Scripture Reading: â€œâ€¦and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.â€ (Psalm 51:14-15)
The forgiven will â€œsingâ€ and â€œpraise.â€ Their worship will be irrepressible. To be lifted out of the deep valley of heart-rending conviction and raised to the soaring summit of salvation is a most rapturous experience. One cannot go through the exultation of salvation without the accompanying exaltation of the Savior.
Whereas the pardoned heart cannot help but praise, the sinful heart is incapable of true worship. Contrary to popular opinion, sinners cannot comfortably sit in the congregation of the righteous (Psalm 1:5). To be in the midst of the righteousâ€”those right with Godâ€”is an unnerving experience for the sinner, especially when the righteous are engaged in the worship of the One whose wrath the sinner willingly remains under.
In the book of Acts, we read how sinners did not dare join in with the saints (Acts 5:13). Nevertheless, they held the church in high regard. Of course, the church in those days was walking in New Testament power and glory. Contrast this with the church of our day. Today, the church attempts to allure the world to join in with it by making itself accommodating to the world. The fact that it is proving itself quite successful at it, can only mean that you can write â€œIchabodâ€ over it and that there is little, if any, true worship taking place within it. This also explains why the contemporary church, unlike the church in the book of Acts, is not held in high regard by present-day sinners, but excoriated by them.
Although I agree with Abigal Van Buren, who said, â€œThe church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints,â€ it must be noted that the sick do not go to the hospital because they want to, but only because they need to. They go because they are sick and desperately want to be cured. Any hospital trying to increase its business by passing itself off as a theme park is compromising its lifesaving mission for the purpose of filling its beds. Likewise, any church trying to pass itself off as an entertainment center rather than a worship center is compromising its lifesaving mission for the purpose of filling its pews.