Did God ever make known how He wanted all the earth to worship Him? Has He changed His mind about that subject after the coming of Christ and His finished work of atonement?
God’s Demand of All the Earth
Psalm 98 provides clear revelation that helps us answer both of these questions. Through an unnamed psalmist, God made known when Psalm 98 was written how He wanted all the earth to worship Him at that time:
Psa 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.
God commanded that all the earth would sing unto Him with the harp (98:5) and make a joyful noise before Him with trumpets and a cornet (98:6). These commands make clear that God demanded that all the earth worship Him with singing accompanied by musical instruments.
Has God Changed His Mind?
All the earth has never obeyed these commands, and many of the peoples of the earth have never even known specifically that God has commanded them to do this. Are these commands still the will of God for all the earth or has He changed His mind after the coming of Christ?
Based on my study of Scripture, I do not find any basis for holding that these commands no longer apply. I also find no basis for holding that the coming of Christ and His completed work of atonement somehow has done away with these commands.
The lack of specific NT mention of instrumental worship in the first-century Church does not constitute proof that Christians today should worship God by singing without the use of musical instruments. On the contrary, Matthew 28:18-20 compared with Psalm 98:4-6 teaches us that it is part of the Church’s mission to disciple all nations to worship God with singing accompanied by musical instruments!