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06.16.24 "How To Identify True Worshipers" (진짜 예배자 구별법)

Matthew 7:21-27

21. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.


22. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’


23. Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


24. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.


25. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.


26. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.


27. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”'


A while ago, one of the sisters at our church told me about a documentary that was recently released on Netflix.


The documentary was about heresy. But the interesting thing is that the heretical church is located in California. And the minister was a Korean immigrant. And his last name is Shin. As the sister explained this, one or two people there started looking at me.


I still remember that look in their eyes, a look that cannot be described in words. For a moment, I thought, “Are you doubting me?”


I don't have the strength or ability to do that. I watched that documentary with the feeling of wanting to defend myself. It was a documentary about a minister who was engaging in truly ridiculous heretical behavior.


There are fake Christians in the world. The Book of Revelation says that as the end comes, false prophets and false teachers will arise.


Such fake Christians. Fake worshipers.

At the same time, God gave me the thought, “What is a true worshiper?” Are we living like true worshipers? What is the difference between a true worshiper and what kind of worship does God want to receive through us today?


I believe that when we get closer to the truth today, our lives will change and we will become true worshipers who can genuinely worship God.


<1. The first way to distinguish a true worshiper>

A true worshiper is someone who does the will of God. In order to do God's will, you must know the teachings of Jesus.


The text we read today is the final message of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which is said to be the greatest sermon in Christian history.


The core of this sermon delivered by Jesus is about ‘how to live a life that is dedicated to God, pleasing to God, true without hypocrisy, full of love, and full of wisdom and discernment.’ This is the life of a worshiper.


In chapter 4 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus begins his full-fledged ministry after his baptism with the Holy Spirit.


The first was the ministry of the word proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and the second was the ministry of healing the sick.


Matthew 4:23-24 (NIV):

23. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

24. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.


Jesus performed two representative works. Firstly, it was the ministry of proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and secondly, it was the ministry of healing. And the rumor about Jesus began to spread. What kind of rumor was it? People had no interest in the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. They were filled with only interest in curing their own illness.


If you look at verse 24 again, the crowd that gathered to Jesus was all people who came to be healed. Jesus also knew this. And Jesus healed them all.


Now, the important thing here is that Jesus not only carried out the healing ministry of curing the sick of the crowd, but he also did not scold them by saying, ‘How can you be so uninterested in the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and only interested in healing?’


Jesus begins to preach the message that they must do God's will in the future, and this is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.


And through the teachings of Jesus, a change in perspective occurred that was 180 degrees different from the knowledge and understanding they had.


Instead of a life of me-centered faith, a life of faith from the perspective of heaven has now begun to emerge.


Jesus said, “Do you just want to be cured of your illness? Now not only will your illness be cured, but your spirit will also be revived.”


And blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

And Jesus proclaimed words that were difficult for them to understand.


“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”

Their view of faith was completely changed through the perspective of heaven.


Living with true faith in God is neither easy nor comfortable.

Jesus says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

From this time on, Jesus wanted to distinguish between true believers and false believers.

True worshipers are those who are set apart by the teachings of Jesus and do the will of God.


The only way for us to be distinguished by the teachings of Jesus is to get to know Him.

During the 'Zoom morning worship service' last week, we looked at 2 Peter together.

2 Peter tells us that we bear fruit when we get to know Jesus.


2 Peter 1:2-4 (NIV):

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.


By getting to know Jesus, we become partakers of God’s nature.

I believe that the door to worship opens to those who come to know Jesus. I believe that the door to relationships will open. The more we get to know Jesus, the more our lives as worshipers will resemble Jesus.


<2. The second way to distinguish a true worshiper>

A true worshiper is someone who obeys the word of God.


Matthew 7:24

24. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.


When we receive forgiveness of sins through the grace of the cross of Jesus Christ and try to live a life of faith with that emotion and gratitude, one big challenge that comes up is ‘now to obey the will of God.’


I have lived my life according to my will, but now I have to live my life according to God's will.

Laying down my sovereignty. That is obedience.


Even though you are leading a good religious life, you may have experienced that your heart of obedience is distorted when you become concerned about people's interests instead of being conscious of God.

Even though you say, “I will follow God and live obediently to His word,” there are times when your desires and tests get in the way in your heart.



When Gandhi, an Indian independence activist and representative Hindu leader, studied abroad in England, he came across the Bible and read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which we read today.


And he left these words:

“I love the Sermon on the Mount. But Christians hate it. Because although they call themselves disciples of Jesus, they do not try to imitate Jesus.”


It means that there is hypocrisy within us. Hypocrisy is something different on the outside and on the inside. A representative figure in the Bible is the Pharisee. They knew the ‘word’ of God, but they did not know the ‘heart’ of God.


God's heart can be known through relationships. Only when we enter into a relationship of worshiping God can we understand God's will, and only then can we rely on God to lead and take responsibility for our lives.

When we rely on God, we trust in Him. When we trust God, we can obey God's word.

The key to obedience lies in our relationship with God.


Those who rely on God cannot be shaken.


Let’s look at Matthew 7:24-25 again.


24. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.


25. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.


When you obey God, your faith can stand firm. The fruit of obedience causes us to rely on God. It makes you trust God. It allows us to live a life of worship to God.

If there are things that make it difficult to obey God’s word today and there are things that hinder and attack my heart, I would like to pray first to know God’s ‘heart’. Please pray to show God’s heart. When the heart of God comes into us, the door to worship will open. Your relationship with God will open. I want to become great worshipers who can bear the fruit of obedience today as well.


<Conclusion>

Worship is not about imitation. Worship can never be imitated.

Looking at the documentary I mentioned at the beginning of today's message, there is one characteristic of heretics: they do not try to be like Jesus, but rather try to imitate Jesus.

And they try to gain profit and satisfy their greed through Jesus.

However, we are not beings who pursue worldly gain through Jesus.

We are beings who learn love through Jesus and sacrifice with that love.

Christians are beings who give up themselves through Jesus.

This is the difference between real and fake.

It is not I who is asking you today, but when God asks you, I want all of us to be able to confess, “Lord, I want to become a true worshiper who can obey God’s will by striving to know Jesus every day.”


<Small group questions>

  1. To what extent are you trying to get to know Jesus in order to live as a worshiper who does God’s will? Do you enjoy a close relationship with Jesus to the degree that you know Him? What can we do to get to know Jesus better and how can we help one another? (Ex. Personal Bible reading plan, meditating on the Word with a small group, watching testimonial stories, sharing life from a spiritual perspective, etc.)


2. Is it natural for you to obey the Word? Or is it difficult? Or are you trying harder? If it is natural or not, why? If so, what efforts are you making?


3. Let's pray for each other asking to become the true worshipers that God wants. (1. Help us live as worshipers who do God’s will by getting to know Jesus better. 2. If there are individual issues that make it difficult to obey God’s will, let's pray for that matter.)

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