“Please join me in standing as we all worship together this morning!” You’ve heard that phrase before. Well, if you’ve attended a church that sings on Sunday morning, you’ve probably heard it.
If you are born again and on your way to heaven, and if you participate in a local church, you probably think of Sunday morning services as a time of corporate worship…and you should! Scripture clearly indicates that God wants his children to do that.
But have you thought about the fact that not everyone at a Sunday morning service is a believer, and therefore they cannot participate in worshiping God? I hope you have unbelievers on Sunday morning! If not, you need to go find some.
However, unsaved individuals cannot worship God. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Until the Holy Spirit indwells you, you cannot worship God in spirit and truth!
That being said, do we ever think about the impact that our music has on the unbelievers in our services?
Earlier this week I was talking to a retired pastor who brought up this topic. He mentioned the classic hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” The song starts, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” For many of us, this song holds great truth! But for the unbeliever, it means nothing.
Are we making people liars when we sing this song together?
Especially when we get to the chorus, we sing, “This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.” But for the unsaved person, this is not their story and this is not their song! They are not praising our Savior all the day long (and often, neither are we).
This is just one example, and there are many other songs with similar truths. So, what does this mean for us? Perhaps we need to put more thought into our song selection for our corporate worship times, and perhaps we need to publicly preface these songs: “This song contains a great truth about the reality of salvation for everyone who is saved. But if you’re here today and have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the message of this song does not apply to you until you have made that decision.”
There is also a debate about whether or not music can be used evangelistically or as a way to draw unbelievers to a church. That’s not a topic I will address right now, but it’s closely tied to the subject at hand.
Let’s put more thought into the songs we sing!