Why Is It A Sin To Not Worship God?

There is one complaint you often hear from atheists about the God of The Bible and that is His insistent demands that all human beings worship and adore Him. They think this somehow makes Him a megalomaniac, someone who is in constant need of reassurance of His greatness. God demands that we stroke His ego. They think He has a sort of “Look at me! Look at me! Tell me how great I am” attitude. What’s worse is that He threatens you with eternal torment if you don’t do that. Is that really an accurate representation of God? Does God really need constant praise? Does God really desire constant ego stroking from His creatures? If you want the short answer, it’s a big NO.

However, I do believe there are very legitimate reasons which make it a sin to not give praise and glory to the almighty one. Hopefully you will see at the end of this blog post that the refusal to worship the Lord is a deplorable and audacious thing to do. There are 3 reasons I’d like to share with you on why it is a sin to not give praise and honor to God. I’d like to start with the lesser reasons and then move on to the more serious reasons.

*God Is The Source Of Everything Good In Your Life.

The Bible teaches that God created everything that exists (Genesis 1-2, Psalm 104, Job 38-39, John 1). God brought all matter, energy,space and time into being. He fine tuned the universes constants and quantities, and fine tuned our Earth-Moon, Solar System and Galaxy to support advanced life. Then He created life over periods of time (how long those periods were is debated in Christian circles). God eventually created Adam and Eve, from whom all humanity can trace it’s origins. God is, therefore, literally the Creator of everything that exists. Even the electronic gadgets at your local Radio Shack is created by God, at least in an indirect sense. Yes, human beings invented the gadgets, but God created human beings (and gave them the intellectual capacities, 5 senses, arms, legs, and other things which are both useful and necessary for inventing things) and God created the universe which we human beings dwell in, so, therefore, ultimately the invention of those gadgets trace their existence back to the Lord.

God created man à Man created gadgets. So, it’s like a series of dominos falling. Yes, indeed. Because God is our creator (Genesis 1-2, Psalm 104, Job 38-39, John 1), any accomplishments we have ultimately have God as their source. This is why we Christians give praise and glory to God when good things happen to us, even though a human being may have been the cause of the fortunate event. This is why Tim Tebow gives thanks to God when he wins a football game. God gave Tebow His athletic abilities.

God is the source of everything good in your life. From your existence, to the food you eat, to the water you drink, your shelter, any riches you gain in this life, everything. If you become a world renown scientists who makes several breakthroughs in your field of study, yes it was you who figured out the equations but it was God who gave you your brilliant mind. Therefore, you should give glory to God. This is why we Christians thank God for literally everything.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

OBJECTION! But, you may object “Doesn’t that mean that God is also the source of everything evil and bad in our lives?” – Yes, in an indirect sense. I’m confident in saying that about 90% of the suffering that afflicts our lives is due to the result of human evil. Almost every account of suffering that I can remember in my life was the result of human actions. Either I suffered the consequences of my own actions, or someone else did wrong to me. It was either one or the other. Suffering caused by nature (e.g diseases) caused a VERY TINY amount of suffering I’ve endured. God did in fact give human beings free will, but remember, God does not want human beings to do evil. Human beings do what is contrary to God’s will. People murder, but one of God’s commandments is “You must not murder” (Exodus 20:13). People commit adultery, but God said “You must not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). People steal, but God said “You must not steal” (Exodus 20:15). People hate each other, but Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself” (see Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27). Jesus also said “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:38-47).

People do what is contrary to God’s will. God does not want people to do evil things to each other. But given free will, God cannot guarantee that the creatures He creates will always cooperate with Him. The majority of suffering in the world is humanities fault, not God’s fault. While God is responsible for the fact of freedom, human beings are responsible for their acts of freedom.

But moreover, God can bring good out of a bad situation. He can make a message out of a mess. The Bible says that God “makes all things work for the good of those who love Him.” – Romans 8:28

So, I thank God for all the good in my life, and I also trust in Him that even the bad things in my life can somehow work out for a good purpose (even if I may not understand how it can bring about good).

In conclusion You OWE God for your very existence! If it weren’t for Him, you wouldn’t exist and neither would you have been able to achieve all that you’ve achieved in this life. God has blessed you with whatever talents and abilities you possess. To refuse to even acknowledge Him or give Him thanks seems wrong.

*God Not Only Created You, But Keeps You In Existence

The Bible teaches not only that God is the creator of all physical reality, but also that He keeps it into being. In other words, our very existence depends moment by moment of God.

Nehemiah 9:6: Ezra said: “Thou art the LORD, thou alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and thou preservest all of them; and the host of heaven worships thee.”

In this verse, God is not only the one who creates everything in heaven and on Earth, but he also preserves them in existence. So he not only created the world but God is the preserver and conserver of the world as well.

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:15-17
God brings the universe into existence, he sustains it in being, and it will remain in being so long as he sustains it and conserves it into the future. In other words, all of reality outside of God is shot through with a radical dependence. It is in existence only so long as God creates and sustains its existence. Were he to withdraw his creative power, the universe would be annihilated in a blink of an eye.

