave the building so they can get on with whatever plans they have made for the day. Then there is the second type, the one who doesn’t see the need to assemble themselves with the saints at all, except on what they consider, and by what the world would consider as, special days (aka “holy days”). Then on their death bed, they expect God to over-look their life of sin and pleasure, thus forgiving them and having the best of both realms.

Let me state at this time that it is not my intent to stand in judgment of such people, for just as I will, they too will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give ac-count of the things done in this life (Rom. 14:10-12). How-ever, all Christians are responsible for seeing that the word of God is spread through-out the world, and we are to correct error whenever possible. Having established the intent of this article, lets look at what the Scriptures say about what and who a true worshiper of God is, and let his word be the judge.

According to our Lord in John 4:23 the Father (God) is seeking those who will worship him “in spirit and in truth.” The 24th verse clearly teaches that if we are going to worship God in a manner that will be pleasing to him that it will have to be in this manner. The apostles taught that the assembling together of the saints was an important part of the Christian life. Look at what was said in Hebrews 10:25. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul teaches that we are to be “living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God” and that this is really nothing more than our “reasonable service.” Paul goes on to warn us not to be “conformed to this world” but to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we can prove the acceptable and perfect will of God.” In the par-able of the two foundations, Jesus asked, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?” (Lk. 6:46) And then continuing with this same line of reasoning he goes on to teach that those who hear him and do the things he says will be like the man who built his house on the rock (Lk. 6:47-49).

Anyone who wants to be a member of God’s family must first realize that they must do things in the manner set within the pages of the New Testament. In Acts 2, the clear plan of how to become a Christian is given to us by Peter in his first sermon. I would urge you to read this chapter and pay close attention to verses 42-47 for this is the theme of the Bible to teach man how to live in accordance with God’s will that he might inherit a home in heaven. I submit to you that the manner in which we live our lives while here upon this earth directly effects where we will spend our eternity. If we only give God lip service can we really expect our worship to be pleasing to him? This writer cannot honestly say that God can’t or won’t save those who call on him when they are on their death bed, or that he will turn those away who are al-ways waiting till the last minute to serve him in true worship. Such is God’s decision alone. But in light of what the Scriptures teach about the way we are to live in order to please God, doesn’t it make more sense to live our lives by the examples given to us within the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and his inspired apostles? If we can be pleasing to God by doing Bible things in Bible ways and worshiping him in the manner he wants why would we want to take the chance of missing a home in heaven by not doing all that we can now to serve him and our fellow man?

It is this writer’s plea that everyone who reads this will be reminded of what is taught in James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your-selves.” And remember our Lord taught in Matthew 7:21-23 that “not all who say to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father in heaven.” Cr

Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 14, p. 21
July 21, 1994