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Fact-Checking Your Worship - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
July 21, 2023 6:00 am

Fact-Checking Your Worship - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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July 21, 2023 6:00 am

How often do you think about your worship? Today Skip is challenging you to put your worship to the test and fact check it to see if it lines up with God’s heart.

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But if you fact check your worship, you may find that it's true or you may find that it's false. It could be authentic worship or it could in fact be idolatry. How often do you think about your worship?

Well today on Connect with Skip, Pastor Skip begins a message challenging you to put your worship to the test and fact check it to see if it lines up with God's heart. But first, here's a resource that'll help you understand the path to true freedom in Christ. Freedom.

It's a powerful word with several layers of meaning. Benjamin Franklin said the birth of America meant liberty if we can keep it. But the freedom Jesus gives from sin is permanent if we receive it. There's a level of freedom that is better than political freedom, better than social freedom, better than any kind of freedom. And that's a spiritual liberation, a freedom from sin. One day Jesus stood up in Nazareth and clearly declared liberty for those in bondage. Are you enjoying the full rights of your freedom?

Do you know someone still suffering from addiction? You will want to order our freedom package which includes 10 full-length messages by Skip about your path to freedom with titles such as Can God Be Known and Extreme Makeover Soul Edition as well as his Life Change Next Steps booklet. The freedom package is our thanks for your gift of $50 or more to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig. So request your freedom package today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Did you know that you can now connect with Pastor Skip and this ministry via text messaging? Simply text connect to 74759 to join the group. When you do you'll receive a free digital booklet called Are We Living in the Last Days? Get a glimpse into the last days and how you can be ready for them.

So text connect to 74759 today. Now we're turning to Hebrews 11 as we join Skip for today's lesson. I can remember back to earlier sermons that I made years ago and I remember reading illustrations in books and then saying those because I believed they were accurate because after all if it's in a book it's got to be true that's how I thought so I found it I'd quote it I would tell these stories and they were great stories. Then the era of the internet came and you could fact check things and not many of them but there's a few of them that I had to sort of reel back in and never use again because come to find out it was sort of a wives tale. You see fact checking will do that for you it'll give you a reality check to see if what you said or what you believe in or how you've acted is appropriate if it's right if it is factual. Now that's the same when it comes to worship because not all worship is true worship not all worship is acceptable worship it might be acceptable to us but it's not always acceptable to God.

Now let me give you a premise and we're going to sort of base everything on this premise as we go through this study tonight. The worship that God accepts is the worship that God prescribes. Once again the worship that God once again the worship that God accepts is the worship that God prescribes. You'll remember that our Lord Jesus had a conversation with a woman at the well in Samaria and she was bringing up the difference in worship between the Samaritans and the Jews. You Jews worship in Jerusalem we Samaritans worship at Mount Gerizim here and we have our own style of doing things and Jesus said that there's only really one appropriate way to worship God. He said the Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. Now a lot of people will say well my idea of God is this I think of God in these terms and I worship God in this manner and my idea of worshiping God is being out in the woods or saying these things or or having these statues or doing it a certain way. But if you fact check your worship you may find that it's true or you may find that it's false it could be authentic worship or it could in fact be idolatry. You see in the book of Proverbs in two places Proverbs 14 and Proverbs 16 it says there is a way that seems right unto every man but the end thereof is the way of death.

Just because you feel it's good doesn't necessarily make it good. I was raised in a religious home I had a belief in God I had a certain kind of faith I thought that I was good enough the way I was practicing my little religion once a week or once a month. Later on when I was about 18 years of age I learned the facts. I fact checked my faith and the way I fact checked it was with the Bible. The Bible has an amazing way of checking one's presumptions.

The truth has an amazing way to fact check what you assume to be correct. So when it comes to worship we understand the Bible is literally dominated by the theme of worship, worshiping God. Over 400 times the word is mentioned in the pages of scripture so it's a very important theme. Everything from true worship, false worship, the worship of Baal, the worship of false gods of Canaan, the true worship of the God of Israel, and oftentimes the worship the Bible describes is false worship. Charles Haddon Spurgeon whom I'm fond of quoting frequently said, I believe a very large majority of church goers are merely unthinking slumbering worshipers of an unknown God.