A good analogy for this, if you are having difficulty understanding it, would be to think of when you dream. In a dream, you have people, events going on, a whole world is created in your dream. There are actions and interactions, conversations happening, events going on in this dream world. But that dream world is radically contingent upon you to maintain it in existence, as you continue to think. The moment you wake up, it vanishes in a flash and no longer exists. The actual world around us that is so real and seems so solid and robust is shot through with that same kind of radical dependency upon God for its existence.

Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying here! I am not saying that this is all a dream in God’s mind and that the universe we live in is unreal. I’m just using this as an analogy to say that in the same way the dream world is radically dependent upon its creator for its existence, this physical world, this universe, is dependent upon God for its existence. According to The Bible, If there were no God, there would be no universe. By contrast, if there were no universe, God would be unaffected. He would exist just as He always has.

By the way, I believe there is powerful scientific evidence that God created the universe. I believe science can establish this. Reasons To Believe and the Intelligent Design community has put forth very powerful evidence for God’s creating the universe, fine tuning it’s universal constants and quantities, fine tuning our local galaxy cluster, galaxy and solar system, and also good evidence from biology that the cell required an intelligent designer. However, as for God keeping physical reality into existence, I don’t think there’s any scientific evidence for that. The evidence from science only suggests that He brought the universe into being, not that He’s needed to keep it in existence.

Natural Theology/General Revelation can only carry you so far. Special Revelation tells us this, however.

*God Is The Highest Good

According to The Bible, and according to natural theology (The Moral Argument), God is the highest good. In fact, He’s the standard for Morality (to see why, click here). God’s character is the standard by which we measure people. We look at one person and know that he or she comes much closer to meeting that standard (e.g Mother Teresa) and we look at another person and knows that he or she is much further away from meeting that standard (e.g Adolf Hitler). Since God is the ultimate good person (or personS, The Trinity), it makes sense that God would want us to focus our eyes on Him.

God is the highest good. There is no one more loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, patient, just and a hater of evil deeds than God. He is the highest good in that moral sense. Moreover, He’s the standard of morality by which we measure people (as I noted above). Since God is the highest good in both of these senses, it would seem immoral for God not to want all attention on Himself. So, God is not some egomaniac craving attention and craving praise, He’s desiring that we fix our eyes on the ultimate good (which happens to be Himself). It would be evil for God to want you to make anything else your number 1 priority, since that would be a lesser good. In fact, this was the point Paul was making in Romans 1. After saying that God’s handiwork was abundantly evident such that people have no excuse in saying He doesn’t exist (verse 20), He said "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” – Romans 1:21-23

These pagans Paul is mentioning exchanged the true God (the highest good) for gods of their own making (lesser goods). Gods who couldn’t do anything for them because they were mere statues.

And moreover, I would go so far as to say that God is the source of human satisfaction. John 1 and Colossians 1 said that we were created “by Him and for Him”. If we were created “for Him”, it would stand to reason that we would find our greatest happiness and complete fulfillment in having a relationship with Him. Those of us who have been born again can testify that this is the case. I find no greater joy in my life than spending time talking to God and studying His Word. Like Paul, I count everything else as garbage in comparison (Philippians 3:8). I’ve heard many testimonies by people who said that they felt an emptiness inside of them. Once they came to Christ, that emptiness was filled. They didn’t have this hole in their hearts anymore. This was also the premises in the “Argument From Desire”. This makes perfect sense if the truth of the matter is that we were “made for Him” as John 1 and Colossians 1 states. Since we were made for Him, we can only find satisfaction in Him. Therefore, God desiring worship is not for His benefit but for ours. 

Indeed, C.S Lewis once put it "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."


God is not an ego maniac. He is only demanding what is rightfully His. God created you, you OWE God for your very existence! If it weren’t for Him, you wouldn’t exist and neither would you have been able to achieve all that you’ve achieved in this life (since if it weren’t for Him, you wouldn’t exist to achieve them). God has blessed you with whatever talents and abilities you possess.

God also keeps you in existence. Even though we do evil to one another, and blaspheme His great name, He does not take us out of existence. Our existence depends on Him like a chandelier depends on a chain and ceiling to stay in the air. To refuse to give Him thanks for that, and especially to slander and blaspheme Him is the highest wrong. You, oh man, who want nothing to do with God, need God to stay in existence.

In addition, God is the highest good. He is the standard of morality and the One who can give us ultimate fulfillment and happiness. Not only in this life, but also the next.

And if this weren’t enough, consider the fact that Christ died for you so God wouldn’t have to punish you for your sins. Not just the sin of refusal to worship, but all of the other sins mentioned in scripture. Everything from murder to looking at a woman with lust (Matthew 5:28). Jesus went through all of that so that He could spend eternity with you? And you’re going to shun Him? You’re going to shun Him after everything He went through? This is the ultimate chutzpa!

Here's what refusal to worship basically says: “That was a good thing you did God for creating me, keeping me existence, and giving me everything I need to be successful in life. And also becoming a man and being tortured on my behalf so you wouldn’t have to punish me for all the other numerous other wrong things I’ve done in life, and instead of being punished for eternity, I can experience extreme joy and bliss for eternity. But I don’t want anything to do with you. Go away!” 

Not revering God is like spitting in the face of a person who offers you a mansion, a lifetime supply of food, and several billion dollars, except much worse since God offers you much more. He offers you eternal life.

I'll end with a verse from scripture:
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” - Revelation 4:11