Today we can find many Christian congregations all around the world. What they have in common is that they believe in Christ as the Savior. Except for this, almost all the churches have different doctrines and follow different regulations. They all believe that their worship of God is acceptable to God since it is done out of their love toward God. However, is this true to believe that all the worship services are acceptable to God if it is done in the name of God and Christ? We can find one example in the story of Cain and Abel.
Genesis 4:2 Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
According to this story, Cain was a farmer and naturally he offered grains he produced with his sweat; and Abel, fat portions from the firstborn of his flock. Each of them offered the best they could in their perspective. Then did God accept both offerings with a willing and pleasing mind? That was not the case. God accepted Abel’s offerings with pleasure, but not Cain’s.
What was the reason for this favoritism shown toward Abel? Was it God’s preference? No. The answer can be found in the next verse in the words of God to Cain: “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Through this we can know that there was something that is not right in the offerings of Cain. According to the bible, the cleansingness or the forgiveness of sins are obtained by shedding the blood.
Hebrews 9:18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”[e] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Even from the beginning, God set up the law that the forgiveness of sins can be achieved only through shedding blood. And there is no forgiveness without shedding blood. God already made know this fact to Cain and Abel; Abel obeyed the words of God, but Cain did not. For this reason the offerings of Cain was not acceptable in the eyes of God. This means the offerings must be done according to the words of God. And the offerings which are perform arbitrarily without the words of God are not pleasing in the eyes of God.
It is the same to day with the spiritual offerings, that is, the worship services. The worship services done according to the words of God are like Abel’s offering and God will willingly accept that kind of offering. It is because that offering is done in the obedience to the words of God. Then what about the worship services done like the offerings of Cain? However much may one put his mind and soul for the service, it is not acceptable in the eyes of God and those who offer in this way out from their own opinions cannot receive blessings from God. Rather, as God said to Cain, things which are not done according to the words of God are not right and those who do what is not right are committing sins against God because sin is lawlessness, in other words, disobedience to the words or the laws of God.
Then let us think of the worship services done among the churches today. Some churches practice the Sunday worship and others the Sabbath worship. And they all believe that they are doing the will of God. Then which practice is done according to the words of God in the bible. In the Book of Exodus, God commanded clearly that we must keep the Sabbath day, not Sunday.
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Then according to this verse what is the law of God? Keeping the Sabbath Day holy is the law of God. Then what is the Sunday worship? It is an act like the offering of Cain who practiced lawlessness when he did not obey the commands of God. Those who take part in the Sunday worship are doing the same as Cain and they are practicing lawlessness in the eyes of God. Consequently, their offerings will not be pleasing in the eyes of God and they cannot receive any blessings out of their worship services.
God teaches us that we must have knowledge in the worship of God. Today so many people emphasize only the faith and love toward God. They say what is important is faith in God, not the work we have done such as keeping the laws and regulations. But God says to those who have faith in him: “If you love me, keep my commands.” We as believers who have faith in God have to obey the commands of God to show our faith toward God. This is the will of God.