David says, ‘The house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence’ (1 Chron. 22:5). That’s something to consider. Is your church beginning to look like that? Some churches are experiencing conflict over styles of worship. Deacons march out because someone dared to raise or clap his hands during a rousing hymn. Church councils call meetings because someone expressed enthusiasm.
God is looking for glorious worship, so we shouldn’t be content with an out-of-tune piano. Children don’t need to be glued to the television; they can be encouraged to discover their musical talents and use them for the glory of God. And older people can shelve their stereotyped images of the church. They can put behind them the notion that it’s dull, rigid, predictable and totally irrelevant to today’s society.
The slipshod and mediocre won’t do. In Malachi’s day people were sacrificing to God their crippled and diseased animals. ‘I’d rather you shut the temple doors than bring me unworthy offerings, things you yourselves don’t want,’ God said, adding, ‘I am a great king…and my name is to be feared among the nations’ (Mal. 1:14).
When you aim at excellence, people will step into your meetings and experience complete culture shock. They will be assailed by joy, enthusiasm, energy and exuberant life. And they will say to themselves, ‘God is here.’ God is looking for an exceedingly magnificent house and he will have it.
A famous and splendid house
David told Solomon that God’s house would also be ‘of great fame’ (1 Chron. 22:5). Some Christians think that to make the house of God authentic they must keep it small. But God isn’t looking for a minute remnant through whom he can glorify his name. He wants a huge and famous house. It has been famous in the past. It will be famous again.
Not only will God’s house be magnificent and famous, it will also be ‘of great splendour in the sight of all the nations’ (1 Chron. 22:5). God says, ‘As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.’ How does he fill the earth with his glory? He doesn’t put a golden glow in the sky. Rather, he proclaims his name through his glorious church.
The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all nations. It won’t be a small evangelistic effort – a few gospel broadcasts and a couple of thousand tracts. In the end times there will be a tremendous missionary thrust. A great wave of supernatural life will send Christians out to the ends of the earth. God’s house will be famous and splendid in every land, a glorious international people.
Isaiah 60 says, ‘I will glorify the house of my glory’ (v7, NKJV). Then he continues, ‘The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the pine and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious’ (v13, NKJV). The worldwide church will come together like the glory of Lebanon. Each church will have its own characteristics and abilities. God will reveal himself in our variety, and together we’ll echo his praise around the world.
‘The Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations’ (Isa. 61:11). God has committed himself to these things. They aren’t just empty words. ‘I am the Lord,’ he says. ‘In its time I will do this swiftly’ (Isa. 60:22).
Have you seen the vision for God’s house – its magnificence, fame and glory? David wanted Solomon to be clear about what he had to build. God wants you to be clear about his objectives in the earth – namely, to glorify his Son by giving him a glorious church from every tribe and nation.
‘God is great, and worship is our response to his greatness! The church’s primary purpose is to ensure that God receives the glory he desires and deserves. That is why the saints gather together to corporately rehearse the greatness of God through worship. The focus of the church should be the worth-ship of God. Evangelism’s main goal is first and foremost to recruit worshippers for God. When Christ is embraced as offered in the Gospel, the believer is brought into a personal worshipping relationship with God the Father.’
Mike Chastain, The Goal of Redemption, Tabletalk, Feb. 2004, p55