As we look around the world today, particularly around the Evangelical landscape, it is clear that we are living in a time of increasing confusion and spiritual deception. Mass deception and delusion is on the rise as people are being led astray by false teachings, aberrant worship, and deceptive ideologies. The Bible warns us that in the end times, there will be a great rebellion and the man of lawlessness will deceive many with his false worship. You do not have to be a dispensationalist to see that this biblical principle is playing out before our eyes and as Christians, we must understand the dangers of idolatry, false worship, and deception, and that we remain vigilant in our faith, testing everything against the truth of God’s word.
Worship is a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith, and as believers, we must approach it with a heart that is surrendered to God. True, biblical worship is not just about singing songs or raising our hands in the air; it is about the state of our hearts. In John 4:23-24, Jesus speaks of the importance of worshiping God with our whole being, in spirit and truth—that we must approach God with reverence, awe, and a humble heart, recognizing His sovereignty and majesty.
Psalm 95:6 highlights the importance of humbling ourselves before God and bowing down to worship Him. Our worship should be done in an orderly and respectful manner, as Paul instructs in 1 Corinthians 14:40. We must plan and conduct our worship services with reverence and respect for God.
While expressing emotions during worship is not inherently wrong, hyper-emotional charismatic worship can be dangerous. When too much emphasis is placed on emotional experiences rather than true, biblical worship, there is a risk of it becoming idolatry. A good way to check whether worship is focused on the right things is to ask yourself if you would still feel just as “moved” by the Holy Spirit if the music were removed and only the lyrics were spoken. If not, then could it be the music that you’re worshiping rather than God? And are your feelings and emotions then become the driving force in our worship? Jesus warns us against using external actions to mask an inward heart that is far from God, as stated in Matthew 15:8-9.
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The danger of hyper-emotional charismatic worship is that it can lead to a shallow and superficial faith built on emotional experiences rather than a deep, intimate relationship with God. While emotional experiences can be a part of worship, they should not be the main focus. Psalm 46:10 highlights the importance of quieting our hearts and minds in the presence of God rather than constantly seeking after emotional experiences.
Furthermore, as we approach the end times, we must be vigilant in our worship and guard against false worship and deception. Not everything we see in the world that claims to be a true movement of the Holy Spirit truly is. One of the key elements of this deception are the appearance of false messiahs and false prophets who will perform false signs and wonders to deceive the masses—but it will all ook deceptively Christian on the surface. Sound familiar? The Bible warns that these false christs will lead people astray and even perform miracles so convincing that even the elect would be deceived if that were possible. In the midst of this deception, a powerful ecumenical movement will arise that will seek to unite all religions under one umbrella.
Exactly what is the goal of this movement? Sadly, many will read this and think I’m being too critical. Some will email me, maybe even comment on this post, that all these people participating in these aberrant movements really do love Jesus and that I need to stop being so judgmental. But the reality is that we should fear for the souls of those caught in these movements, those whom Jesus says that “they honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” I do not want you to be deceived, I desire you to know the truth and to turn to Christ, who died on the cross for our sins, in faith and repentance. Repentance not just from immoral behavior, but also repentance from our false beliefs about Him—idolatry.
As Bible-believing Christians, we must test everything against the truth of God’s word and ensure that we are not led astray by false teachings and deception. In 1 John 4:1, we are urged to test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
True, biblical worship is about approaching God with a quiet, reverent heart, recognizing His sovereignty and majesty. It is not about entertaining ourselves or seeking after emotional experiences and it certainly isn’t about laying down doctrinal differences and joining hands with those who have created a false Jesus in their own image. As Paul writes in Romans 12:1, our spiritual worship involves presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
We must approach worship with a heart that is surrendered to God, recognizing His sovereignty and majesty. We must guard against false worship and deception, test everything against the truth of God’s word, and ensure that our focus is on pleasing God, not ourselves.