Now just let that sink in a little bit. Not everybody that goes to church or believes in God or even believes in Jesus may be approaching him the way he has prescribed. And that brings us to our verse tonight.

It's a story of a man by the name of Abel and his brother Cain who murdered him in the story. Both of them came to worship God. One's worship was acceptable, one's worship was not acceptable, one worships by faith, the other worships by feeling. One worship is right, the other worship is wrong. Now Cain, the guy who did it wrong, the guy who killed his brother Abel, Cain should have taken the time to fact check his worship.

In fact God gave him an opportunity, God appeals to him personally to do it. Now we're in Hebrews 11 but you should know that Hebrews 11 at least in part is based on Hebrews 10 verse 38. In Hebrews 10 verse 38 quoting from the Old Testament book of Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 4 says, the just shall live by faith.

That's the premise. The just shall live by faith. So that's quoted in chapter 10, the just shall live by faith. Then in chapter 11 the author comes up with a list of those just people who lived by faith. And first on the list of examples is Abel.

Why? Why Abel? Because Abel is the first person who lived by faith in the biblical record. So what do you mean he's the first one to live by faith? What about Adam and Eve? No, they didn't live by faith.

They live by sight. Remember how the Bible says for we live by faith, we walk by faith not by sight? Abel was the first one to live by faith. Adam and Eve, his parents, didn't live by faith, they lived by sight. Before the fall Adam and Eve walked with God, talked with God, God spoke to them verbally. They had a glory manifestation of God, the Shekinah glory in the Garden of Eden. Whereas Abel and his brother Cain were conceived after the fall, they were conceived outside the Garden of Eden, born outside the Garden of Eden.

There was no manifestation of the invisible God for them. Their parents told them about God, but it was not like the Garden of Eden. So Abel is the first person in the biblical record to live by faith. Cain and Abel were brothers, and Cain and Abel were human number three and human number four in the lineup of humanity. Adam and Eve number one and two, and then Cain and Abel number three and four. It says in Hebrews 11 verse four, here's the one verse we're going to really drill down on that we're going to compare it with Genesis 4. By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and through it he being dead still speaks.

He being dead still speaks. Now we know that Cain and Abel were brothers, and they probably had a sibling rivalry. Most brothers and sisters do. Do you guys have brothers and sisters? Do you have a sibling rivalry with them? Was there ever a competition that you guys had with them? Yeah, I had three older brothers.

Are you kidding? We were always competing. And it seems that Cain and Abel, since they are post-fall, they're conceived in sin already, they had their own sibling rivalry, and it even shows up in worship in what they offer to God. Now, I've always loved the story about the two brothers who were camping, and they got up in the morning, and they're leaning by the tent and having coffee, and one of the brothers spots in the background a grizzly bear coming at them, full gallop. So he quickly reaches down to put his shoes on, shows his brother there's a bear come, puts his shoes on, and the brother says, what, do you think you can outrun a grizzly bear? Because I don't have to outrun the bear.

I just have to outrun you, right? So here we have Cain and Abel, one trying to outrun the other when it comes to pleasing God. It is the second generation of humans from creation, but get this, they're already starting, one of them at least, already starting to depart from the faith.

Second generation after creation, already there's an apostasy taking place. And what we see in Cain and Abel is the difference between self-styled worship and spirit-styled worship. Spirit-styled worship, that's Abel, self-styled worship, that is Cain. But we're considering in verse 4 Abel's faith, and Abel's faith produced three things according to this verse. It produced a right sacrifice, it produced a righteous standing, and it produced a repeating sermon. That's all in this verse.

The first thing his faith produced is a right standing. By faith, verse 4, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Now the verse takes us back to the story, and the story is found in the book of Genesis chapter 4.

