Does fake news makes you angry? Not as angry as fake worship likely makes God. Jesus said,
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers”
- John 4:23
Jesus had just said that the Samaritans did not know what they were doing with regard to worship in 4:22. Is it possible to not know what we are doing today? Who is God NOT looking for?
#1 God is not looking for those who just want a fun church – excitement, rather than truth, is their goal. Doctrine (teaching)? What is that? What they want to know is who has the best “praise band” or who will provide them with the most enjoyable social activities. If fun is what I seek, I have missed the point of what Jesus is all about.
#2 God is not looking for those who want a popular church – some folks just like to believe that they are with the “in crowd”. Being members of a popular religious group gives them status. What more could you want in this world, than to be chicly religious while really not living according to any religious, or spiritual discipline at all? What will God do with me, if I seek popularity and status through his son who was rejected and crucified?
#3 God is not looking for those who want enough “religion” to make them feel okay. These are those whose consciences need soothing. They carry about legitimate guilt that is the result of bad choices they’ve made, but don’t to follow through with actually obeying God in the way that will actually result in forgiveness. They don’t want to do better, but just feel better. They just want their name on a role somewhere. If shallow, unchallenging ideas that make me feel good is what I’m looking for, then I’ll never go deep enough to find Jesus.
#4 God is not looking for those looking for a church that suits them. These are “church-shoppers” who seek a place to land that is comfortable and compliant with all that they already believe. They ask if the church is a good fit, rather than whether they are a good fit. Consumers, they are, really, who want to know what the church can offer them. Instead, we should be asking things like, “What can I offer this congregation?” and “How can I become an effective, God-glorifying part of their work?”
#5 God is not looking for those who want a church that does not demand change. Change is what the gospel is all about. If my relationship to a congregation is not helping me to be, “….transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2nd Corinthians 3:18) then I need to take a good look at myself.