Void Where Prohibited

 by Steve Klein

Introduction:  I can remember as a youngster noticing contests or promotional offers on cereal boxes.  I would get excited about sending off two box tops to get something "FREE" or entering a contest to win prizes, and then I would notice the fine print --- VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. When my Mom explained that in some places certain kinds of contests were against the law, it would leave me wondering if we were living in one of those places. This phrase is still commonly included at the end of too-good-to-be-true offers and advertisements.  I heard it just this week at the end of a radio commercial.  There are places or circumstances in which some things are against the law, and so the benefits one might otherwise receive from those things are not attainable -- If you're not supposed to do it, there's no sense trying it, because it won't do you any good!  The principle is similar to the one Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 -- you can't win the prize if you compete for it in an unlawful way.   Man's attempts to ask God for things and to serve Him can also be "void" if not done in accordance with God's terms and conditions.  Here are some things that void where prohibited:

I. Prayer, when the one praying is lawless

  A. God does not hear those who love iniquity,

 B. Their prayer is not only void (containing no good benefit for them), it may actually do them harm, since it is considered an abomination by God

II. Worship, when it is done after the traditions of men.

 A. Worshipping after the instructions and traditions of men and not in compliance with God's will voids our worship.

 B. Thus several common practices today, in which great effort is being expended to worship God, are wasted effort.   Including...

III. Worship, prayer, or service when offered by a hypocrite.

  A. The hypocrisy of the Israelites voided their worship.   Malachi 2:13 states,  "And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands." 14  Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.

  B. The hypocrisy of the Jews voided their prayers  Matthew 6:5,  "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

  C. The hypocrisy of many will void their work on service on the judgment day, Matthew 7:21-23.

Conclusion:  Is your worship, prayer and service to God void?  Make it count!  Sincerely put God's will first in your life.


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