So I ask you to mark your Bible so that'll go turn to Genesis chapter 4, and let's sort of unfold the story so we can get at the heart of Hebrews 11. Now, Genesis chapter 4, that goes back pretty far. I mean, Genesis chapter 1 is the beginning of everything.

It's the beginning of the universe. Genesis chapter 2 is the beginning of the human race. Genesis chapter 3 is the beginning of sin, and Genesis chapter 4 is the beginning of the fallout of sin.

We feel that today. The fallout begins to be felt and seen in Genesis chapter 4. If you remember that little outline that Paul gives in Romans 5 where he said, by one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and then death spread to all men, and then death reigned.

Right? So it entered, it spread, it spread, and then it rained. This is now in chapter 4, death spreading and reigning over God's creation. Chapter 3 of Genesis is the root of sin.

That's the fall. Genesis 4 is the fruit of sin. This is what happens when sin enters and spreads. So Genesis chapter 4 verse 1 introduces us to the story. Now Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain and said, I have acquired a man from the Lord.

The word Cain is a word that means acquired or to get or to receive or to obtain. One translation says, he is here. So he is born, and she goes, he's here. And we wonder, well, who is he referring? Who is she referring to?

He is here and acquired or gotten. What is it she's been looking for that she might get? And probably she was thinking of a promise back in chapter 3 verse 15, where God made a promise. And he said, the seed of the woman will come and crush the head of the serpent. You see, after the fall of mankind, God gave a promise that one day a child is going to be born. And this child, the seed of the woman, this male child is going to rise up and undo all the damage done in chapter 3, the curse of creation. There's going to be a recovery. There's going to be a reconciliation. That was the promise that was given to Adam and Eve.

And probably Eve thought, he's here. I've gotten him. I've obtained the promise. This is the deliverer. This is the seed. Of course, she couldn't be more wrong. She was holding in her arms a baby murderer, the first murderer.

I've gotten the deliverer. He's the one. Oh, no, he's not. He's going to prove how bad sin really is. So this is the first human pregnancy. Eve is pregnant with Cain, and she delivers him. I can just see Adam's amazement week by week, month by month.

They'd never seen anything like this before. He's looking at her, and she's getting a little bit bigger every week and says to her, you know, Eve, sweetheart, you seem to be putting on more weight. And what's with all these little stockings that you're knitting all the time?

And what do you mean you want pickles and ice cream? You know, all those new things that pregnancies bring. Adam is like, this is the first time ever, not only for him, but for everyone. Verse 2 continues the story, she bore again.

So this is a second child. She bore again, and this time his brother Abel. Now, Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

The word Abel comes from the root word vapor or breath. And what a fitting name because his life was cut short. It was just, you know, it says in James, our life is but a vapor. His life certainly was a vapor.

He lived for a temporary time, as it turns out, but his life was cut short because he becomes the first homicide victim in history. Now, these guys were different. These brothers were different, as most siblings are, and they're different in their occupation. We're introduced to their occupation in verse 2. Cain becomes a farmer, he tills the ground. Abel becomes a shepherd, he's involved in animal husbandry. Both born after the fall, both born outside the garden of Eden. Both of them are under the curse of sin.

So, Adam and Eve have two boys. The story continues to unfold in verse 3. In the process of time, we are told, it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat, and the Lord respected Abel and his offering. But the Lord did not respect Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and his countenance fell. Now, you'll notice in verse 3, it says, in the process of time.

Note that little phrase. Literally, that phrase could be translated, at the end of days. At the end of days. What this shows us is there was a certain time God had prescribed for worship to take place, for an offering to be made.

And at the end of those days, whether it was the end of a week, or the end of a month, or the end of several months, we don't know, but at the end of that time, there was a proper certain time God had prescribed. And it even seems that the Lord said that there was a certain place that God had prescribed. For it says, in the process of time, it came to pass, Cain brought an offering of fruit of the ground to the Lord.

