Throughout the various debates and friendly arguments I’ve had about the Sabbath, perhaps the most annoying line of reasoning I have heard is the fellow who says, “I don’t need to observe a Sabbath; every day for me is a Sabbath!” Whether or not you are a Sabbatarian, I hope you can see that this is simply rubbish. The essence of the Sabbath is (or was) differentiation. For six days do all that you must do to live. Do it to God’s glory, yes, but do it in six days, and then – on the seventh day – do something completely different. Anyone who pretends to have seven Sabbaths a week actually has none – and that should be evident even to those who believe that we should have none.
Regardless of where you stand on that question, every Christian ought to at least understand that God has called His people to assemble together to worship Him. This is as clear in the New Testament as in the Old. The Jerusalem church is described again and again as being together. Paul and his cohorts established local assemblies, not rogue Christians who saw no need of assembly because they were in the church universal. Christians are urged not to forsake the assembly.
The rather obvious reality is that we are meant to gather regularly to read God’s Word and to hear it preached, to sing praises and offer up prayers together as one body, to meet with God and to edify one another. This is called “worship.” It is, according to Hebrews 10, an entering into the presence of God through Christ – something which requires assembling together. It is a formal audience with God. Like Sabbath, it is something which by definition is differentiated from the rest of life.
Now it is obviously true that in all of life we serve God and glorify Him. “Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” Paul meant “whatever choice you make in matters of liberty of conscience,” but his point is the same. Something as mundane as eating or refusing meat can be an act of service to the Creator and should be done with His glory in mind. But it is not worship. There is a differentiation which comes in the assembly – that formal audience with the Almighty.
So what are we to think of the Christian who says that all of life is an act of worship? It sounds nice, but it is unrealistic. Replace “worship” with “service” and you have a great truth, but retain “worship” and you lose something precious by flattening the contours of the Christian life. When you worship, your sisters and brothers – who share in the Spirit – enable you to approach God in a unique manner which should not be defined away. That uniqueness is critical in the Christian life precisely because it cannot be duplicated. The Christian does not duplicate it in his prayer closet; neither does the pastor duplicate it in his study.
All of life really is not worship, but consider: if life is lived in the service of God and to the glory of God, and if in that life the assembly of the Saints is our opportunity to approach God in a unique way and worship Him, is not that time of worship the crowning moment of life? Is it not the reason for which the Christian lives? Should not public worship be the central reality of every Christian life?
All of life is not worship; all of life is crowned by worship.Tom Chantry, Pastor Christ Reformed Baptist Church .