Attendance Of Worship
Worship is a privilege only children of God have. There are many blessings we receive from faithful attendance in worship. God has commanded us to assemble regularly to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Hebrews 10:25-27 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation." When we forsake the assembly of the church, except for sickness or circumstances beyond our control, we are not only disobeying God, but we are robbing ourselves of all the benefits of worship which would have helped us to grow and become spiritually strong.
By forsaking the assembly, we also endanger our souls because as the above verse says "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins." It is bad enough for anyone to be lost, but to see one of God’s children fall away is a disaster. It is heartbreaking because Christ is our only sacrifice for sin. When people reject their only sacrifice for sin there remains nothing but "a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation."
It will be a sad day for those who fall away because as we continue reading in Hebrews 10:29, "Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?" Then verse 31 concludes by saying, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." It will not only be fearful but horrible beyond description when those who were once "sanctified" children of God who have turned their back on the Lord when they find themselves in eternal punishment. The sad part will be they didn’t have to be there, but they became careless and indifferent with their souls.
When people fall away from the Lord, it is usually not a sudden thing. They usually start by forsaking the assembly of Wednesday night Bible study. Then they start missing Sunday evening worship. Next they stop coming to Sunday morning Bible study; and then finally they stop coming to Sunday morning worship. This is the usual path of apostasy for most people who fall away. Oh, some may come back and "visit" several times a year and a few may even attend only the Sunday morning worship with little regularity. These are described in 2 Peter 2:22 as, "A dog turns to his own vomit again, and a sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." Some members have turned to their own vomit and are in the pigpen and can no longer smell the stench.
We are encouraged not to let this happen in Galatians 6:9, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart." But for us to obtain our eternal reward we must be consistent. Our Lord says in Revelation 2:10, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." Only if we remain faithful are we promised eternal life.
Some people may ask, do I have to attend Sunday night and Wednesday night services? If we really love God and Christ we will never ask such questions. Jesus says in Luke 17:10, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, we are unprofitable servants, we have done what was our duty to do." We can never on our own earn our way into heaven. It is going to take the grace of God for us to get to heaven. Isaiah 64:6 says, "But we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags." We can never slip into heaven with a "get by" attitude. If we are trying to do as little as we can, I am sorely afraid we will be in for a great surprise on Judgment Day. It will be too late to make things right then. Our eternal fate is sealed forever when we draw our last breath. Why do people endanger and gamble with their souls?
Our soul is worth more than the whole world. Our Lord says in Mark 8:36-37, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and looses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" The answers to both questions are he gains nothing but looses his soul into eternal punishment, which will be permanent because nothing will be able to get him out. The Lord is trying to give us the greatest warning of our life. We need to listen to what we are being told by our Creator before it is too late.
We should look forward with joy for the opportunity to worship God. When we worship God in spirit and in truth we can know the Lord will be there with us. Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Do we want to miss being with the greatest guest of all, our Lord? We should look forward to attending and worshipping God, otherwise how will we be able to enjoy worshipping God in heaven?
Going to heaven must be the number one priority in our life. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." I want to "seek first the kingdom of God" by not allowing anything to hinder me from meeting with the saints and the Lord, don’t you? We don’t want to miss the greatest gift God will ever give which is our home in heaven. We are told in 2 Peter 1:10, "Therefore, brethern, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure." We need to ask ourselves, is my calling and election sure? We are told how to make it sure in 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved brethern, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Jesus gives a parable in Luke 14:16-20, 24 which applies quite well to our attending worship services of God. "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, come for all things are now ready. But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused. Still another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." Anyone of those invited could have attended the supper if they really wanted to, but they thought other things were more important. In our day of "busy activities" it is easy to allow life's distractions to "choke out" our serving the Lord.
But notice the conclusion in verse 24, "For I say unto you that none of those men who were invited shall taste My supper." Are we rejecting the Lord’s invitation of our regular attendance at His worship service in His church? Are we rejecting His invitation of partaking of His supper, "the Lord’s Supper", and of feasting on His word which provides us with the spiritual food we desperately need? If we reject our Lord’s invitation, He says that none of us "who were invited shall taste My supper."
Please don’t put your soul in jeopardy of being rejected. It just isn’t worth it. This life is so short in comparison to eternity. We are told in James 4:14, "For what is your life? It is even as a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." We have got to get it right the first time. There will not be a second chance! We must look forward to every opportunity we have of worshipping God "in spirit and in truth."