So he must have understood that I bring something to a certain place, and we can't be certain, but I'm guessing, I'm inferring, just from what I know of the biblical record. And since it was outside of the land of Eden, outside of Paradise, and remember outside of Paradise, there was stationed, one on either side with a flaming sword, two angels, two cherubim. So it could be that there, at that place where there were two cherubim, and a flaming sword, there was a place where they were to bring a sacrifice.

That's what I'm guessing. It's like this was the first mercy seat. Remember the one back on the mercy seat, and the two cherubim that covered that emblematic, probably of the Garden of Eden? This is the first time in the first place that God required a sacrifice. Not only was there a certain place and a certain time, but there was a certain style, a certain manner, a certain prescribed manner that God wanted to be worshiped, a certain way to do it. And it would seem that God had revealed what that way was, what the requirements were, probably to Adam and Eve, so that the parents instructed the children. Now let me explain that.

And you'll remember this. In Genesis chapter 3, after the fall, after sin entered the world through the fall of Adam and Eve, you remember what Adam and Eve did because they suddenly realized they were naked? They sewed fig leaves together. They took some of the fruit of the ground, a tree, leaves, and they covered themselves with it. And that didn't work out very well, because what the Bible tells us is that God made tunics of skin. That required the death of an animal. He made tunics of skin, and He covered them so animals were killed. And the and the fruit of the killing of these animals, the substitution for them dying, Adam and Eve dying, was these two animals. They were killed, and the skins were placed to cover their nakedness. So what did Adam and Eve learn in their approach to God and their worship of God? They learned three things we discover in Genesis chapter 3. Number one, man needs a covering for sin, because suddenly one day they realize, hey, I'm naked.

Hey, you're naked. We've got to cover ourselves up. They were immediately aware of their vulnerability. Sin caused that. So they discovered, number one, I need a covering for my sin. They discovered, number two, that God will not accept their own garments or garments of their own making. You can't come to God on your own terms.

They discovered that. And number three, the covering for sin comes only through the death of an innocent substitute. Blood must be shed. Now remember that little premise we began with? The worship God accepts is the worship God prescribes. So Cain and Abel come at a certain time, at a certain place, to bring their offering to the Lord. Cain left out two important elements of worship that Abel included in his sacrifice. Number one, the kind of offering, and number two, the quality of offering.

The kind and the quality. Abel brought a certain kind of offering. Abel brought a different kind of offering. Abel brought blood sacrifice. Like his parents learned, the death of a substitute, an animal, was shed, or killed, slain, and blood was shed. Cain did not come with the shedding of blood. Cain came with the fruit of his own labor, what he had produced and grown from sowing and working in the ground. He came with his own works. That's what he felt like bringing to the Lord.

Like his parents once tried with fig leaves, he grows it and he offers it to the Lord. Now I'm sure it was beautiful. Maybe it was a beautiful bundle of leaves and flowers and grains, and you'd look at it and go, wow, what a great spread.

What a great spread. There's only one problem. There was no blood. No blood.

No blood was shed. Beyond going to church and personal Bible study, you're ready for Calvary College. Take your learning and your life's purpose to the next level with an education in biblical studies. Registration for the 2023 fall term is open right now. All classes take place online. Courses like Old Testament survey and New Testament survey, Acts, Romans in Revelation, plus theological studies in the doctrine of man, sin, and salvation. Calvary College partners with Veritas International University and Calvary Chapel University, where you can earn an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree, or simply increase your knowledge of God and his word. Registration for Calvary College online classes is in full swing, but registration ends August 5th. Don't miss out. Head to calvarychurchcollege.com and click on apply.

Fill out the form, pay the registration fee, and start selecting classes to join us online this fall. God wants us to know him deeply and intimately through study of his word. That's why we share these messages, to help you connect to God through his word and grow in your walk through an intentional relationship with him. And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and so many others around the world, so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Tune in again next week for more verse by verse teaching from God's word with Skip. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all the burdens on his word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-21 04:55:28 / 2023-07-21 05:04:30 / 9

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