For one reason or another, there are some absent at every service; some without a reason at all. It is my conviction that attendance at the assemblies of the church is a good indication of "spiritual health." "Forsaking the assemblies' is a symptom of "heart trouble." Real love for the Lord says: "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." (Psa 122:1). However, failure to assemble has become one of those "common" and "respectable" (???) sins. There are a number of reasons why I attend every service of the church and I want to share some of them with you. If you are not attending every service, I hope you will consider these reason very carefully.
- I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE BECAUSE THE LORD EXPECTS ME TO DO SO. The Lord through his inspired writers tells me not to forsake the assembling of myself together with others. (Heb 10:25). According to Acts 2:42 it was the general practice of the first Christians to meet and engage in the various acts of worship.
- I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE TO BE WITH AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD. In Matt 18:20, Jesus promised to be with those who were gathered in his name. Therefore, when we assemble in the name of Jesus (by His authority), for worship, He is with us, we are in His presence. If someone famous were going to be at our services, I am sure that the house would be full to running over. Certainly, being with and in the presence of Jesus is of far more importance than anyone here on this earth! If we refuse His company here on this earth, how can we expect Him to invite us into heaven to be with Him forever?
- I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE BECAUSE OF THE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS WHICH I RECEIVE. Paul points out to us that all spiritual blessings are in Christ. (Eph 1:3). So, as a member of this spiritual family, when I assemble with others of this family, I receive blessings which I cannot receive elsewhere. When I assemble, my faith is increased, my heart is encouraged so that I become more humble in spirit and holy in living. I am made to forget my fleshly nature and I am lifted to a higher standard of living.
- I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE TO MEET THE BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH. When Paul wrote to the Romans, he expressed a desire to be "filled with their company." (Rom 15:24). This indicates to us the kind of people that Paul knew made up the church in Rome, the kind with whom he wanted to be associated. There may be some bad people who claim membership in the church and there may be some morally good people outside the church but they are that way IN SPITE OF the church and not BECAUSE of it. Where else can you consistently find good honest people who are striving to do the will of God from the heart?
- I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE. Jesus, in Matt 5:13-16 makes it very clear that he expects us to have a good influence on others. So, I realize that there are a lot of people who are watching me who know whether I attend every service of the Lord's church or not. I know my children learn from my attitude toward the assemblies. If I stay at home, I am teaching my children as well as others that I do not think the activities engaged in at the assemblies are very important. So, if I did not attend, I would not be setting a good example. In fact, I would be a bad influence instead of a good influence. You see, our actions do speak a lot louder than our words.
- I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE BECAUSE OF WHAT I CAN GIVE. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul commended the Macedonian Christians because they "first gave their own selves to the Lord." (2Cor 8:5). While it is true that I receive a lot from the services, I can also contribute a lot just by my presence. When I attend, I lend encouragement to others just by virtue of the fact that I made the effort to get up and get ready to come and worship with others of like precious faith. We exhort, comfort and edify one another when we come together. (Heb 10:14,15; 1Thess 5:11)
What about you, are you a member of the Lord's church and as such do you attend every service of His church that it is possible for you to attend? If not, why not?
By Jerry Henderson